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NYU Professors Analyze Election

This story was written by Heather Hodder, Washington Square News
Students might have expected an New York University version of CNN's "Hardball" when they came to last Thursday's "Election '08: Politics, Process and Predictions."

But despite the event's name, the faculty tried to steer clear of making actual predictions of who will win the primaries or general election. Instead, the speakers shared their ideas on what has happened so far from different perspectives of the political sphere.

Questions about the 2008 election process, encompassing both the primaries and the upcoming election, were discussed by a panel of distinguished NYU faculty members. The event was hosted by the Political Union and Review at NYU, the Wagner Policy Alliance at NYU and the Division of Student Affairs.

Rogan Kersh, a professor at the Wagner School of Public Service, moderated the event that hosted speakers Anna Harvey, politics professor in the College of Arts and Science; Bob Shrum, professor at Wagner and former head political advisor to the John Kerry campaign in 2004 and the Al Gore campaign in 2000; and Samuel Issacharoff, a professor at the NYU School of Law and law elections expert.

After each speaker was given the podium to discuss the upcoming November election and views on the primaries thus far, the floor was opened to questions from the general audience.

CAS freshman Coco Owens thought that the points brought up in the discussion were important for the upcoming election.

"It shows how politically motivated our generation is, more so than it ever has before," she said.

Other students were fascinated by Harvey's predictions based on data analysis.

"I liked how they brought up different target groups such as younger and older women and how racial divides are up again in such modern times," Stern freshman Kurt Fields said.

Although discussing politics can sometimes be a serious and dry affair, the evening was not without laughs.

When discussing the inequalities of different state primaries, Shrum said, "the Michigan primary was like a Soviet election, with only one candidate on the ballot," to which Issacharoff quipped back, "but in Soviet elections everyone gets to vote for the winner."

So who is going to win in the 2008 election?

"Well, I don't know," Harvey responded.

All of the faculty noted that this election process has been unpredictable so far. Like viewers of "Hardball," students were left to draw their own conclusions about the 44th president.
© 2008 Washington Square News via U-WIRE