Shifting suburbs will change elections

October 20, 2020

Spider Talks Rewind

The University’s Physical Distance Framework and CDC guidelines have prevented the filming of new episodes of Spider Talks, the popular video series featuring President Ronald A. Crutcher interviewing UR faculty about their areas of expertise and research. We’re hoping to resume filming of new Spider Talk segments in 2021. For now, we hope you will enjoy a selection of episodes from past seasons for a limited release for Spider Talks Rewind.

Just ahead of Election Day, we’re revisiting the episode, “The Changing Political Landscape” with Ernest McGowen, associate professor of political science. McGowen, who we profiled last month on UR Now, researches campaigns and elections, with an emphasis on how race and ethnicity, age, and where voters live impacts their political behavior.

As we head into the presidential election next month, McGowen shared insights on suburban voters with NPR.

"What we're calling a suburb now is going to be part of the metro in a few years. And what we're calling exurbs is going to actually be the suburbs as we would know them,” McGowen said.

He also weighed in on Black candidates in the City & State article “Suburban NY backs Black congressional candidates.”

“There's this idea that for an African American to be palatable to a white audience, they need to run on racial reconciliation, run on an idea that we are post-racial,” McGowen said. “So therefore, they cannot come out and express views that may be super-palatable to a Black audience or an audience of color but are not palatable to a white party.” 

We plan to showcase Spider Talks Rewind on UR Now through the end of 2020. In November, we will hear from longtime accounting professor Joe Hoyle as he discusses engaging student to get results.