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Midterm Pulse Check: Can Biden’s Party Beat the Odds?

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

There is a widespread expectation that the Democrats will suffer losses in the 2022 midterms at all levels. This would not be unusual, since it is a regular pattern in which the party of the president in office loses ground in midterm elections. The political environment is challenging, with pain at the gas pump, inflation stretching pay checks, pandemic fatigue, disappointment with what Biden has not been able to deliver, the war in Ukraine, and bitter partisan divisions over hot button issues. Will Biden’s performance amidst all this bad news be rewarded or punished at the polls? The closing episode of this series will examine the state of the state —and the race— as we approach midterms. Experts in political economy, polling, campaigning, and presidential politics will unpack what’s important and pull out their crystal balls to look ahead to what will happen in November.

Prof. Julia Azari is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University. She holds Ph.D., M.A. and M.Phil. degrees in political science from Yale University, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include the American presidency, American political parties, the politics of the American state, and qualitative research methods. Her research has been supported by the Marquette University Regular Research Grant, the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, the Gerald Ford Presidential Library Foundation Travel Grant, and the Harry Truman Library Institute Scholars Award. Prof. Azari is a regular contributor at the political science blog The Mischiefs of Faction. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and in Politico.
David Paleologos is the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center (SUPRC), where he has worked since 2002 conducting statewide polls and bellwether survey analyses in Massachusetts and elsewhere. SUPRC presidential primary polls have predicted outcomes in many key battleground states. SUPRC's cutting-edge survey research has gained both national and international attention for its high degree of accuracy. SUPRC results have been reported on by hundreds of major news organizations on television, radio, in print, and online. The SUPRC bellwether model, authored by David, is designed to predict outcomes, not margins of victory. Used both locally and nationally, the model has an 85% accuracy rating in predicting straight-up winners. In addition to his duties as director of the research center, David is also a lecturer in the College of Arts & Sciences' Government Department, where he teaches Political Survey Research. In this intensive, immersive course, students create, implement and analyze their own survey during the semester, and experts in the field, including campaign staffers, candidates, fundraisers, and media luminaries, frequently guest lecture. Before beginning his career in academia, David was one of the Bay State's most sought-after pollsters and field operatives. He is a frequent guest lecturer on the political survey process at a number of New England-area schools and institutions. A graduate of Tufts University, David is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research and the Northeast Political Consultants Association, and sits on the board of the Rappaport Center for Law & Public Service at the Suffolk University Law School.
Stephanie Murray is the author of the POLITICO Massachusetts Playbook and covered breaking news for POLITICO in Washington, D.C.
Christina Kulich-Vamvakas is an Instructor in the Political Science & Legal Studies Department at Suffolk University, where she also directs Internship programs. She is a comparativist who is interested in the politics of democratic participation and civic engagement, with a regional focus on Europe and the US. She is interested in how “out” groups, such as women and other underrepresented groups, fair in government, public policy, political parties, protest & political movements. The impact of institutional rules on political behavior, such as in building or destroying social capital and fostering or inhibiting civic engagement, is also an area of particular interest. Christina holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. She is also an alumna of the JHU School of Advanced International Studies Bologna Center.