Political science department hosts annual election party

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Political science department hosts annual election party

Adam Wisniewski

Adam Wisniewski

Adam Wisniewski

Students interested in politics descended upon Mather House 100 to watch the midterm elections unfold last Tuesday, Oct. 2. Professor Alex Lamis and his classes were the central organizers of the event. “I made committees out of the class and the students organized it,” he said.

Jacob Martin, Staff Reporter

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Pizza, pie, and pop were shared this past Tuesday, Nov. 2, at the political science department’s Election Night Party. The party started at 7 p.m. and went to 11 p.m., with many students lingering to the end. It was considered a major success and prompted students to participate in political discussion.

The event drew a fairly large crowd for its venue, Mather House 100, but there was plenty of pizza from Mama Santa’s and pie from Mama Jo’s to go around. The food has been a staple since the event began, when professor Alex Lamis’ desire to see student political involvement became a department tradition.

Professors of political science Kathryn Lavelle, Kelly McMann, Pete Moore, Justin Buchler, and Alex Lamis were all in attendance at some point throughout the night. Professor Buchler was present from beginning to end, setting up post in his usual spot. “It’s interesting to see how some of these races will play out,” he said.

Attendee predictions were given early. “We will lose the House for sure, but the Senate will still be Democrat by a little,” senior Democrat-supporter Spencer York said.

Senior Mike Iannitti agreed with the prediction, saying, “The Democrats will hold the Senate, but lose the House.”

Marcus A. Hanna Emeritus Professor of Political Science Kenneth Grundy was in attendance and made the following predictions early in the evening: “The Democrats by a nose controlling the Senate, maybe two seats max, the Republicans pick up forty seats in the House. I think a couple of Tea Party characters will fall right on their face, O’Donnell already has. And in Ohio, the Republicans will control everything except for Cordray.”

Freshman Jonathon Wanta felt the same way about Ohio. “I think there will be a party change in Ohio,” he said. “I feel that Ohio will be all Republican, with Kasich as governor.”

When asked about the media’s pre-election coverage and its declaring this year a bad one for incumbents, Professor Pete Moore said, “Numerically, the media is correct. Republicans are in, Democrats are out. Substantively though, there is a lot more continuity across parties. The media is masking this fact, the fact that between elections there is very little accountability on how well any politician represents, a major problem of American politics.”

As the night progressed, it became clear that many of the given predictions were correct. For example, the Republican Party took the House of Representatives. However, professor Alex Lamis held a different contention. “That’s the nice thing about tonight,” he said. “We don’t have to speculate anymore, we get the facts.” It was primarily Lamis’ Midterm Election class that put the night together. “I made committees out of the class and the students organized it,” he said.

Junior Gwen Gorse was the student in charge. “Professor Lamis asked me to be in charge with organizing the event along with Neil O’Brian,” she said. “It was mostly just a lot of organizing people; the rest just fell into place.”

Gorse, who is also the president of the Case College Republicans, was willing to give her opinion on the midterm elections. “I’m pleased. I wasn’t expecting anything huge. I am excited about the Republicans taking the House, but I will not be surprised if the Democrats retain the Senate.”

Senior Jared Hamilton is also in Professor Lamis’ Midterm Election class, and shared his opinions on the Senate race in Nevada, saying, “Harry Reid is the majority leader, and I don’t think [Sharron Angle] is going to be able to get Latino votes. She seems hostile to that voting bloc.”

The mood of the night was jovial no matter what party attendees identified with. There were cheers from the Republicans and Democrats in the room, but it was evident that the Republicans had a little more to cheer about.

After the event was over, senior Democrat-supporter Chris Danner said, “Clearly I’m not pleased, but I think given the political climate and political decisions Democrats have committed to over the past few years this midterm election is not as bad as some Democrats think. They now have to introduce legislation and not just stand behind a proposal. It’ll be interesting to see what the lame duck Congress will do.”