Kelly McKenzie is a Bodenhamer Fellow and senior honors student majoring in electrical engineering and physics from Searcy, Arkansas. She divides her time between solar cell research, the University of Arkansas Women’s Chorus and obsessing about politics. She plans to continue solar cell research in her graduate studies and lead America to a sunny future of solar cells on every home.
Florida is the quintessential battleground state, a highly diverse region that mirrors the diversity of the country. With both a large 50+ and a large minority population, it has a history of incredibly close election results. And as one of the states with the most electoral votes, the candidate chosen by Florida has won nine of the past ten presidential elections. As such, with a FiveThirtyEight tipping-point chance of a whopping 19.9%, it is probably the most important state to follow in this election. Continue reading
Spencer Soule is a sophomore honors student at the University of Arkansas, where he is pursuing a double major in political science and history. A native of North Little Rock, Spencer is an active member of the University of Arkansas Young Democrats and has done volunteer work for the Democratic Party of Arkansas. After college Spencer hopes to obtain a law degree and practice criminal law.
Though it may not carry many electoral votes, Iowa is poised to be one of the most unpredictable states in the 2016 election. Continue reading
Maxwell Carter is a freshman biomedical engineering/political science major and Bodenhamer Fellow at the University of Arkansas. An avid follower of politics, Carter interned with the Democratic Party of Arkansas in the summer of 2015 and founded a Young Democrats chapter at his high school.
In line with trends of recent elections, Ohio has been one of the most contested and least predictable states in this election cycle. Since June, Clinton and Trump have exchanged the lead in Ohio four times. For an already-behind Trump, a win in Ohio is vital to reach 270. For Clinton, who already has the electoral map stacked in her favor, winning Ohio’s 18 votes would nearly guarantee a national victory. Continue reading
Baxter Yarbrough is from Morrilton and a sophomore honors student at the University of Arkansas. He is double majoring in political science and psychology with minors in marketing, legal studies, and social work. Yarbrough is involved in the University of Arkansas’s chapters of Beta Theta Pi, Young Democrats, Pi Sigma Alpha, Rotaract, United Campus Ministries and Resident Interhall Congress. After graduation, Yarbrough hopes to attend graduate school and concurrently receive a Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and a Master of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, as part of the two schools’ JD/MPS program.
Whether it was the signing of the highly controversial “Bathroom Bill” by Governor Pat McCrory into law, the fatal shooting of Walter Scott in the spring of 2015, the heavily favored Carolina Panthers losing Super Bowl L, or the recent effects of Hurricane Matthew, North Carolina has certainly been in the news over the past year and a half. These events aside, North Carolina has once again emerged as an important swing state in the 2016 campaign. I could see either of the two major party candidates winning North Carolina, but I believe that Hillary Clinton will take the state this election. Continue reading
Carter Fox is a junior honors student majoring in history and political science with a minor in legal studies. He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma but is a full-fledged Razorback. Carter is actively involved in Greek Life as well as C3. After graduating, Carter hopes to attend law school.
Going into the 2016 Presidential election, Nevada was assumed to be a strong candidate for a battleground state for several reasons. Chief among them: Obama’s margin of victory decreased substantially in 2012, changing demographics of the population, and a hotly contested senate race for Harry Reid’s seat. However, with recent polling, it seems more likely that the true battle will be over the Senate seat and not the votes of the Electoral College. Continue reading
Summer Stallbaumer is a sophomore honors economics major at the University of Arkansas. She is an opinion writer for The Arkansas Traveler and a member of the Walton Honors Program.
Demographically New Hampshire is much more intriguing than I thought it would be. It’s not that the actual racial makeup of the state is surprising, with an electorate that is 93.9% white Americans. The thing that surprised me about New Hampshire was the fact that more than 30% of voters this year were either not old enough to vote in 2008, or did not live in New Hampshire. Continue reading
Hannah Ray is a junior honors student majoring in political science, criminal justice and sociology at the University of Arkansas. Originally from Russellville, Hannah has been actively involved in many student organizations on campus, including the Associated Student Government, Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, the Pre-Law Society, and Pi Sigma Alpha. After college, Hannah hopes to pursue a law degree and enter the legal field as a corporate attorney.
If you’re still counting on Colorado to remain a swing state in this presidential election, allow me to attempt to soften the blow of Trump’s defeat on November 8th. With Clinton ahead in almost every statewide poll, Colorado has quickly made the transition from being a swing state to leaning towards Hillary. Continue reading
Darynne Dahlem is logically minded and creatively based. She is a sophomore animal science major and has competed in the Miss America System for three years. This verbal processor loves ice cream and cats and has the ability to quote National Lampoon’s Animal House on a daily basis.
In the last four elections, Virginia has voted for the candidate who has won the Electoral College. However, this state doesn’t necessarily know where its loyalties lie. From 1976 through 2004, Virginia was a red state, but it has shifted over the past two election cycles. Continue reading
Taylor Pray is a senior honors student double-majoring in political science and journalism with a minor in legal studies at the University of Arkansas. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Taylor has worked on several local and state campaigns and most recently interned with Arkansas’ junior senator. After graduation, Taylor plans to attend law school and pursue a career in public interest law.
Historically, Arizona has not been close to swing state status, unlike perpetual swing states Ohio and Florida. Even in this election cycle, as long-blue Pennsylvania looked as if it could decide the election, Arizona was never considered one of the eleven swing states Politico has identified this fall. When I think of Arizona, I think red – “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio and the now-dead SB 1070 (the controversial Arizona law banning illegal immigrants) come to mind. However, you can now consider Arizona leaning– it’s within the realm of possibility that Hillary Clinton could carry the state in November. Continue reading
Courtney Cooper is a junior honors student majoring in horticulture with agriculture business and sustainability minors at the University of Arkansas. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Courtney is on the executive board for her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and active in several campus organizations, including Bumpers Honors Board and the Horticulture Club. After graduating, Courtney plans on entering the Peace Corps before studying local food systems in graduate school.
As one of the 13 original colonies, Georgia has voted in every election except 1864 due to secession. From 1868 to 1960, they voted Democrat in every single election. However, in 1964, due to the Civil Rights Act, Georgia voted Republican (for Goldwater over Johnson). Since then Georgia has consistently voted Republican except for when a Southern Democrat was running (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both received support). Continue reading