Donald Norris, Public Policy, in Patch

Patch reports that nearly 60,000 people turned out for early voting in Maryland, March 24-29, but that accounts for just 1.88% of eligible voters statewide. UMBC public policy professor and chair Donald Norris, quoted in the story, suggests these early votes will have little impact on the overall election turnout.

“Virtually nothing improves voting turnout except when people are really, really excited about what’s going on in a campaign,” Norris said. The GOP presidential primary candidates are now trying to energize Republican voters across the state through local speaking appearances.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in AP Story

The GOP presidential primary is drawing more attention in Maryland than usual, AP reports, given the protracted fight for the nomination among the top candidates. Anticipating a low primary election turn-out among Maryland Republicans, which already comprise a relatively small group, former Gov. Ehrlich suggests the results are “difficult to predict.”

Don Norris, UMBC professor and chair of public policy, disagrees. “I think it’s going to go for Romney,” he says, “because even the base in Maryland is not as conservative of a base as…some other states.”

KAL, UMBC Artist-in-Residence, on Kojo Nnamdi Show

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for The Economist and UMBC artist-in-residence, was featured on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show last week (interview begins 19 minutes in). KAL discussed his coverage of the 2012 presidential election, the power of caricature and global importance of freedom of expression, and his own career trajectory as a cartoonist.

At UMBC KAL advises student bloggers in their coverage of current events and politics on USDemocrazy.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, on Current TV and The Daily Beast

UMBC political science professor and national political commentator Thomas Schaller appeared on CurrentTV’s “Young Turks” show last night, weighing in on the question “Should liberals root for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich?” Schaller suggested, “Newt will get the base fired up, but… a vote cast with intensity counts the same as a vote cast reluctantly. It doesn’t matter how juiced up the conservative id is. The votes in the middle are going to matter.”

Schaller also weighed in on the GOP candidates’ abilities to collect delegates, in The Daily Beast‘s primary coverage. Whereas neither Gingrich nor Santorum will appear on the Virginia ballot, Schaller says Romney is “going to collect delegates at every stop. He’s on the ballots; he’s going to get his 25 percent … He’s the best prepared.”

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in Colorlines and Baltimore Sun

UMBC political science professor Thomas Schaller offered insight on the upcoming GOP primary election in two publications today. In the Colorlines article, “Why (Very White) Iowa and New Hampshire Mean So Much in Politics,” Schaller commented, “The prominence and first-in-nation position of Iowa and New Hampshire do elevate white primary voters over non-white ones, and in both parties.” However, the electoral process is beginning to change to better account for our nation’s diversity. According to Schaller, “Both parties, and especially the Democrats—who receive the lion’s share of the black and Latino vote in general election—have tried to address this inequality by moving Nevada and South Carolina up earlier into the calendar.”

Schaller also commented in a Baltimore Sun article that suggested for Maryland to have an impact on the primary, “Gingrich and Romney would have to come to a draw in several early battles.” For Schaller, “The real question is do they make it to March or do we have a clear winner by the end of February.”