Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in Politico Magazine and The Baltimore Sun

An article published July 8 in Politico Magazine discusses recent election strategies used by Democrats in Southern states. Thomas Schaller, a political science professor and author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, was interviewed for the article and offered analysis on how Democratic candidates in recent presidential elections have built coalitions of support in the South.

Tom Schaller

“When you look at the last two Democratic presidents, both of them won non-Southern Electoral College majorities,” Schaller said. “They both had 270 votes outside the South. Their coalitions were a little different in terms of Southern support. Clinton got more ‘bubba’ support in Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. Obama didn’t win any of those states except for Florida but he won Virginia twice and North Carolina once.”

Schaller added that even with President Obama’s wins in the South, “those states have very high, among the three or four highest, populations of non-Southern people … Democrats are winning in the South but not with native Southerners.”

Schaller also published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun on July 8 about the dramatic shift in corporate taxation in recent decades. You can read both articles by clicking on the links below.

Do Democrats Need a Bubba Strategy? (Politico Magazine)
Not Taxing U.S. Corporations Gives a Pass to Foreigners (Baltimore Sun)

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Baltimore Sun and The Herald-Mail

In a Baltimore Sun article analyzing the Maryland District 12 race for state delegate, Political Science Assistant Professor Laura Hussey provided insight on the early campaigning in the race. Ten Democrats and three Republicans are competing for three open seats.

Laura Hussey

“Candidates got a huge jump on this race,” said Hussey. “I think there was just a huge rush to get in on it once we knew that there would be three open seats in the race.” She added what’s happening in District 12 is similar to what is taking place across the country: “Campaigns are lasting longer and starting earlier. Everyone is trying to get a jump. We’ve been talking about the 2016 [presidential] election for a good, long time now, and we’re not even halfway there,” Hussey said.

Hussey was also interviewed for an article in The Herald-Mail in which she commented on NRA ratings and how they can impact local elections, such as the Maryland state delegate race in Subdistrict 1C. She said the NRA ratings could be a major factor, especially since there isn’t much information about the candidates available to voters.

“This is also a primary. So there is not a R (Republican) candidate running against a D (Democratic) candidate. So, the candidates might be close to one another in terms of their positions,” Hussey said.

You can read, “Observations of District 12 race by UMBC professor,” in The Baltimore Sun here. To read, “NRA ratings play role in GOP primary race in Washington County,” in The Herald-Mail, click here.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, in The Herald-Mail

Maryland’s race for governor has received most of the attention, but the attorney general’s race is also seeing a competitive primary. An article published in The Herald-Mail on June 11 examines the duties and responsibilities of the attorney general and sheds light on the importance of the office.

Laura Hussey

Laura Hussey, an assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for the article and shared that the office is important because of political and policy issues. Below is an excerpt from the story:

“The attorney general advises the governor on legal matters, [Hussey] said. It was Doug Gansler — the current attorney general who is running for governor — who decided in 2010 that Maryland would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, according to Hussey. The Maryland attorney general is one of a very small number of statewide offices. The person in that position could be a “counter-weight” to the governor if he or she decided to do so, Hussey said.”

To read the full article in The Herald-Mail, click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-ed in The Baltimore Sun

A recent Baltimore Sun poll shows Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has the support of 41 percent of likely Democratic voters in the gubernatorial primary. That number gives him a lead of 2 to 1 over Attorney General Doug Gansler (20 percent) and a 3 to 1 advantage over Del. Heather Mizeur (15 percent).

Tom Schaller

In his latest column in The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller offers an explanation for why Brown is so far ahead in the race, but also why he has yet to put a lock on the job.

“The first observation is that the key party players, including Gov. Martin O’Malley and many of the state’s key unions, consolidated very early behind Mr. Brown. A second, equally obvious observation is that Mr. Gansler’s candidacy has imploded, thanks to his mostly self-inflicted wounds in the trooper and teen drinking episodes,” Schaller writes.

He observes that criticism from Gansler against Brown over management of the failed health exchange hasn’t gained momentum but likely would have if Gansler were a Republican candidate running in a red or even purple state.

Even with a big lead in the polls, Schaller writes Brown will need to think long-term and come up with a clear vision for how he wants to govern the state should he win the nomination: “Gubernatorial candidates should clearly articulate what the state will look like under their stewardship four or even eight years hence. Perhaps Mr. Brown is saving his grander designs for the general election phase, after he secures the nomination,” he adds.

You can read the full column in The Baltimore Sun by clicking here.

Nathan Rehr ’13, Political Science, on Humanities Connection

National History Day is set to take place next month at the University of Maryland, College Park. The competition is an exciting experience for students in grades six through twelve to learn about ideas, events and people in history and apply what they learn through original projects.

Nathan Rehr ’13, political science, participated in National History Day as a high school student. For his project, he decided to research Sargent Shriver and as part of his research he interviewed Joby Taylor, Director of the Shriver Peaceworker Program. He credits Taylor with helping him guide his choice of where to go for college and recently shared his story on WYPR’s Humanities Connection.

“For me, History Day helped me determine a few of the next steps in my life,” Rehr said. By interviewing Taylor, Rehr said, “I learned more about UMBC’s social and academic atmosphere, and I decided to start college there the following fall.”

Rehr is currently serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal working as a Preventive Health Educator to help improve the health and well-being of the community he is serving. To listen to the full segment on Humanities Connection, click here.

Devin Hagerty, Political Science, Named 2014-2015 Lipitz Professor

Devin Hagerty Devin Hagerty, professor of political science and founding director of the global studies program, has been named the Lipitz Professor of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences for 2014-2015. This professorship is supported by an endowment created by Roger C. Lipitz and the Lipitz Family Foundation “to recognize and support innovative and distinguished teaching and research in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.”

An internationally recognized scholar of South Asian international relations (India-Pakistan and South Asia-US), Hagerty came to UMBC from the University of Sydney in 2001. Since then he has published two books, five articles, and 13 book chapters. He founded the journal Asian Security in 2003 and has served as its managing editor or co-editor ever since. He teaches courses in international relations and has won the Political Science Teacher of the Year award three times. He has served as chair of the political science department, currently chairs one of the working groups for the university’s strategic planning, and now directs our new, fast-growing global studies program—among a long list of service to UMBC. In November 2013, Hagerty wrote an op-ed published in Inside Higher Ed in which he introduced UMBC’s global studies program and argued that a liberal arts education is essential in developing a “global competence” among students.

During his year as the Lipitz Professor, Dr. Hagerty will work on a book project entitled “Fear, Ambition, and the Sturdy Child of Terror: South Asia’s Triangular Nuclear Dilemma.”

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun

In a column published May 27 in The Baltimore Sun, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller writes about increasing political campaign contributions from the country’s super wealthy and growing income inequality between members of Congress and those who they govern.

Tom Schaller 1

“Adjusted for inflation, a million dollars isn’t what it was a century or even a decade ago. So sure, at some point the Congress was bound to have a majority of millionaires,” Schaller wrote. “Yet, in a country where the 2012 median household income was $51,017 — and fell between 2011 and 2012 — there is something truly perverse about not only the rising inequality between the incomes and wealth of the masses and the elites who govern them, but the rising political inequality that follows.”

Schaller noted rising income inequality is becoming increasingly dwarfed by campaign contribution inequalities: “Last November, Americans celebrated the sesquicentennial of what is arguably the greatest political speech in our nation’s history: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. But President Lincoln’s closing line is increasingly obsolete. For we are fast transforming from a democracy that prides itself on a government of, by and for the people into a plutocracy based on government of, by and for rich people,” he wrote.

You can read the full column in The Baltimore Sun by clicking here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun

As the Democratic primary in the Maryland race for governor approaches next month, Attorney General Douglas Gansler has intensified his criticism of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s handling of the state’s online health exchange.

Tom Schaller

Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller was quoted in a Washington Post article about the increased criticism: “Right now, this is the best punch Gansler’s got, and Brown may be a little bloodied by it,” said Schaller. “But it remains to be seen how much mileage he can get.”

Schaller also published a column in The Baltimore Sun on April 29 about public sentiment shifting toward marijuana legalization.

“Marylanders’ attitudes are consistent with changing attitudes across the country. According to the national Marijuana Policy Project, ‘the public is far ahead of most public officials on support for marijuana policy reform.’ For the first time in four decades, a majority of Americans polled by Pew Research support legalizing recreational marijuana use; larger majorities support medicinal consumption,” Schaller wrote.

To read the article in The Washington Post, click here. To read the column in The Baltimore Sun, click here.

Laura Hussey, Political Science, on

A Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate forum held at Towson University April 17 drew attention to college student participation in the upcoming election.

Laura Hussey

Laura Hussey, an assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for an article posted on, and she noted interest groups and political parties tend to notice when candidates devote their time to appealing to younger voters – the generation that will serve as the future workforce behind their causes.

“The Obama campaign benefited from appealing to college students greatly,” Hussey said. “There are benefits beyond the actual votes.”

To read the full article  on, click here.

Thomas Schaller, Political Science, Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun

In an op-ed published in The Baltimore Sun on April 15, Political Science Professor Thomas Schaller writes about how the increased use of credit cards will likely lead to more consequences than fraud. In addition to loss of consumer privacy, Schaller writes relying exclusively on credit cards leads to another big cost: the burden of servicing credit debt.

Tom Schaller

“When big banks get over-leveraged, they turn to the government for bailouts. And guess what? So do individuals: Americans’ average credit card balance dropped after the financial crisis — which sounds like good news until you learn that the decrease resulted from millions of people simply defaulting on their debts,” Schaller wrote.

He added the banks holding debts have to make up for their losses, so “even if you diligently pay the full monthly balance on all your credit cards, indirectly you’re subsidizing not only Visa and MasterCard, but the banks covering their losses from credit card defaulters.”

To read the full column titled “Paper or plastic?” in The Baltimore Sun, click here.