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UCR Policy Professor Analyzes 2020 Election

By Samantha Monterosso and Maya Prasad |

After an historic election that saw the highest voting rate in a hundred years, the latest podcast episode of Policy Chats features a discussion with Francisco Pedraza, an assistant professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside.

Pedraza said that this election will go in the history books as one of a kind due to the pandemic and the numerous “extraordinary” groups that made a massive impact on the election's turnout.

According to his profile, Pedraza is a political scientist and a professor for the School of Public Policy and the department of political science at UCR. His research revolves around political attitudes and behaviors, specifically delving into the perspectives of ethnic minorities in the United States. He is also the coordinator of the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium.

When asked about why Democrats won the White House but did not see a blue wave across the board Pedraza said, “Political science literature on electoral and campaign outcomes, rule number one, is that incumbency is a huge advantage.”

Public policy major Arleth Flores Aparicio, who served as co-interviewer for the episode, said, “This election cycle is not like anything we have ever seen before. I am so glad Professor Pedraza mentioned how the youth vote will significantly impact tomorrow’s future. I hope more people understand the significance of voting and how the act of casting a ballot can change society for the better.”

A second episode devoted to a postmortem analysis of the 2020 election is forthcoming in December.

Launched in 2020, the UCR School of Public Policy podcast series explores current public policy issues with guests from throughout the policy world. Episodes are accessible via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Anchor. More information is also available through the UCR School of Public Policy podcast page.