An Interview With Prof. Rick Valelly

What about your discipline of political science? The day after the election I found myself thinking about political scientists who were likely not surprised. I do not know this for a fact but I think Lynn Vavreck of UCLA, whom I admire greatly, was one of them.

Vavreck says that there are only two kinds of campaigns. One kind of campaign runs a huge number of ads that relentlessly focus on standard macroeconomic news (growth, unemployment, inflation). Another kind of campaign ignores the standard macroeconomic news and instead adopts a ‘big’ theme that isn’t macroeconomic — such as ‘Love Trumps Hate’ or ‘Make America Great.’