The director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, Smith has worked on Capitol Hill in several capacities and has served as a senior fellow at the Brooking Institution. He has also authored or co-authored six books on congressional politics and recently a book on the formation of the Russian State Duma. He is working on books on party leadership in the U.S. Senate and the nature of party effects on congressional voting. Smith also directs The American Panel Survey (TAPS), a national political opinion poll that goes out each month to the same group of about 2000 citizens.
Daniel Epps, associate professor in the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, and Steven Smith, Kate M. Gregg Distinguished Professor of Social Science, weigh in on who has the most to lose before the election if a nomination is completed, how this situation differs from the Senate-stalled Merrick Garland nomination in 2016 and why the nomination system needs to change.
Who leads on election night, which may change as mail-in and challenged ballots are counted after Election Day, is surely to influence who considers the vote count to be accurate. This could get ugly. Just how ugly will be determined by the quality of election administration and the rhetoric of political leaders.
Even before they cast their votes, partisans of different stripes are poised to question the legitimacy of the election outcome, but for different reasons. According to political scientist Steven Smith at Washington University in St. Louis, findings of The American Social Survey, sponsored by the university’s Weidenbaum Center, indicate that the intensity of candidate and media attention about voting fraud threats — real or not — is influencing views of the legitimacy of the election outcome in November.
To govern all this, once the trial begins, a simple majority of the Senate can adopt supplementary rules — including the currently contentious question of the timing of motions to call witnesses, which largely divides senators along party lines.
In a November wave of The American Social Survey conducted by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, political scientists polled likely primary voters to find that — despite consensus among Democratic candidates and the Trump administration’s actions to repeal environmental regulations — the two parties’ electorates don’t match their candidates’ stances on climate change.