Rooney Center faculty in the news 2019–20

Author: Arts and Letters

News media conducting interview
News media conducting interview

Reporters across the country regularly reach out to Rooney Center faculty, highlighting their research and seeking their expertise on stories about all aspects of American politics. In the 2019–20 academic year, our faculty were quoted by the Washington Post, Associated Press, New York Times, Newsweek, and more. Here are some of the highlights:

“‘No doubt one reason why Mitt Romney felt he could safely march with them is, it’s a different kind of group than if he was marching with Black Lives Matter,’ said David Campbell, chair of the political science department at the University of Notre Dame. ‘I personally think the fact that you’re seeing mobilization across religious groups, that speaks to how significant this moment is.’”

—Elana Schor, “Romney’s racial justice march spotlights faith groups’ role,” The Associated Press, June 8, 2020.


“‘That really big obstacle of just declaring yourself as a candidate, arguably the biggest obstacle there is, women have managed to overcome. Their own evaluations of the risks and benefits [of running for office] are changing,’ said Christina Wolbrecht, a professor of political science at Notre Dame and co-editor of the journal Politics & Gender.”

—Alexandra Hutzler, “More Than 500 Women Are Running for a House Seat in 2020, Eclipsing 2018's Historic Pink Wave,” Newsweek, May 27, 2020


“As the military has become more diverse, it’s even more important for the officer corps to reflect the nation’s shifting population, said Luis R. Fraga, a professor of political science and director for the Institute of Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. ‘So that enlisted personnels see themselves in the officer corps, too,’ he said, adding that the more people can see themselves in high-ranking positions, the more they might be empowered to pursue a career as a commissioned officer.”

—Adrianna Rodriguez, “Latinos are fastest growing population in US military, but higher ranks remain out of reach,” USA Today, May 23, 2020


Darren Davis is a political scientist at Notre Dame and a co-author, with David C. Wilson, a political scientist at the University of Delaware, of ‘Re-examining Racial Resentment: Conceptualization and Content’ and ‘Racial Resentment and Targeted Anger at Barack Obama and the Federal Government.’ In 2017, Davis delivered a lecture at Washington University in St Louis, ‘The Continuing Significance of Old Fashioned Racism: Skin Color & Implicit Racial Attitudes Among Survey Interviewers.’ In an email, Davis offered a succinct definition of racism and racist: ‘I define racism as an attitude or a belief that stems from hatred or anti-black affect. Therefore, a racist is a person who is motivated by hatred or beliefs about the inferiority of African Americans.’”

—Thomas B. Edsall, “How Racist Is Trump’s Republican Party? And how do you determine that in the first place?New York Times, March 18, 2020.


“‘The bigger hurdle for immigrants is getting registered,’ said Ricardo Ramírez, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, where his studies include the politics of race and ethnicity. ‘Once they’re registered, they vote at rates outperforming the native-born.’”

—Jeff Gammage, “In politically divided Pennsylvania, little-noticed new voters could have a big impact,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 2020


“Political analysts aren’t surprised that Sanders has yet to win over the Latino ruling class. ‘The repercussions of endorsing someone who’s outside the Democratic mainstream has ramifications for whether they’ll be included for possibilities’ if someone else wins the nomination, said University of Notre Dame political science professor Ricardo Ramírez. ‘If they do give the endorsement to someone who’s asking, in his own words, for a revolution for politics, then they might be seen as outside the mainstream themselves.’”

—Gustavo Arellano, “Latino voters seem fond of ‘Tío Bernie.’ Big-name Latino politicians, not so much,” Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2020.


“One study, for instance, found that something as simple as reading a news story about a Republican who spoke in a church could actually prompt some Democrats to say they were nonreligious. ‘It’s like an allergic reaction to the mixture of Republican politics and religion,’ said David Campbell, a political scientist at the University of Notre Dame and one of the study’s co-authors.”

—Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Daniel Cox, “The Christian Right Is Helping Drive Liberals Away From Religion,” FiveThirtyEight, September 18, 2019.


“In an interview in November, David Campbell of the University of Notre Dame said: ‘It’s unlikely that [young people are] going to be able to climb back to the same level of religious involvement as their parents’ or grandparents’ generation did. Just because they’re starting at a much, much lower point.’ Why is that point so low? There are a number of reasons, but one of them, Campbell argued, is ‘an allergic reaction to the religious right.’ This sets up an irony. ‘One of the main rationales for the very existence of this movement was to assert the role of religion in the public square in America. And, instead, what’s happening in that very movement has actually driven an increasing share of Americans out of religion.’”

—Michael Gershon, “Why white evangelicals should panic,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019.


David Campbell, co-author of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us,” suggested that no Democratic candidate can rely solely on secular supporters to win their party’s nomination or a general election. ‘The secret sauce in 2020 will be to win over the newly emerging secular vote while holding on to those religious voters (many of whom are African American and Latino) who are the longstanding foundation of the Democratic Party,’ Campbell told HuffPost. ‘That is not an easy needle to thread.’”

—Carol Kuruvilla, “Poll Offers Tentative Look At How Faith Groups Feel About Democratic Candidates,” Huffington Post, August 19, 2019.