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Political science professors Bert Johnson and Matt Dickinson provide regular commentary on the presidential campaign.

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Professor Pundits: The Sanders Surprise [video]

February 11, 2016

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- The first-in-the nation New Hampshire primary is over and the outcome, on the surface, was as expected with wins by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. As professors Matt Dickinson and Bert Johnson explain, the real shock was in the margin of victory for Sanders, who won by 21 percentage points.

What will the Sanders victory mean, if anything, in Nevada and South Carolina, the next states to hold primaries? Sanders is untested in those states that hold a very different demographic make-up than Iowa and New Hampshire. And what will the Republican results in New Hampshire mean for winnowing down the candidate field? Dickinson and Johnson explore those topics and more in this installment.

Dickinson authors the blog Presidential Power and is frequently quoted in the national media. He often live tweets political events at @MattDickinson44. Johnson, also a regular in the national media, tweets at @bnjohns.


I appreciate Professors Johnson and Dickinson taking a stab at understanding the outcome of the New Hampshire primary, which it is safe to say virtually no one would have predicted a year ago, certainly much less at the margins of victory in both parties. It strikes me that their approach to political analysis, both humble and inquisitive, and the wisdom of getting a liberal arts education at Middlebury, wise because among other reasons you do not know for sure what the future will bring, says a lot about what higher education should be and is dramatic evidence that asking
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the right questions is more important than "knowing" the answer. Thanks, and I look forward to the next installment. David Minot '74
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by David Minot (not verified)

Thanks, David, for the kind words. Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that this election cycle has been both inspiring and humbling at the same time! Inspiring because it is the quintessential example of the democratic process unfolding, and humbling because just when I think I understand it, something new and unexpected pops up. But that's what makes it so exciting!

by Matt Dickinson (not verified)