Presenter: David C.W. Parker

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 11th


Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  


Location: Holiday Inn

Recent political science scholarship emphasizing election forecasting has boldly proclaimed that campaigns rarely affect election outcomes. Nate Silver has predicted the outcomes of presidential and congressional elections well in advance of official campaigns. In the well-regarded book, The Gamble, John Sides and Lynn Vavrek demonstrate how President Obama’s reelection was never really in doubt—and how little the campaign run by Mitt Romney mattered.  In this wide ranging talk about elections, David Parker will consider the question of when and how campaigns can have an effect on election outcomes. This is especially important given the rise of Donald Trump, the strong effort by Bernie Sanders to contest the Democratic nomination, and the complete failure of much pre-election forecasting.

Presenter Bio: David C.W. Parker is an associate professor of political science at Montana State University. He is the author of Battle for the Big Sky: Representation and the Politics of Place in the Race for the U.S. Senate and The Power of Money in Congressional Campaigns, 1880-2006, as well as articles on the consequences of divided government and how members of Congress employ their office expenditures to build reputations with constituents. His article, “Making a Good Impression: Resource Allocations, Home Styles, and Washington Work,” won the 2010 Alan Rosenthal Award from the American Political Science Association. Parker frequently provides media commentary for local, state, and national news outlets and writes and coordinates a blog for the Montana State University political science department entitled Big Sky Political Analysis.


Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In January Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on January 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust