Neither Liberal nor Conservative
Top strategists and scholars debate campaigning in polarized America
The consensus in today’s political spectrum is that Americans are extremely polarized and can’t agree on anything. Surprisingly, though, truly ideological liberals and conservatives exist in a distinct minority and only among those who are deeply engaged in political life. The panel was inspired by new research released in “Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public,” in which Donald Kinder and Nathan Kalmoe, assistant professor at the Manship School, argue that American public opinion is in a state of ideological innocence. If this is the case, how do Americans make election and policy decisions? What are the implications for campaign and issue strategists? The panel explored these questions.
Political strategists and Dr. Kalmoe discussed how practitioner knowledge of ideology among the public affects, or doesn't affect, the shape of voter messaging. Practitioner panelists include Terri Broussard Williams, vice president of government affairs at the American Heart Association-SouthWest and Manship School alum; Trey Ourso, senior political strategist at Ourso Beychok; and Bill Skelly, partner and co-founder of Causeway Solutions. The Manship School of Mass Communication’s Martin Johnson, associate dean for graduate studies and research, moderated the panel of political research and strategy experts.