Polis Research Blog

Political scientists at Duke University draw upon a variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches to produce cutting-edge research that enhances our understanding of politics. Polis is committed to showcasing political science research at Duke and to facilitating its creation.

All Research & Media Hits

Meredith Sims (PPS ‘25): We Need to Re-Emphasize the Importance of Teachers Over Infrastructure

American education is suffering from an overemphasis on school facilities over teacher pay. As the United States falls further behind in world education rankings, this issue has become even more pressing, and we must save our historically strong education system. Throughout the country, there are a variety of massive ongoing and future building campaigns, coupled with limited teacher pay increases. I’ve witnessed the detrimental effects of this trend in my own community, as large bonds have failed to address the lack of a teacher pay increase for over 6 years, prompting teachers to quit and students to suffer. Continue reading

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Mackenzie Sheehy (’26) on Massachusetts

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Massachusetts Mackenzie Sheehy (’26) Major Races Governor: With Republican Charlie Baker not up for re-election after eight years in office, the seat for governor is wide open in Massachusetts. Despite being a deep-blue state, five out of the past six individuals to hold the office have come from the Republican party, with Deval Patrick serving as the only Democrat before Republicans reclaimed the office with Baker. Could this be the year that a Democrat once again becomes governor? Candidate Profiles Geoff Diehl (R) Diehl’s experience comes more from the legislative perspective. After graduating from Lehigh University... Continue reading

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Katelyn Cai (PPS ’26) on Arizona

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Arizona Katelyn Cai (PPS ’26) In 2020, the once-GOP stronghold Arizona turned blue, helping hand the presidency of the United States to Joe Biden. In 2022, Democrats are hoping to hold their gains in the Grand Canyon State while Republicans are trying to turn the tide in their favor. Over the course of my short lifetime, I’ve watched my home state transform, from the gradual rise of the skyline metropolis in our capitol to the emergence of our election battleground status. My own US House District, District One, is competitive for the first time I can... Continue reading

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Jamie Chornoby (MPP ’24)

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Michigan Jamie Chornoby (MPP ’24) The decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), highlighting longstanding inadequacies in sexual and reproductive healthcare in the United States. The decision follows a wave of attacks on abortion rights, contraceptive coverage, patient privacy, and clinic access. With a decline in federal protections, some are turning to state legislation to codify rights. Michigan is leading the way with Proposition 3, the Reproductive Freedom For All (RFFA) ballot initiative. RFFA proposes an amendment to Article I section 28 of... Continue reading

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: Jordan Phillips (’26) on South Dakota

PSC Midterm Election Reflections: South Dakota Jordan Phillips (’26) South Dakota’s comfortably conservative voter base exempts it from the potential for sweeping policy changes in the way that states like North Carolina experience. However, South Dakota’s race has implications on the national political landscape in a way that few others do. The main issue on the ballot for South Dakotans is the gubernatorial race. While South Dakota hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 1979, the seat is not safely red. Governor Kristi Noem won her current seat by only 11,000 votes in 2018. This year’s race is similarly close, with... Continue reading