Political Science: Elections

Forecasting the 2020 Presidential Election 

Will Donald Trump be re-elected in 2020?  In this one-week course, students will do a deep dive into the art and science of election forecasting, with the goal of predicting the winner of the 2020 presidential election.  The course runs the same week as the 2020 Democratic convention, and each morning, students will have a chance to talk to a convention delegate about the prior day’s events.

  • Learn – learn the labyrinthine process by which Americans elect their President
  • Forecast – use data to predict the outcome of the presidential election in all 50 states
  • Compete – teams of “election consultants” will present their findings and compete for “best forecast”

The students who will get the most out of this course are the ones who enjoy working as a team and who are not afraid to make bold predictions.  Four years ago, teams of Pre-College Summer students correctly predicted that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election despite an overwhelming consensus among pollsters that he probably would not.  Are you interested in elections?  Do you have the courage to go against the experts?  Do you have the discipline to keep your own preferences and biases in check and trust the data?  If so, this is the course for you.

Tentative Course Schedule:

  • Monday:  Presidential Elections – How they Work, and Why it Matters
  • Tuesday:  Forecasting Elections – Trust the “Fundamentals” | DNC Convention Delegate Check-In
  • Wednesday:  What Might Make 2020 Different? | Convention Check-In
  • Thursday:  Consulting Teams Finalize their Reports | Convention Check-In
  • Friday:  Consulting Teams Present their Reports to Candidates

Faculty:  Vin Moscardelli is a political scientist whose research and teaching interests include the U.S. Congress, elections, and political leadership.  His current research investigates the politics of primary elections.  A former American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and a professor of political science for nearly two decades, in 2016 he became Director of UConn’s Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships, where he works with students competing for nationally-competitive awards such as the Rhodes and Fulbright.

At a Glance:


Sessions Offered:

  • Session 3: July 11th - July 18th

Location: UConn Storrs

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