State of the Parties: 2020 and Beyond Virtual Conference

November 4 - 5, 2021

The 2020 presidential election was extraordinary: waged under pandemic conditions, it produced a dramatic increase in voter turnout, many close contests, and a tenuous one-party control of the federal government.

What role did political parties play in these events? How did the party organizations fare? What are the implications for the future? Scholars and practitioners from throughout the United States will explore the state of American party organizations, constituencies and resources at the national, state and local level.


10:00 - 11:45 a.m. (EST) - The Public and Partisan Polarization

  • Peak Polarization: Ideological Division, Inter-Party Hostility and the Future of American Democracy
    Alan I. Abramowitz
    , Emory University
  • #Polarized2020: Division and Duress in Partisan Perceptions of COVID-19
    Eric C. Vorst, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Thomas Leath, Lindenwood University
  • The Influence of Party ID on COVID-19 Messaging
    Lara Wessel, Georgia Southern University
  • Political Identity and Beliefs about Stolen Elections in the American Electorate
    David C. Kimball, Anita Manion, and Adriano Udani, University of Missouri-St. Louis

[Poster Session 1, 11:30 - 12:00 p.m. (EST) - See Poster Session Schedule below for details] 

12:00 - 1:45 p.m. (EST) - Party Nominations

  • The Consequences of Changing Primary Participation Laws for Party Registration and Partisanship
    Barbara Norrander, University of Arizona and Jay Wendland, Daemen College
  • The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Changing Electoral Rules in the 2020 Presidential Nomination
    Caitlin E. Jewitt, Virginia Tech, and Gregory Shufeldt, University of Indianapolis
  • U.S. Primary Election Competitiveness 2010-2020
    Chapman Rackaway, Radford University
  • What do the 2020 Congressional Primaries Tell Us About the Direction of the Democratic and Republican Parties?
    Robert G. Boatright, Clark University

[Poster Session 2, 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. (EST) - See Poster Session Schedule below for details] 

2:00 - 3:45 p.m. (EST) - State of the Parties

  • The 2020 Elections: An Era of Unstable Majorities Continues
    Morris P. Fiorina, Stanford University
  • The Public versus the Activists: Party Structure in Modern American Politics
    Byron Shafer, University of Wisconsin, and Regina Wagner, University of Alabama
  • What is the Democratic Party, Actually?
    John C. Berg, Suffolk University
  • The Grand New Party: The Republican Party in an Era of Change
    Brian J. Brox, Tulane University

[Poster Session 3, 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. (EST) - See Poster Session Schedule below for details] 

4:00 - 5:45 p.m. (EST) - Geography and Partisan Polarization

  • State-Level Elected Officials, National Party Organizations, and Partisan Polarization in 2020
    Anthony Sparacino, University of Richmond
  • The Rise of the Unaffiliated Registered Voter in North Carolina
    Michael Bitzer, Catawba College, Christopher Cooper, Western Carolina University, Whitney Ross Manzo, Meredith College, and Susan Roberts, Davidson College
  • Blue Metros, Red States: The Geography of the 2020 Vote in the Swing States
    David F. Damore, Robert E. Lang, and Karen A. Danielsen, UNLV
  • Cracking Down: Gerrymandering and the States
    Joshua J. Weikert, PhD, Immaculata University

11:30 - 12:00 p.m. (EST) - Poster Session 1

  • Support for Ranked Choice Voting and Partisanship of Voters: Results from a National Survey Experiment
    Joseph Anthony, Auburn University, David C. Kimball, University of Missouri St. Louis, Jamil Scott, Georgetown University, and Jack Santucci, Drexel University

1:30 - 2:00 p.m. (EST) - Poster Session 2

  • American Party Politics: Organizational Asymmetry and Raising Stakes in the Competition for Votes Cast Abroad
    Anca Turcu, University of Central Florida

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. (EST) - Poster Session 3

  • Turning the Natural State Red: The Rise of the GOP in Arkansas
    John C. Davis, University of Arkansas at Monticello

10:00 - 11:45 a.m. (EST) - Trumping the Party?

  • From Tea Party to Trump Party
    Ronald B. Rapoport and Henry Crossman, William and Mary
  • Democracy and Disinformation: Trump, the Republican Party and the 2020 Election
    Brian Conley, Suffolk University
  • The Divided Republicans: How the ‘Paranoid Style’ is Re-Shaping Party Politics
    Peter L. Francia, East Carolina University
  • Riot in the Party: Voter Registrations Following the January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection
    Daniel A. Smith and Sarah Loving, University of Florida

12:00 - 1:45 p.m. (EST) - Partisanship and Identity Politics

  • Strategic Primordialism: How Political Parties Organize Identity Politics
    Shaheen Mozaffar, Bridgewater State University
  • Party Factions Among the Voters
    Stephen K. Medvic and Berwood A. Yost, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Orwell’s Collapse: Partisan Polarization and Its Effect on Language Use
    Jakob A. Miller, Taylor University
  • The Partisan Dynamics of Women in Elective Office: 2020 and Beyond
    Laurel Elder, Hartwick College

2:00 - 3:45 p.m. (EST) - Partisan Resources

  • Political Parties and Campaign Finance in the 2020 Presidential Election: Joint Fundraising Committees and the Undermining of Contribution Limits
    Brendan J. Doherty, United States Naval Academy
  • The Transparency of Congressional Single-Candidate Super PACs
    Paul S. Herrnson, University of Connecticut and Christian J. Caron, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • The Contribution Conundrum of Republican Female Congressional Donors
    Anne Baker, Santa Clara University and Monica Schneider, Miami University of Ohio
  • Empty Seats, Political Imbalance, and Partisan Asymmetry at the Federal Election Commission
    Karen Sebold, University of Arkansas

4:00 - 5:45 p.m. (EST) - Partisan Activities

  • State Party Organizations, Independent Expenditures, and Spending Strategies
    Jaclyn J. Kettler, Boise State University, Charles R. Hunt, Boise State University, Michael J. Malbin, University of Albany-SUNY, Brendan Glavin, The Campaign Finance Institute, and Keith E. Hamm, Rice University
  • Nationalized Spending in the 2020 House and Senate Campaigns
    Kenneth M. Miller, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Are Super PACs Super-Efficient? Independent Expenditures in House Elections
    Dante J. Scala, University of New Hampshire
  • The Ground Game in 2020
    Paul A. Beck, Ohio State University

Download the schedule


  • Information is forthcoming

Submitted Papers

  • Information is forthcoming

For more information:

Contact: Kim Haverkamp
Phone: 330-972-5182