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HKS in the News July 27, 2012

1. Electoral College tie possible in Obama-Romney race (Keyssar) CNN

2. Democrats Exceed Republicans in Optimism for Record 18 Weeks (Jarding) Bloomberg News

3. We face a worldwide glut of oil, with profound economic and geopolitical implications, most of them good (Maugeri) The Telegraph (UK)

4. Walker calls for end of denial on education standing (Peterson) Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee)


Electoral College tie possible in Obama-Romney race

CNN

July 26

Quoted: Alex Keyssar, Malcolm Wiener Center

Topic: U.S. presidential election

It's the white whale of American elections: elusive, mythical and never realized. But could it finally happen this year?

The likelihood that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will each net 269 electoral votes in November, instead of the 270 needed to win, is actually not so farfetched -- and for close observers of the Electoral College system, a tie would set off a wave of constitutional and political mayhem that would make the 2000 Florida recount seem like a tidy affair. …

Ultimately, the House of Representatives could elect the next president, even if that candidate lost the popular vote.

"What it would reveal is that we have, in some sense, a profoundly undemocratic mechanism for dealing with a tie," said Alex Keyssar, a professor of history and social policy at Harvard University, and a critic of the Electoral College. "I think there would be an enormous outcry over that." …

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Democrats Exceed Republicans in Optimism for Record 18 Weeks

Bloomberg News

July 26

Quoted: Steven Jarding, Shorenstein Center

Topic: Optimism trends in the U.S.

Consumer confidence has been higher among Democrats than Republicans for a record 18 straight weeks, indicating that politics are driving perceptions of well-being.

Confidence among Republicans fell to minus 45.1 in the week ended July 22, 47.9 points below their long-term average, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. Among Democrats, confidence was at minus 27.8, two points lower than their long-term average, although it did fall 4.2 points from the previous week. …

Democrats are likely to rally behind their party in public opinion surveys on concern that Republicans in control of the White House and Congress would dismantle social programs, said Steve Jarding, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“There’s still a large segment of voters out there that want to believe government can be a good thing in your life,” Jarding, a former Democratic consultant, said in a July 23 phone interview. …

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We face a worldwide glut of oil, with profound economic and geopolitical implications, most of them good

The Telegraph (UK)

July 26

Quoted: Leonardo Maugeri, Belfer Center

Topic: Study on rising oil production

So much for peak oil. According to a fascinating new study by Leonardo Maugeri of theBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the the [sic] John F Kennedy School of Government, we should stop worrying about when the oil runs out and get ready for $70 a barrel prices (using the Brent benchmark). Likely supply of the black stuff has been significantly underestimated, he reckons, with a veritable glut of new production due to come on stream over the next eight years.

If he's right, we can indeed stop worryng [sic] about a lot of things, unless a lover of windfarms and green energy. Petro-power will shift progressively away from its traditional centre of gravity among unstable regimes in the Gulf. Meanwhile, much of the Western hemisphere could return to a pre-World War II status of theoretical oil self sufficiency, with the US dramatically reducing its oil import needs and therefore progressively disengaging from involvement in the Middle East. …

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Walker calls for end of denial on education standing

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee)

July 26

Cited: Research by Paul Peterson, Program on Education Policy and Governance

Topic: Scott Walker’s speech at HKS

After a new study showed Wisconsin lagging behind much of the rest of the country in test-score improvement, Gov. Scott Walker highlighted his administration's efforts to improve education during a conference Thursday at Harvard University.

Walker said it was good to know where Wisconsin stands, and that recent efforts aimed at improving reading instruction, teacher evaluations and school accountability may help the state regain its high-achieving reputation.

Walker's speech Thursday took place at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government Program on Education Policy and Governance. The conference examined trends in student performance in the United States and around the world, and was anchored by a study that placed Wisconsin near the bottom of 41 states in improving student achievement since 1992.

Harvard's Paul Peterson, Stanford University's Eric Hanushek and the University of Munich's Ludger Woessmann conducted the study. …

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This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs .

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