Monday, September 26, 2016

Russell Library to Host 2016 Debate Watch

As the campaign season comes to a fever pitch and Election Day draws near, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies will hold two presidential debate watch events this fall for the University of Georgia and Athens communities.
The library will screen the first presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26 and the third debate on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Both screenings will take place in the auditorium (room 271) of the Russell Special Collections Building with introductions from Paul Gurian, professor of political science.
Gurian retired earlier this year after 30 years in the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia. His teaching and research has focused on presidential campaign politics, particularly presidential primaries, campaign strategy, and the electoral college. He believes the first presidential debate this year could be critical.
“Usually debates do not change many people’s minds. Most people have already decided who they support. However, this year, there are many people who are still undecided or who are considering voting for a minor party candidate,” said Gurian. That means the stakes are high in this very close race. “The two candidates’ styles are dramatically different, so it is hard to anticipate how they will perform.”
At Monday night’s debate, hosted at Hofstra University in New York, moderators will ask candidates to focus on three topics: the direction of America, achieving prosperity, and securing America. In addition to introducing the debate and framing the three topics, Gurian will also take questions and facilitate brief discussion after the screening. Doors to each event will open at 8 p.m., with discussion at 8:30, and the debate set to begin at 9 p.m. Both events are open free to the public and light snacks and coffee will be served.
The screenings are being co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Georgia Debate Union.
Debate Watch is part of the Ready, Steady, Vote! a series of events spotlighting all things presidential during the 2016 election season.For more information on this event and other programs in the series visit or call (706) 542-5788.

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