Elon political experts featured across North Carolina
Faculty and staff from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration offered live television analysis of 2012 election results.
From the state capital to the Queen City, on television and on Twitter, Elon University faculty and staff shared their expertise with hundreds of thousands of television viewers Tuesday night as network affiliates across North Carolina covered the presidential and statewide gubernatorial campaigns of 2012.
Department of Political Science and Public Administration faculty members Sharon Spray, Ken Fernandez, Dion Farganis and Jason Husser were all showcased in North Carolina television coverage, as was John Robinson, director of communications for the Elon University Poll.
The Elon University Poll itself played heavily into coverage. Its findings just a week away from the election found the presidential race in North Carolina a virtual dead heat, and Romney ended up winning the state by just over two percentage points.
Spray, the chair of the department, took part in live election night coverage with WFMY News 2 in Greensboro, a CBS affiliate. On Wednesday, Nov. 7, just hours after President Barack Obama was declared winner of the presidential race, Spray conducted a lived interview via Skype with FOX News Rising in Charlotte.
“More than 80 percent of new registered voters since 2008 have registered as unaffiliated in North Carolina,” Spray observed of voter turnout in the Tar Heel State. “Given the changing demographics of the state, North Carolina will continue to be an important state to watch in upcoming presidential elections.”
Fernandez, director of the Elon University Poll, was a guest on WRAL in Raleigh, a CBS affiliate and the flagship news channel serving North Carolina's capital city. Fernandez gave interviews to News 14 Carolina in the days leading up to the election with guest segments on Capital Tonight, an hour program dedicated to state politics.
He also visited Fox 8 WGHP in North Carolina's Triad region the morning after the election for additional analysis.
Husser, the assistant director of the Elon University Poll, traveled to Charlotte on Election Night and provided commentary for WBTV, the CBS affiliate for the state’s largest city, while using Twitter to share information with social media audiences. Husser had already appeared twice in Charlotte media in recent days by giving an interview to FOX News Rising via Skype.
The morning after the election found Husser live on WFMY News 2 in Greensboro for the affiliate’s morning show. “While President Obama's election night performance in North Carolina was shocking to many, I wasn't surprised about the closeness of the race,” Husser says of the final election results. “The Elon University Poll found that the race would be very close. Voters in the state were conflicted: most thought Romney would better handle the economy, but Obama outperformed on other important issues.”
Farganis visited the news set of WTVD in Durham, N.C., for election coverage and took part in social media conversations with viewers about the returns. A scholar on the U.S. Supreme Court and American government, Farganis also has appeared in media in recent months to discuss the political implications of the Affordable Health Care Act known as "Obamacare."
Robinson provided commentary for Fox 8's morning news program on Tuesday. The former editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., has been a key component of the Elon University Poll since joining the team in early 2012. Robinson handles the poll's social media presence and helps to guide its media relations strategy.