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Election 2020 Postmortem

Policy Matters

Release Date: 11/18/2020

Election 2020 Postmortem show art Election 2020 Postmortem

Policy Matters

On November 3, Americans elected Joe Biden president by substantial margins in the Electoral College and popular vote. But the political picture elsewhere is less clear. The Senate still hangs in the balance with all eyes on two January runoffs in Georgia. Elsewhere down-ballot, Republicans held their own. Texas Democrats, in particular, had a disappointing night, falling far short of their goals. What are we to make of the murky election results? And what are we to make of the numerous major polling errors around the country? This episode’s quest is . He is the fellow in political science...

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Policy Matters

Education may be a great equalizer when it comes to economic mobility. But reality falls far short of this ideal. One reason: factors outside the school system can have a decisive impact on academic performance, particularly for students from poor households. The Baker Institute recently undertook an in-depth analysis of 80 Harris County schools to determine how these factors – ranging from food insecurity to depression – help shape educational attainment. What do the study’s findings tell us about the needs of less-advantaged students in Harris County?   Are these lessons...

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How Will Texans Vote on November 3? show art How Will Texans Vote on November 3?

Policy Matters

On November 3, Americans are going to the polls for one of the most potentially consequential elections of our lifetimes. While much of media focus has been on the contest between President Trump and former Vice President Biden, voters will be casting their ballots in thousands of other races. How will Texans be voting next week? Can Joe Biden actually win the Lone Star State? How will the parties fare in other races? How important—not just for Texas but also for national politics—are the races for the Texas House of Representatives? This episode’s guest is . He is the fellow in...

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Policy Matters

The May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody triggered one of the most massive series of protests in U.S. history. Around the country, hundreds of thousands have marched for police accountability, law enforcement reform, and a dismantling of systemic racism in the nation writ large. What is the role of the war on drugs in deadly interactions between the police and citizens? Has it had a disparate impact on African Americans and other communities of color? Are there policies we can institute that will lead to less deadly and more equitable outcomes? This episode features . She is the...

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Normalization of Relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain: a Coup for Trump? show art Normalization of Relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain: a Coup for Trump?

Policy Matters

At a September 15 White House ceremony, Israel signed agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize bilateral relations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain represented their respective countries. President Donald Trump – whose administration helped broker the deal – presided at the ceremony. What do the agreements entail? What were the political and strategic calculations that went into them? Are other Arab countries likely to follow the lead of the UAE and Bahrain? In this episode, , Fellow for the Middle East here at the...

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America in Crisis: How is 2020 like 1968? show art America in Crisis: How is 2020 like 1968?

Policy Matters

The United States confronts a “perfect storm.” The Covid-19 pandemic has killed 110,000 Americans, a ghastly tally rising every day. The unemployment rate is reaching heights not seen since the Great Depression. And the appalling killing of George Floyd has triggered massive national protests against policing policies in specific and racism in general. Many have compared the current moment to 1968, another year of mass protests and national instability. How is 2020 like 1968? How is it different? And what lessons can we draw from a comparison? This episode’s guest is . He is the Baker...

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Should the United States Reduce Its Dependence on China for Strategic Materials and Medications?   show art Should the United States Reduce Its Dependence on China for Strategic Materials and Medications?

Policy Matters

The Covid-19 pandemic has reignited the debate about our national dependence on Chinese raw materials and manufactured goods.   Why should we be concerned about such dependence?   What are our key areas of vulnerability?   What policies should we introduce to address these vulnerabilities?   And how is China likely to respond to these policies? This episode’s guests are and Andrew Erickson.   Collins is the Baker Botts Fellow in Energy & Environmental Regulatory Affairs at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public...

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U.S. Government Debt Growth in a Time of Secular Stagnation show art U.S. Government Debt Growth in a Time of Secular Stagnation

Policy Matters

Over the past decade, U.S. federal debt as a share of the economy has grown to levels not reached since the aftermath of World War II. Recent tax cuts and ongoing fiscal stimulus related to the Covid-19 pandemic have placed U.S. debt on an unstable and unprecedented path moving forward. Gauging the long-term sustainability of federal debt hinges on projections of one key underlying variable: the interest rate.  How are debt projections and the interest rate tied to broad demographic transformations underway in the U.S. and across the world today? And how worried should we be by rising...

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The 2020 Elections and Covid-19 show art The 2020 Elections and Covid-19

Policy Matters

As uncertainty about the extent and severity of the coronavirus pandemic continues, questions are circling about the November elections. How will the pandemic affect the electoral process, and what are the options for campaigning and voting if the virus remains a threat to the health and well-being of Americans?  What is the current state of play in major Texas and national races? How will Covid-19 shape the fall campaign? This podcast is drawn from a webinar hosted by the Baker Institute on March 22 entitled “The 2020 Election and Covid-19.”   It features , Baker Institute...

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Refugees, Host Countries and the Coronavirus Pandemic show art Refugees, Host Countries and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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While refugees are not inherently more susceptible to the Covid-19 virus, the conditions in which many refugees and internally displaced persons live and their difficulty in accessing basic health services leave them highly vulnerable. What is the current global refugee situation?   What has been the impact of the pandemic on refugees and other displaced persons and on the countries that host them? How has the pandemic altered government policies around the world, including safe third country agreements and other measures to limit refugee flows? This special podcast is drawn from a...

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On November 3, Americans elected Joe Biden president by substantial margins in the Electoral College and popular vote. But the political picture elsewhere is less clear. The Senate still hangs in the balance with all eyes on two January runoffs in Georgia. Elsewhere down-ballot, Republicans held their own. Texas Democrats, in particular, had a disappointing night, falling far short of their goals. What are we to make of the murky election results? And what are we to make of the numerous major polling errors around the country?

This episode’s quest is Dr. Mark P. Jones. He is the fellow in political science at the Baker Institute, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and a professor in the Department of Political Science at Rice University. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on Texas politics.