A never-before-seen lecture produced by two faculty of Iowa State covered a multitude of topics about the 2012 elections.

Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, and Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science, presented their lecture on "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" aspects of the 2012 elections.

The event was hosted on March 5, 2013, in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Beate Schmittman, dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, introduced both Bystrom and Schmidt.

“This lecture marks the 14th in the Dean's Lecture Series,” Schmittman announced to a full house of listeners.

The lecture series “highlights faculty excellence and achievement in teaching discovery and outreach in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Schmittman said.

The lecture used “specific examples to point out some of the important lessons that we can learn from the 2012 election. A lot of the lessons are hidden inside some strange behavior of politicians,” Schmidt said.

“These lessons will be used by both Republicans and Democrats in the next presidential election, because some things worked really well and some things were huge mistakes they will learn from and not repeat again,” Schmidt said.

The lecture used political cartoons, campaign ads and debate parodies accompanied with facts, figures and statistics from the 2012 election season.

“We used a good balance between being entertaining and including the use of facts and figures,” Bystrom said.

Bystrom and Schmidt spoke on a number of topics throughout the lecture.

The Iowa Caucus and the straw poll were discussed.

Statistics of how much media coverage Republicans and Democrats received primarily through newspapers during campaigning, as well as how it affected both types of politicians, were discussed.

Bystrom and Schmidt broke down different debates and pointed out examples of success and failure. The videos showed debates from New Hampshire and Ames and a debate through CNN.

Bystrom, who has studied political campaigns for more than 25 years, shared with the audience her professional opinion on what was good, bad and ugly about the ads that surrounded the 2012 election.

Hispanic and women voters were also discussed. Each lecturer discussed the reasoning behind why Barack Obama and Mitt Romney lost Hispanic or women voters.

They also discussed the gender and marriage gap, highlighting how it was important to cater to both male and female voters, single or married.

Schmidt and Bystrom not only talked about presidential candidates and their efforts to win the race, but also senators who were racing to win a spot in the Senate to represent their home state.

With each point made by Bystrom and Schmidt, a lesson was presented about what should be learned from the mistakes made in the 2012 elections.

At the closing of the lecture, Bystrom and Schmidt gave a prediction of who the next candidates for the next election might be.

“The prediction is a bogus prediction, because it is just too early to tell. We will just have to wait and see,” Schmidt said.

(1) comment

Retired Prof
Kathy Hickok

Is it possible to actually hear or see the whole lecture now, or read a transcript? I thought this story was pretty non-specific. Wish I could have attended the event!

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