This year, James Stimson, a Raymond Dawson Distinguished Bicentennial professor of Political Science, retired after 21 years with the UNC Department of Political Science. However, he continues to pursue his passion of politics by researching the 2018 midterm election and giving election talks at Colorado College. Stimson sat down with staff writer Lindsey Banks to discuss Tuesday's results.
The Daily Tar Heel: What is a “Blue Wave,” and did you see one in the 2018 midterm election?
James Stimson: If someone asks me what is the definition (of a Blue Wave), my answer is that there is none. It is not a term that any scholarly enterprise such as political science uses. It’s from popular commentary, so I do not know what the definition of it is. It really has none in the eyes of the beholder.
DTH: Do you think President Donald Trump affected the election results, and to what extent?
Stimson: I believe he had an effect. He deliberately personalized the election by saying over and over again, "If you vote for ‘John Doe’ for Congress or Senate, you are voting for me." Presidents always intrude into congressional elections, but I don’t believe that any president has intruded as much as Donald Trump did. He wanted a referendum on Trump and he got it.