MSU Political Scientists Host Election Night Webcast and Analysis

Montana State University political scientists will host a live webcast of results and analysis on the night of the 2020 general election, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.
David ParkerEric Raile and Sara Guenther, all from the MSU Department of Political Science, will analyze the returns from local, state and national elections. The election night webcast, a first for MSU, is free and open to all. The link to the webcast may be found here
Parker said that throughout the evening, the political scientists will explain events in relation to their recent Treasure State Pre-election poll and accompanying research, resulting in a presentation and discussion that will be different than anything else offered to Montana voters on election night.
“We’re aiming to provide analysis on Montana races in a way that most people have never seen for our state,” Parker said. “As social scientists, we wanted to provide Montanans with a space to engage critically with the developments they will witness during this historic election, free of partisanship and political spin.”
Launched during to the 2016 election cycle, the MSU political scientists’ Treasure State Poll accurately predicted the results of the competitive U.S. Senate and House elections for Montana and developed the first publicly accessible database of Montana public opinion, Parker said. The most recent version of the poll, the Treasure State 2020 Pre-election Poll,  addresses Montana voter preferences prior to the current election. Parker calls the recent poll the most exhaustive public polling data available on the 2020 election for Montana. Data from the poll can be found at
Parker noted that the MSU election night webcast will be hosted and staffed by students.
“Our students are part of everything we do, and we’re excited for them to get to play this role in a bit of American history,” he said.
The webcast’s host will be Sheridan Johnson, a double major in agricultural education and political science from Conrad. Johnson interned last summer with the Northern Broadcasting System’s Northern Ag Network , which provides farm news and market reports, weather programs and special features to Montana radio and television stations. Johnson will be assisted by Allison Reinhardt, a political science major from Bozeman.
Parker and Raile are experts on Montana politics who are frequently quoted in the national and state media including The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS’s Frontline and more.
Parker is the author of “Battle for the Big Sky,” an in-depth look at the Rehberg-Tester U.S. Senate race of 2012 as well as “The Power of Money in Congressional Campaigns, 1880-2006.” He has published numerous articles on the consequences of divided government and how members of Congress employ their office expenditures to build reputations with constituents.
Raile is the director of the MSU HELPS Lab, which collects of high-quality data for researchers using a variety of social and behavioral methods. The lab has collected date from a range of fields, including agricultural extension, business, ecology, health and human development, political science and sociology. 
Guenther is a postdoctoral researcher in the MSU Department of Political Science specializing on environmental politics with an emphasis on regulation, executive politics, political behavior and public opinion.
More information about election night coverage may be found here:


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Tue. Nov. 3, 2020   7-11pm

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