Category Archives: Electoral Politics

Why Planned Parenthood funding is more important than you think

1 in 5 women has visited Planned Parenthood at least once in her life.

1 in 5 women has visited Planned Parenthood at least once in her life.

Donations to Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas tripled after Election Day. Many donors fear that a Trump presidency will strip Planned Parenthood of funding and limit the provision of reproductive health services to women. People are quick to equate Planned Parenthood with abortion, but the conversation should be much broader. Family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood provide affordable services for women that improve a wide-range of maternal health outcomes.

Maternal mortality – defined as the death of a women while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy – is an important indicator of women’s health outcomes in a country. The US is one of the few countries worldwide that experienced an increase in maternal mortality between 2000 and 2015. Because family planning clinics provide prenatal services to women that reduce the risks of pregnancy, they are important combatants of these negative trends. Continue reading

Durham Bond Approvals Reveal National Finance Challenges

As North Carolinians anxiously await the final results of the governor’s race, Durham County residents have successfully passed four different bond referendums totaling $170 million to fund public education, library, and museum projects. Nearly $91 million will be put towards improving school buildings and security systems in Durham Public Schools, which comes after a slew of recent budget cuts to the district.

Durham County’s approach to financing these education projects mirrors the national trend of cities and counties turning to local bonds in the 2016 election as a main revenue source for education and infrastructure projects. Bonds are essentially promises that the government makes to repay over a period of time, often through increased taxes, to finance public improvements like school building projects. Continue reading

Religious Progressivism: A Contradiction in Terms No More

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For most Americans, Paul Begala once quipped, the term “religious progressive” makes about as much sense as “jumbo shrimp.” Devotees of cable news or talk radio may be forgiven for their confusion. Religion is often portrayed in those venues as a monolithic force, firmly entrenched on the conservative side of the culture wars.

But cast a net in the sea of public opinion and you may be surprised by your haul. For instance, as part of an extensive survey, respondents were asked to rate their feelings for the poor on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 meaning completely negative feelings and 100 completely positive. The same respondents were asked if religion is “an important part of your life” and (if yes), does it provide “some guidance, quite a bit of guidance, or a great deal of guidance in your day-to-day life?” Across the board, the more religious a respondent was, the higher his professed level of sympathy.

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Election Night: Sanford Reacts

This piece was co-authored by Austen Edwards and Joe Fleming. 

So, Republicans have taken control of the Senate and Thom Tillis is North Carolina’s newest senator. What does it mean for the state and the nation as a whole? We’ve spoken with professors within the Sanford School, getting their reactions to the election, its implications, and what it means moving forward.

Senator Kay Hagan’s loss may come as a surprise given the historically high levels of spending and favorable media predictions, most of which had her tied or edging by as voters went to the polls. Assistant Professor of Public Policy Nick Carnes weighed in on the variation between what pundits predicted and how the race played out.

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NC Legislators Hold Q&A with Sanford Students

Here at Duke, North Carolina House Representatives Rick Glazier (D–Cumberland), Grier Martin (D–Wake), and Chuck McGrady (R–Henderson) recently joined students to discuss policy in practice. They spoke candidly of their experiences in the NC political system, the challenges they face in office, and fielded questions from an audience of professors and students.

(L-R) NC Representatives Grier Martin, Rick Glazier, and Chuck McGrady address an audience of Sanford students and professors.(L-R) NC Representatives Grier Martin, Rick Glazier, and Chuck McGrady address policy in practice at Sanford.

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Women Have a Chance to Shape Scottish Independence

Nearly a century after the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed their right to vote, women hold less than 20% of the 535 seats in the U.S. Congress. In the private sector, only 14.6% of executive officers, 8.1% of top earners, and 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.Scottish Independence Picutre Continue reading