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Scholar of U.S. Politics Comments on New Post-Election Bipartisan Landscape

Release Date: November 10, 2010

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- James E. Campbell is a widely published political scientist at the University at Buffalo who specializes in American electoral politics and forecasting. He is an excellent post-election source on issues related to the new working relationship ahead between the White House and Congressional leadership.

On the prospects for bipartisanship and compromise between the While House and the new GOP-controlled Congress, Campbell says: "They are going to have to work together on the issue of tax cuts," because there's some pretty substantial pressure on both sides to reach an agreement on this--and I do expect to see some compromise on the part of Democrats and Republicans alike."

In other areas, Campbell says he's not so sure cooperation will be possible. "Once you go beyond tax cuts, you get into some heavy lifting when it comes to compromise." The reason? "It's all about the current polarization of the parties," he explains. "When you have a very vocal left and right in the political parties, and a diminished center, as you have now, it becomes very difficult to bring the two sides together to agree on much."

On the post-election future of the Tea Party movement as a political force:

"I definitely see the movement as being here to stay as part of the political scene for the foreseeable future," he says. "They bring an upside to the table for the Republicans, chiefly their enthusiasm," he says, "but the downside is that they are more ideologically committed to their policies than to winning elections."

He says he sees many mainstream conservative Republicans making tough choices about reaching out to Tea Party groups in the months ahead. "Those who do choose to work with them will try to convince them that, in a nation that requires more flexibility and compromise, getting 70 percent of what you want is actually a win…but I don't think the Tea Party will buy that, and I do expect to see them actively keeping the heat on until the next election cycle."

More information on Jim Campbell's teaching and writing on politics can be found here: http://www.polsci.buffalo.edu/faculty_staff/campbell. He can be reached on campus at the University at Buffalo at 716-645-8452 or jcampbel@buffalo.edu or by calling Patricia Donovan on campus at 716-645-4602 or pdonovan@buffalo.edu.

Need additional expert sources? Go to the University at Buffalo's "experts blog" at http://newstips.buffalo.edu.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
Senior Editor, Arts, Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu