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Welcome to the Political Science Spring 2021 Capstones!

May 17, 2021

If you would like to join us for this event:
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``Is it In to be 'Out'? How WA's Queer-Identified Candidates are Perceived through Identity and Binaries.``

From school board seats to statewide campaigns, Queer-identified candidates face unique challenges and assumptions while running for office. Previous studies have attempted to point out these challenges through surveys and focus groups, but with rapidly changing public opinions from Obergefell v Hodges (Supreme Court case legalizing equal marriage) and a backlash against trans activism, these studies have failed to clearly define what challenges Queer-identified candidates actually face. This paper aims to center the voices of queer candidates and the barriers they have encountered by highlighting interviews with nine candidates from across Washington State. Through these interviews we find clear commonalities when it comes to what types of queer candidates have been accepted in the state and how different intersecting identities inform how various districts respond to Queer-identified candidates.

We would like to thank all of the current and former candidates that agreed to be interviewed for our paper and contribute to our research. We would also like to thank Mac Murray for dealing with all of the group messages that we spammed them with.

``The Legalization of Gambling/Betting in the State of Hawaii``

My paper is on the legalization of gambling/betting in the state of Hawaii. It is currently illegal to gamble in Hawaii and my project is to see whether it would benefit the state or not. I surveyed the Hawaii State Legislature and asked them questions surrounding the topic of gambling in Hawaii. The legislators gave their views on gambling and if it should be legalized in the state.

I would like to thank the Hawaii State Legislature for their time and participation in my survey.

``Lyrical Politics: The Influencing Power of Female Musicians on the Politics of the Undergraduate Male``

This paper aimed to find out whether listening to female musicians could influence undergraduate males’ own personal politics about women’s issues. A survey was created and sent to the students of the university asking various questions on music taste and political ideology. Ultimately the hypothesis could not be proven because all participants indicated that they listened to female musicians and therefore no correlation could be found between listening to female musicians and having more progressive views on women’s issues. Regardless of this outcome, compelling information was found in the survey about men and women’s political beliefs at the university.

Acknowledgments:                                                                                                                       Thank you to my sister, Ari, for the inspiration, Mom and Dad for being there, and Kecia for walking with me in the garden.

``Beating the Incumbent Advantage: A Game Plan for Leftist Candidates``

In an attempt to discover whether the success of progressive candidates like AOC, Cori Bush, and Jamaal Bowman could be replicated, I performed an analysis of Washington’s Sixth Congressional District. I analyzed historical voting trends, issue polling, and demographic information in order to see if progressive candidates can win in less densely-populated, more rural areas. My end product took the form of a full campaign plan for a leftist candidate in WA-06, following the model of professional consulting firms.

Acknowledgments:                                                                                                                      Thanks to my mom and dad for consistently supporting me over the last two years, thanks to Piper Ragland and Brian Coyle for helping me find my voice, and thanks to Jordan Waits for inspiring this project.

``Joe Exotic Walked so Pete Buttigieg Could Run (For President): How Public Persona and Rhetoric of LGBTQ+ Politicians Impacts Policy Towards Gay Liberation
``Interactive Map: Washington State Effective Voting Power``

Abstract:                                                                                                                                        In an effort to provide folks with an invaluable resource for use in considering redistricting, voter registration laws, and understanding the peculiar political framework of their state, we have collected and collated an interactive map of Washington State that measures the effective voting power of someone voting in each legislative district.

``Foreign Policy by Citizen Design``

Abstract:                                                                                                                                The focus of this essay is to examine the effects that the United States’ population has on foreign policy issues made by the executive branch as their opinions and attitudes change during ongoing international issues. Previous literature have not come to a clear conclusion on whether public opinion matters in international relations. Two time periods were chosen to examine which were the Vietnam War, specifically 1964-1972, and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. What was found through this study was that there is a correlation between public opinion and the actions taken by the executive branch of the United States as events unfold over time.

Acknowledgments:                                                                                                                   Special thanks to my parents and fiancée as this has been a stressful school year with the pandemic and burnout. They were always there for me when I needed them and I highly appreciate all of it.

``The Rise of Populism in the United States and Europe and its Effects on Modern Day Syria``

Abstract:                                                                                                                                The rise of populism in the United States and throughout Europe has completely changed the world’s response to the ongoing Syria civil war, refugee crisis and rise of Islamic extremism. Many new domestic and foreign policy decisions have been influenced by the rise of far-right parties and direct support from heads of state who have accepted these extremist values. Some nations like Turkey and Russia have their own involvement in the region but have no real connection to the rise of populism. However, they are still guided by authoritarian leaders who have their own ambitions for Syria and the greater Middle East. The most pressing threat to a solution for these ongoing crises revolve around the populist far-right ideals and policies that seek to completely isolate Syria as a nation and effectively cut off any hope of long lasting peace in the region. The United States has been the ring leader under the Trump Administration with European nations flocking to support these dangerous ideals.

Acknowledgements:                                                                                                                My advisor, Dr. Artime, and my parents, Grant and Leslie Toschi, for providing my opportunity for a higher education.

``Inequalities in Federal Disaster Funding``