Neither Liberal nor Conservative?

Top Political Strategists Debate Campaigning in Polarized America on Oct. 26 at LSU

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs will host a debate of top political strategists and scholars on the realities of campaigning in a polarized nation and the implications of an inattentive public. The event takes place Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Journalism Building’s Holliday Forum. The public is welcome and tickets are not necessary.

The program is based on the book “Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public,” co-authored by Manship School professor of political communication Nathan Kalmoe and professor Donald Kinder of the University of Michigan. The consensus in today’s politics is that Americans are highly polarized and can’t agree on anything. To the contrary, the authors find few real liberals and conservatives in the public – they are found only among those who are deeply engaged in political life.

“Everyone knows America is politically divided,” said Kalmoe, “but our book shows that ordinary people are not polarized by ideology despite high levels of partisanship. Most people lack the political knowledge necessary to put politics together in a coherent way beyond basic party labels.”

If this is the case, how do Americans make election and policy decisions? What are the implications for campaign and issue strategists? The panel will explore these questions. Panelists include:

  • Terri Broussard Williams, vice president of government affairs at the American Heart Association-SouthWest and Manship School alumna;
  • Trey Ourso, senior political strategist at Ourso Beychok and former director of the Louisiana Democratic Party;
  • Bill Skelly, partner and co-founder of Causeway Solutions and former deputy director for the Republican National Committee;
  • Nathan Kalmoe, Manship School assistant professor of political communication;
  • Martin Johnson, Kevin P. Reilly, Sr. chair in political communication and associate dean for graduate studies and research, will moderate.

The event is sponsored by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, an integral part of the Manship School of Mass Communication. The Reilly Center’s mission is to generate thoughtful programs, dialogue and research about mass communication and its many faceted relationships with social, economic and political issues.






For information on the event:
Contact Jenee Slocum
Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs


For information on the book, “Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public”:
Contact Melinda Kennedy
The University of Chicago Press