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U.S. News ranks WSU Global Campus online degrees among nation’s best for 2020

Three online programs at Washington State University have been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

WSU is the only university in Washington state to rank in the top 25 of U.S. News’ Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs.

WSU’s Global Campus offers 20 undergraduate and 12 graduate degrees in many disciplines, as well as numerous minors and certificates. New degrees this year include a BA in Anthropology, BS in Biology, BA in English, BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences, and BA in Political Science. Additional degree programs are currently in development.

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WSU Insider

Coming to a TV near you: $163 million in political ads for the top 2020 Colorado races

The 2020 election arrived six months ago on Colorado’s TV screens and reached $7.2 million in political advertising by the end of the year.

But that’s just a drop in the 2020 advertising bucket. One election watcher predicts Colorado will see $163 million worth of TV and digital ads this year just in the presidential and U.S. Senate contests.

Travis Ridout.

“There’s enough evidence right now that Senate control could be in play in 2020. That really attracts the advertisers,” said Travis Ridout, a Washington State University political scientist and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising. “I expect we’ll see a lot more from the Trump campaign than we did in 2016. I expect that small-dollar democratic donors are going to empty their wallets to defeat Trump in 2020.”

Coloradans already are getting attention from presidential candidates as the state prepares to hold its first presidential primary election in 20 years on Super Tuesday, March 3. Then there’s the nationally watched U.S. Senate contest, where Cory Gardner is one of the top Democratic targets in the Nov. 3 election.

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The Colorado Sun 

New study shows decline in legislative civility in Idaho

Civility has declined at the Idaho Legislature, but not as much as in other states or in Washington, D.C., according to a new study.

Nicholas Lovrich.

Researchers from 11 universities around the nation joined in the study, led by Nicholas Lovich, professor emeritus in political science at Washington State University. It was funded by the National Institute for Civil Discourse and WSU. It surveyed more than 1,300 lobbyists who work in state legislatures in all 50 states, and followed up on a survey three years earlier of legislators themselves.

The survey showed Idaho isn’t immune to a national trend toward less civility, less compromise and more polarization in civic discourse, accompanied by declining trust in U.S. government institutions.

“There’s a broad feeling that something’s wrong, that something’s broken,” Lovrich said , “that we used to do things in a way that wasn’t so nasty and wasn’t so horrible.”

The study explored whether the gridlock that’s emerged in Congress is beginning to infect state legislatures, and it found that, at least in the view of lobbyists, it has started to, but to a much lesser extent. The lobbyists who were surveyed represent a wide array of interests, from contract lobbyists for private business interests to those representing agencies, non-profits and public interest groups.

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WSU political scientist investigates effects of social media on UK politics for BBC

Travis Ridout.

Several hotly contested government seats and the likely fate of Brexit are all up for grabs in Thursday’s general election in the UK. To find out how social media and other digital campaign tactics are being used to influence—or manipulate—British voters, BBC World Service invited Travis Ridout, Washington State University political science professor and political media expert, to the UK to investigate.

In his 30‑minute BBC radio documentary, “The Digital Election: How social media is reshaping UK democracy,” Ridout shares highlights and insights of his interviews with a variety of sources, including British voters and online advertising professionals. He talks with a candidate in a tight race for parliament and a food deliveryman who runs a politically focused Facebook group with more than 30,000 members.

He also interviews a professor in London who examines how the Internet is used to harass politicians, and reports from a key marginal constituency to learn how digital campaigning is being used to target undecided voters.

The program can be heard on BBC World and on BBC Sounds.

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WSU Insider

Political groups and candidates like Facebook ads

You might call it the Facebook Election.

Many voters are “cutting the cord” from cable TV, and candidates and political organizations are turning to Facebook to attract Virginia voters in Tuesday’s legislative and local elections.

It is no surprise why advocacy groups and politicians are turning to Facebook. It’s the most popular social media platform and can deliver ads targeted to users based on gender, age and other demographics — at a cost much less than television.

Travis Ridout.

Washington State University professor Travis Ridout says Facebook’s ability to reach a majority of Americans makes it attractive to political campaigns.

“Facebook also allows [a] campaign many different ways to target voters, making it an efficient way to reach desired audiences,” said Ridout, who teaches government and public policy.

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