11/08/2010 08:00:00

The Polls Are Closed . . .

Calling last Tuesday's elections "historic" and "one of the most important midterm elections in recent memory," Caltech political scientist R. Michael Alvarez weighed in on the contrasts between the national and local results in an op-ed entitled, "GOP Tidal Wave Stopped at State Line," published in Sunday's Pasadena Star-News.

What made the difference? A number of factors, says Alvarez. "[I]t is likely that California's electorate on Tuesday was distinct from the rest of the nation," he writes. "As I visited polling places on Tuesday, in many parts of Los Angeles County there were energized voters, and visible voter-mobilization efforts. Early analysis of exit poll data indicates that those efforts might have led to a significant increase in Latino participation, another possible reason Republicans failed throughout the state."

To read more of Alvarez's analysis of the election results, go to the Pasadena Star-News. Or, for more research, analysis, and commentary on the election, visit the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project blog.

Written by Lori Oliwenstein