The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

A bipartisan research and teaching institute dedicated to increasing understanding of the political process with special emphasis on political parties, grassroots activity, and ethical behavior.

For students

Expert resources

Informed Citizen Akron 

American elections – especially in swing states – are bitter, uninformative experiences. Many Americans, even those of us who vote consistently, feel alienated and marginalized by campaigns and the media coverage around them.

It’s no surprise that campaigns tend to produce more heat than light – choosing to drive people apart instead of focusing on our shared goals – it seems to work for them. But it’s not working for our democracy. In most elections, the vast majority of the electorate doesn’t show up to vote, including in the recent presidential primaries. The numbers will look better in November, but even then, likely a third of eligible voters will sit it out. Americans, clearly, are frustrated.

It’s time for a more substantive, engaging conversation about politics, elections, and the issues that affect us all. That’s why we’re working the Jefferson Center and a consortium of Ohio media organizations, led by the Akron Beacon Journal, to launch Informed Citizen Akron.

Informed Citizen Akron will shift the traditional model of media coverage dictated by campaigns and national stories, instead focusing on civil, substantive discussion of critical issues. With our media and community partners, we’ll create opportunities for Ohio voters to break through the divisive campaign rhetoric and drive more informative, more inspiring coverage of the 2016 presidential election.

Our aim is to create a narrative for the election that focuses on the issues that matter most to Akron and Ohio residents. To do that, we have to put voters first. That means listening to people and engaging Ohioans directly to tell media what they need to know.

From now until Election Day, we’ll focus on three things:

  1. What are the issues that really matter to voters?
  2. What are the candidate’s substantive stances on those issues?
  3. How can local and state media help drive a more productive public conversation about the election that informs and encourages voters?

To do that, our team at the Bliss Institute will conduct three in-depth polls statewide to assess Ohioans attitudes toward the campaigns and media coverage of the election. At the Jefferson Center, we will engage citizens to learn about how media covers elections, to learn and talk about the issues, the candidates, and ways Ohio media can better cover the election so that voters can make more informed decisions at the polls. Media outlets throughout Ohio will use the feedback generated through polling and public conversations to shift their coverage beyond the horse race and provide information that resonates with voters and improves the public discourse about the election.

Ultimately, Informed Citizen Akron will:

  • lead to more informed and engaged citizens,
  • increase the level of trust between local media and residents, and
  • provide a model for constructive collaboration between citizens and media to promote a more informative, more meaningful electoral process.

For more information, visit the Jefferson Center website here

Poll: Akron Buckeye Poll: 2015 Ohio Presidential Politics

The 2015 Akron Buckeye Poll investigates underlying attitudes toward the 2016 presidential election in Ohio. The evidence suggests a close contest for the open seat in the White House, a sharp contrast with 2008—the previous open seat race. The state of the Ohio economy is a critical difference between the two elections. The poll indicates that few Ohioans have firm views on Democratic or Republican candidates, but among those that do, the early presidential race resembles the national contest.

Check out the full report here

Poll: Akron Buckeye Poll: 2015 Ohio Ballot Issues

The 2015 Akron Buckeye Poll investigates public opinion among registered voters about three proposed constitutional amendments on the 2015 general election ballot: Issue 1 (redistricting reform), Issue 2 (anti-monopoly provision), and Issue 3 (legalize marijuana). The survey provides a baseline for understanding public support for the ballot issues during the final weeks of the campaign.

View the full report

 

Poll: Clinton in the lead, but nearly half of Democrats want Biden to run

Nearly half of likely Democratic primary voters (48%) say that Vice President Joe Biden should get into the presidential race, expressing a strong sentiment that they want to consider an alternative to Hillary Clinton, according to the Bliss Institute/Zogby Analytics poll released Aug. 5, 2015.

See the results

Poll: Strong support for Trump among republican primary voters

Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential field with 25% among likely GOP primary voters, according to The University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and Zogby Analytics poll released Aug. 4, 2015.

See the results

Bliss in the Media

04/18/2016
"Why Polling Still Matters" forum at Kent State April 25th -kent.edu

Dr. John C. Green, Director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics will be on the forum for "Why Polling Still Matters" at Kent State University April 25th, 2016. Register here: https://politicallyspeaking.eventbrite.com.

04/18/2016
Associate professor Terry O’Sullivan discusses the Democratic primaries on 1480 WHBC - stationcaster.com/

Associate professor Terry O’Sullivan discusses the Democratic primaries on 1480 WHBC.

04/15/2016
Dr. Cohen talks presidential primary politics in NY on 1590 WAKR - soundcloud.com/wakr-newstalksports

In a discussion about the latest in presidential primary politics professor David Cohen provides commentary and answers questions on 1590 WAKR. Professor Cohen’s prior description of a brokered convention was referenced and re-posted.

04/13/2016
Professor John Green comments on speculation surrounding a potential 2018 US Senate campaign - Cleveland.

Professor John Green comments on speculation surrounding a potential 2018 US Senate campaign in Cleveland.com.

04/13/2016
Prof. Dave Cohen calls in to talk the 2016 Presidential Race - whbc.com

Cohen appeared on 1590 WHBC to discuss the Republican presidential primaries. 

 

See news archives.

2016 Republican National Convention announcement

John Green, Bliss Institute director and distinguished professor of political science in UA’s Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, was interviewed for coverage of Cleveland hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Contact Us

Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics
The University of Akron
Olin 325
Akron, OH 44325-1914

Office: 330-972-5182
Fax: 330-972-5479
Email: bliss@uakron.edu

   

About us | Alumni & Friends
VOXpop Newsletters

Bliss International Campaign Fellows

Bliss International Campaign Fellows

Learn more

Follow this link to learn more about the program and download your application today!