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Brookings Mountain West Accomplishments

May 24, 2018
David F. Damore, William E. Brown, Jr., and Robert E. Lang wrote a new policy brief for The Lincy Institute, "The 2017 Session of the Nevada Legislature and the Failure of Higher Education Reform." In the piece, the authors analyze 11 bills introduced during the 79th Session of the Nevada Legislature that proposed to reorganize, reform, and realign various aspects of the state’s higher education system. The analysis reveals the following: Despite bipartisan support for higher education reform, nearly all of the reform bills failed, including two bills vetoed by Governor Brian Sandoval; the failure to enact meaningful reform stands in contrast to the implementation of bills appropriating more resources for higher education; and opposition to reform legislation was strongest among those most invested in legitimizing and perpetuating current arrangements. The report also considers the institutional and cultural factors that reinforce these outcomes. These factors include the mismatch between legislative capacity and the demand for policy reform, the selective manner in which higher education officials engaged in the Legislature, and misconceptions about the components of the state’s land-grant institution and the Board of Regents’ constitutional carve out prohibiting legislative action. The authors conclude with policy recommendations for the Nevada Legislature, moving into the 2019 session and beyond. Robert E. Lang is the executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute at UNLV. He is also a professor in the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. David F. Damore is a professor of political science at UNLV and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. William E. Brown Jr. is the UNLV director of Brookings Mountain West.

Mar 21, 2018
Robert Lang (Brookings Mountain West and Lincy Institute) and John Hudak (Brookings) offered the lunch keynote presentation, "Jobs & The Economy in Las Vegas," at the 5th annual Latino Network of Southern Nevada Summit earlier this month. The event was sponsored by the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Lang is executive director of both Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute. Hudak is a visiting senior fellow in governance studies.  

Jan 6, 2017
Robert Lang (Brookings Mountain West) and David Damore (Political Science) are the authors of an analysis of the the 2016 U.S. presidential election, "The End of the Democratic Blue Wall?," which recently was published by Brookings Mountain West. On Nov. 8, 2016, the Republicans breached a key portion of the Blue Wall as presidential candidate Donald Trump narrowly carried Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, while also cutting the margin in the once solid Democratic state of Minnesota. Had this section of the Blue Wall held, Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency with 278 Electoral College votes, despite losing swing states such as Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio. Abstract Heading into the 2016 presidential election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had multiple paths to secure the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. In contrast, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s path to the White House necessitated winning a number of large swing states and securing victories in states that had been reliably Democratic. Building from a prior Brookings Mountain West brief (Damore and Lang 2016), we consider how the Trump campaign, despite being vastly outspent, was able to use targeted online messages to activate “white identify politics” — long a staple of Republican politics in the South— in the non-metro areas of the upper Midwest. This messaging, coupled with Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity among white working class and rural voters in the region, interacted with the winner-take-all allocation of Electoral College votes to deliver the presidency for Trump. In the brief’s conclusion, we consider the implications that the 2016 election has for Electoral College politics moving forward. A related work, "Beyond Density & Diversity: Understanding the Socio-Cultural Geography of Contemporary Presidential Elections" also is available.

Nov 1, 2014
Vicky Albert (Social Work) was invited to present her co-authored paper with Ron Haskins (Brookings) on the "Responsiveness of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program during the Great Recession" at the London School of Economics in May 2015. She also will be presenting some of the empirical research she performed on her own in this area.