An effort by California Republicans to change the way the state’s electoral votes are distributed could tip the scales in favor of the GOP in the next presidential election, according to Susan A. Beck, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Fordham.

“If California puts this through, the Democrats would be in very deep trouble,” said Beck, the speaker at a Fordham College at 60 lecture, “Election 2008: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” held at the Lincoln Center campus.

Susan A. Beck, Ph.D. Photo by Ryan Brenizer

The Republican National Committee’s bid to get on the June ballot a measure that would divide California’s electoral vote on a congressional basis rather than the current winner-take-all system would put the GOP on easy street, Beck said.

“The Republicans wouldn’t have to do anything anywhere else,” she said.

Beck also addressed the challenges facing Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., the lone female candidate in the race to the White House.

“If she’s too decisive, she’s considered unfeminine; if she’s caring, she’s considered too soft,” Beck said. “She is a woman trying to play a man’s game and it isn’t clear to me that she can overcome that.”

Beck, whose area of concentration is American Politics, is a deputy editor of the Western Social Science Journal. Currently, she writes on Eleanor Roosevelt and her role in framing the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Gina Vergel is Senior Director of Communications. She oversees the digital news coverage, public relations, and social media for the university. Before joining Fordham in 2007, Gina worked as a reporter for the Home News Tribune, and The Ridgewood News, where she won Society of Professional Journalist (New Jersey chapter) awards for breaking news and feature writing, respectively. She can be reached at [email protected] or (646) 579-9957.