Author

D. Stephen Voss

D. Stephen Voss

D. Stephen Voss is an associate professor of political science at the University of Kentucky, where he has worked since 1998. He earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University, specializing in quantitative analysis, and began his research career studying Southern and Kentucky politics. More broadly, his research focuses on the politics of race, ethnicity and culture.

COMMENTARY

The monsters we create: Republicans and their battle against the zombie apocalypse

By: - February 16, 2024

You can tell a lot about a people from the monsters they use to frighten themselves. During the height of the Red Scare, Americans feared a communist conspiracy taking over the world — converting their friends and neighbors, staffing U.S. institutions with secret enemies. So their entertainment was filled with extraterrestrials who could mimic humans. […]

COMMENTARY

The political battle of the sexes

By: - February 2, 2024

A cold war between men and women has been reshaping the political world for most of this century. Americans may be aware of it like never before, though, for a silly reason: The political battle of the sexes recently bled over into the world of entertainment. Anybody with the slightest exposure to pop culture knows […]

COMMENTARY

The double irony of Kentucky election reform

By: - January 19, 2024

I believe that former state Sen. Charles Booker, the progressive who sought to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2020, fell short in his quest for the Democratic nomination due to progressive election reforms. And while those changes have been scaled back dramatically, I believe that conservative efforts to eliminate the remnants of those policies would hurt […]

COMMENTARY

The coming Democratic forfeit?

By: - January 5, 2024

In politics, perception often becomes reality. Nowhere is that saying more appropriate than with legislative elections. Candidates viewed as likely to win attract volunteers, endorsements, and campaign contributions – and maybe extra news coverage – all of which increases the chance of victory. Once candidates start generating buzz, voters take them seriously. They’ll draw bigger […]

COMMENTARY

Lessons from an electronic lynch mob

By: - December 21, 2023

“Hey, I’ve got some news that might interest you.” The reporter’s voice was chipper, friendly, as though intending to tell me I’d won something. Except he’d called on a Sunday. When journalists are working that shift, it’s rarely a positive sign. He said, “You were plagiarized by the president of Harvard!” Or something to that […]

COMMENTARY

The kids aren’t alright: Don’t throw that catch-up plan in the dustbin just yet

By: - December 8, 2023

Kentucky inaugurates a governor next week. He’s the same guy who has served in that office for the last four years, so it might seem silly to indulge in pomp and circumstance when nothing is changing. But as Americans learned the hard way after 2020, having an election end peacefully — having voters who supported […]

COMMENTARY

What a difference an Election Day makes

By: - November 24, 2023

“People like me have no say in government. They don’t care what we think.” Such skepticism has long been a popular excuse citizens give for not voting. But if you doubt elections matter, pay close attention to the abortion debate in Kentucky — because Republican leaders have been singing a different tune since it became […]

COMMENTARY

Andy Beshear’s success is not a fluke

By: - November 10, 2023

When Democrat Andy Beshear won the 2019 gubernatorial contest, election observers both inside and outside Kentucky passed off his success as a fluke.  Usually, they didn’t even give Beshear credit for his own victory. Instead, they attributed Beshear’s win to his opponent, combative Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. Beshear won because Bevin was “a jerk.” Now […]

COMMENTARY

Who will be Kentucky’s governor? Look into my crystal ball.

By: - October 27, 2023

Last time I went to the grocery in Lexington, one of the stock clerks began tailing me. He held his distance at first, keeping me in eyesight but not approaching, until I started browsing an out-of-the-way clearance rack. Then he made his move. “You’re that UK professor, right?” He asked the question furtively, as though […]

COMMENTARY

Saddling Steve Scalise with David Duke’s baggage

By: - October 9, 2023

Almost as soon as Kevin McCarthy lost his position as speaker of the U.S. House, attackers pivoted their artillery toward Majority Leader Steve Scalise, an obvious candidate to replace him. Scalise’s detractors loaded their cannon with the same ammunition fired at him nine years ago, when Scalise sought to become GOP whip, and it exploded […]