Politics & Polls #114: Midterms Reactions with Valerie Jarrett

Nov 08 2018
By Sophie Helmers and B. Rose Kelly
Source Woodrow Wilson School
Democrats gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 6, while Republicans bolstered their majority in the U.S. Senate. Democrats also gained seven new governorships, including in states key to President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 like Michigan, Wisconsin and Kansas.
In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the election results and voting rights with Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama. Jarrett believes that wrestling control of the House from the Republicans was a massive accomplishment and asserts that the Democrats did what they set out to do, successfully communicating a message to the electorate that resonated broadly across the country. Jarrett also discusses the strategy she and other women developed to make sure their ideas were heard in the White House. 
Jarrett is former chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls and currently serves as a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and president of the board of When We All Vote, a nonpartisan not-for-profit focused on voter registration. As the longest-serving senior advisor to President Obama, she oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. 

Valerie Jarrett is a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama and the former Chair of the White House Council of Women and Girls. She currently serves as a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and is the President of the Board of the nonpartisan, non for profit organization When We All Vote.  Jarrett was the longest serving senior advisor to President Obama, and while in that position she oversaw the offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. She also has an extensive background in the private sector.


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a CNN Political Analyst and columnist for the Atlantic. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society," which was just awarded the DB Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. He has edited and authored 19 books on American political history and published over 700 hundred op-eds, including his popular weekly column on CNN.com.

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. In 2012, his statistical analysis correctly predicted the presidential vote outcome in 49 of 50 states. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum, and autism.