news-category: Faculty

GWU’s Elizabeth Amato will Participate on Election Night Panel for WSOC-TV

Dr. Amato

Political Science Experts Will Offer Analysis on U.S. and N.C. Races

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The outcome of the 2020 presidential election, according to many news analysts, might not be known on election night. After the polls close on Nov. 3, and Americans wait for results, Dr. Elizabeth Amato, Gardner-Webb University assistant professor of political science, will provide analysis for WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C. She is part of a panel of experts assembled by the station for coverage beginning at 7 p.m.

“Pennsylvania and North Carolina are crucial swing states, and both have extended the deadline for election boards to receive and count absentee ballots,” Amato observed. “Most likely, neither candidate will concede the race until those states are called. Also, in response to the pandemic, many states have changed voting procedures and are expecting record numbers of absentee ballots. Any time there’s a change to an administrative process, it takes time for the people involved to adapt. Election boards are scrambling to be prepared.”

Five other panelists will offer insight on the returns, including Dr. Michael Bitzer, Catawba College (Salisbury, N.C.); Dr. Mary Jo McGowan, UNC-Charlotte; Dr. Aaron Houck, Queens University (Charlotte); Dr. Cary Fraser, Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.); and Dr. Helen Adair King, Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte).

A voting graphic featuring the gwu bulldog mascot in the center

During the evening, the experts will join the conversation remotely to discuss trends and outcomes. They will look at the races for the presidency, N.C. governor, N.C. senate and S.C. senate. The panel will also discuss candidates and issues important to Charlotteans, such as: City of Charlotte bond referendums and Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners. Other races they will follow are N.C. Lt. Governor, U.S. House of Representatives District 11 (Mark Meadows’ former seat); and N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Seat 1 (Cheri Beasley/Paul Newby).

Amato will be asked to comment on a variety of topics, from the impacts of COVID-19 to foreign interference on the presidential race. The panel of experts may also weigh in on down-ballot voting, such as more straight Democrat or straight Republican voting this year, and the impact of the new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

“Watch the swing states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Florida,” Amato offered. “These will be the states that determine the winner. Trump won Michigan by a razor thin 10,000 votes. His win in Wisconsin was also painfully close at 22,000 votes. There’s a few other states to watch like Nevada and Minnesota. Both states voted for Clinton in 2016, but the margins were close. Trump has been campaigning there in the hopes of expanding his electoral votes.”

Amato’s scholarly interests are politics and the American presidency. Her teaching responsibilities include Constitutional Law, Presidency & Congress, American Political Parties, American Politics, and Modern Political Philosophy. She is the author of “The Pursuit of Happiness and the American Regime: Political Theory in Literature.”

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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