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Insights and insiders to shed light on the 2016 campaign

Posted Sept. 4, 2015
Peggy Binette, Public Relations, 803-777-7704

The presidential campaign trail is heating up, and many eyes will be turning to South Carolina as the first primary state in the South leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

To help voters prepare, the University of South Carolina will host a Symposium on Presidential Primaries in South Carolina at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, that will feature a panel of national political reporters, state political party chairmen, polling experts and scholars.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Capstone House on the university’s campus.

Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College of the Information and Communications and a former White House correspondent, will moderate the panel of six.

Panelists will feature Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent with the Washington Post; Alexis Simendinger, White House correspondent for RealClearPolitics; Jaime Harrison, chaiman of the S.C. Democratic Party; Matt Moore, chairman of the S.C. Republican Party; Scott Huffmon, a political science professor at Winthrop University who directs the center that produces the well-known Winthrop Poll; and Laura Woliver, a political science professor at UofSC and an authority on gender and politics and political interest groups.

South Carolina’s primaries will take place Feb. 20 (Republican) and Feb. 26 (Democratic) following the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary. Don Fowler, who teaches American politics at the university and is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is organizing the symposium.

Fowler says South Carolina’s hosting the “first-in-the-South” primary gives a major voice to Southern states in the presidential nomination process. The Palmetto State has played a critical role in significantly narrowing the field of presidential candidates in past presidential elections.

For more information about the symposium, contact Fowler at

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