Robert Speel, Ph.D.

Robert Speel, Ph.D.
Program Chair, Political Science
Associate Professor of Political Science, Political Science
Office Phone
Office Location
159 Kochel
ERIE, PA 16563

Dr. Speel earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. His teaching and research interests include most aspects of American politics, including elections and voting behavior, state and urban politics, Congress and the Presidency, and public policy, as well as ethnic and racial politics and Canadian politics.

Penn State University Press published his book, Changing Patterns of Voting in the Northern United States, about the creation of the regional divide of Red States and Blue States in the United States.

He currently continues to research the development of regional movements and regional voting behavior in the United States and often speaks with media sources and to community groups about political campaigns and issues.

Dr. Speel is the recipient of 2008-09 Council of Fellows Excellence in Outreach Award and the 2006 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Courses Taught

  • PL SC 001, Introduction to American National Government
  • PL SC 002, American Public Policy
  • PL SC 123, Ethnic and Racial Politics
  • PL SC 130, American Campaigns and Elections
  • PL SC 177, Politics and Government in Washington DC
  • PL SC 296, Independent Studies
  • PL SC 299, Foreign Studies
  • PL SC 480W, Congress and the Presidency
  • PL SC 482, American State and Urban Politics
  • PL SC 494, Research Project
  • PL SC 495, Political Science Internship
  • PL SC 499, Foreign Study—Government
  • PSU 007, First-Year Seminar Behrend

Trump and Mueller Investigation: To Impeach or Not to Impeach - April 24, 2019

You'll Hear These Four Arguments in Defense of the Electoral College - Here's Why They're Wrong - March 27, 2019

3 Scholars Respond to Trump's State of the Union: Investigating Doesn't Rule Out Legislating - February 6, 2019

Seven Ways to Pay for Border Wall and End US Government Shutdown - January 14, 2019

Democrats Won in 2018, But Will They Win in 2020?, The Globe Post - November 9, 2018

In Feud With Senate Leaders, Trump Different from Previous Presidents, The Globe Post - August 13, 2017

Dropping out of the Electoral College, Cornell Policy Review - May 12, 2017

Trump and the History of the First 100 days, Syndicated by The Conversation. Article was cited in a New York Times column by David Leonhardt on April 26. Posted on websites for International Business Times, Business Standard (India), Live Science, The Raw Story, History News Network, and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Over 31,000 online readers as of January 2018 - April 19, 2017

Three Common Arguments for Preserving the Electoral College -- And Why They're Wrong - November 14, 2016

A "Rigged" Vote? Four US Presidential Election with Contested Results - November 1, 2016

Five Key Debate Moments That Altered the Course of a Presidential Race - September 22, 2016

Pennsylvania Presidential Primary Process, Election 2016: Research Behind the Race, a Penn State University Election Blog - April, 2016

Senate and CIA Dispute - April 10, 2014

The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act , Journal of American History - September, 2013

Hometown Appeal of Judicial Candidates, The Philadelphia Inquirer - May 31, 2013

PA Voters Pick State Judges Solely By Geography, Erie Times-News - May 29, 2013

Voters Judge Judicial Candidates By Geography, Scranton Times-Tribune - May 28, 2013

Presidential Candidates and Their Home States, Centre Daily Times, State College, PA - November 04, 2012

It's Time to Abolish the Electoral College - September, 2011

Time to Stop Electing Appellate Court Judges - May 20, 2011

School Vouchers Violate State Constitutition - February, 2011

Political Satire - 2010

Judicial Elections a Poor Show of Democracy - May 18, 2009

Voting Patterns - 2008

Rev. of The Liberals’ Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party, by Bruce Miroff, Political Science Quarterly - 2008

Rev. of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics, by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, Centre Daily Times - October 19, 2008

A New Kind of Realignment, Rev. of Electoral Realignment and the Outlook for American Democracy, by Arthur Paulson, Review of Politics - March, 2008

Rev. of Understanding Affirmative Action: Politics, Discrimination, and the Search for Justice, by J. Edward Kellough, Perspectives on Political Science - July, 2007

Rev. of Patchwork Nation: Sectionalism and Political Change in American Politics, by James G. Gimpel and Jason E. Schuknecht, Perspectives on Political Science - January, 2005

The Evolution of Republican and Democrat Ideologies, Rev. of Party Ideologies in America 1828–1996, by John Gerring, Journal of Policy History - July, 2000

The Persistence of Regional Divisions in American Electoral Politics, Regional & Federal Studies - 1999

Changing Patterns of Voting in the Northern United States: Electoral Realignment 1952–1992 - August, 1998

The Persistence of Regional Divisions in American Electoral Politics, Clio - 1997

Changes in Partisan Voting Among Protestant Denominations in the U.S. 1952–1992 - 1997


Ph D, Government, Cornell University

MA, Government, Cornell University

BA, Political Science and Sociology, University of Pennyslvania