Arnold maps out election twists and turns

Junior Drew Arnold knows a thing or two about elections.

He’s been around them since he was 10-years-old with his father who is currently a judge in Texas. 

10-year old child holding election sign
Drew Arnold, age 10, helping with his father’s campaign

“Before coming to Cornell, I knew I wanted to do some type of research on elections,” he said. 

That time is now as the politics major uses Block 2 to complete an independent study block to research and map out the significant events that have led up to this election.

“The pandemic, the technical issues with the Iowa caucuses, the protests, unemployment and the economy, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the hearings for Amy Coney Barrett and her likely nomination to the Supreme Court, and postal pandemonium have all played a role,” Arnold said. “Each day it seems there is something new and unexpected to add to the timeline.”

Junior Drew Arnold
Junior Drew Arnold

Arnold’s own personal timeline was disrupted this semester due to the pandemic. He was supposed to be in Europe learning about the Holocaust this block, but he took advantage of the change in plans by working with Assistant Professor of American Politics Megan Goldberg to design a project as the country finds itself in the middle of an intense political season.

During this 3 ½ week block on the college’s One Course At A Time schedule, he’s able to focus solely on his research project. He says he’s learning that each day makes a difference in this election and that the unpredictable nature of this election will keep him working up until the very end.

Drew and father standing near door
Drew with his father on the first day of his public affairs internship in 2019.

“One of the big takeaways is that you never know what tomorrow will bring, and although polls currently show Biden leading, the outcome can be very difficult to predict because there are so many random variables at play,” Arnold said. “Many people are very emotional about this election, and there is much at stake. People are coming out in droves to vote, and no matter who they vote for, the passion and enthusiasm are inspiring.”

Arnold says he knew he wanted to be in Iowa during a presidential election year, which is why he decided to enroll in Cornell College. 

“I am also thankful I came to Cornell because this college really encourages students to pursue their passion and investigate real-world issues that have a lasting impact,” he said.

It’s a project that will no doubt have a lasting impact on Arnold’s future as he continues to map out the final twists and turns of this election.

After graduation, he hopes to explore a career in cybersecurity or pursue a law degree.