Chasing the Amish Vote: Politics, Polarization, and the Old Order Community

January 17 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Mayser Gymnasium

  • kopko & nolt

Kyle C. Kopko, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning at Elizabethtown College

Stephen Nolt, 
Director of  Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

During the 2016 presidential election, Amish PAC, a new political action committee based in Arlington, Virginia, sought to mobilize Amish voters in Lancaster County. Elizabethtown College professors Steve Nolt and Kyle Kopko will describe the PAC’s efforts and the Amish response. They will review the history of Amish electoral involvement and non-involvement, report on research into Amish participation in the 2016 election and the possible impact of Amish PAC’s advertising on non-Amish voters, as well as what this episode may suggest about religion and politics in America today.

Dr. Kyle C. Kopko earned his Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University in 2010, and he earned his bachelor's degree, with honors, from Elizabethtown College in 2005.  Dr. Kopko currently serves as Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning, and Associate Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College. His teaching and research interests include American politics, judicial politics, constitutional law, election law, political psychology, and religion and politics. He has published numerous articles and the book The VP Advantage: How Running Mates Influence Home State Voting in Presidential Elections.

Dr. Steven M. Nolt is the author or coauthor of fourteen books on Amish, Mennonite, and Pennsylvania German history and contemporary life. His Amish-related research has taken him into several dozen settlements across the United States and Ontario, and has focused on settlement formation and history, economic and social change, and the role of technology in Amish life. He currently serves as series editor for Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.  Nolt earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Notre Dame in 1998.

This event was proposed by Michael Billig.