Politics Expert Available to Discuss Senate GOP Leader’s Decision to Leave Post

Capitol dome with flag next to it
UMass Lowell's John Cluverius is available as a source to reporters covering U.S. politics.


Media Contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations and Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced to chamber members Wednesday he will step down from his post in November. The choice will see the Kentucky senator return to the party’s rank-and-file until his term expires in 2027. The announcement comes one week after McConnell’s 82nd birthday. 
McConnell’s decision creates a leadership void in the GOP that could reshape the party, according to UMass Lowell’s John Cluverius, an expert in U.S. politics who is available for interviews.
“Despite his low approval ratings – even among fellow Republicans – Mitch McConnell is singularly responsible for the political successes of conservatives over the past decade. His willingness to use Senate procedure to engineer three appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court for former President Donald Trump in one term ensured the end of Roe v. Wade, probably the biggest change in policy that affects Americans since the passage of the Affordable Care Act,” said Cluverius, an associate professor of political science. 
The longest-serving Senate leader in U.S. history, “McConnell also refused to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, even as the scars of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot remained fresh. There is probably no single person in American politics more responsible than McConnell for the political moment we’re experiencing now.”
McConnell’s departure from his post sets up a power struggle for his successor, according to Cluverius. Topics he is available to discuss include: 
  • McConnell’s legacy as a Senate leader 
  • How McConnell’s decision may affect the future of reproductive rights in the U.S. 
  • How McConnell’s decision may impact the 2024 presidential election
An authority on U.S. politics and political methodology, Cluverius is an associate professor in UMass Lowell’s political science department where he is the associate director of the university’s Center for Public Opinion. To arrange an interview with him, contact Emily Gowdey-Backus or Nancy Cicco.