Expertise: Freedman co-authored a book demonstrating how, contrary to popular opinion, voters benefit from the ongoing barrage of negative political ads, which serve as "multi-vitamins for the average American's impoverished diet of political information." His research found that negative ads are the ones most likely to educate, engage and mobilize voters. Freedman does off-camera polling return analysis for ABC News. Media citation examples and more info at: http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=6888.
Expertise: Cronin, one of the preeminent presidency scholars of the modern era, is a former White House fellow and staff aide, Brookings Institution staff member and served as a delegate or reporter/commentator at nine national political conventions. He reinvigorated the field of presidency studies, helping to build an institution (the Presidency Research Group) to support the study of the presidency. His most recent book, The Paradoxes of the American Presidency, explores the fact that the American presidency is burdened with paradoxes that make the job arduous under the best of circumstances: The public wants a strong president but is suspicious of power; a leader who is heroic yet has the common touch; demands bold visions but at low social and economic costs. Such paradoxes provide the framework for a comprehensive study of the presidency and its interactions with Congress, political parties, the Supreme Court, the cabinet, and, most important, the public.
Expertise: Recognized as one of the nation's top political analysts, Sabato is a keen observer of politics on the national, regional and state levels. He has written 24 books including Feeding Frenzy, A More Perfect Constitution and The Year of Obama. His nationally watched Crystal Ball predictions have consistently been the most accurate of any prognosticators; in 2006 he was named the most accurate prognosticator by a broad range of news organizations: FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, and Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism. In his two latest books, The Year of Obama and Pendulum Swing Sabato and a team of national experts examine the titanic shifts in American politics manifested in the past two elections, and implications for the 2012 election. Media citation examples and more info at: http://www.centerforpolitics.org/
Expertise: What's the public thinking as the 2012 Presidential election looms on the horizon? Bas van Doorn, assistant professor of political science, specializes in political psychology, public opinion, political communication, and the presidency. He is particularly interested in the role of public opinion polls in politics, campaign advertising, and the effects of issues and candidate characteristics on voter choice.
Expertise: Presidential foreign policy rhetoric has the power to shape how Americans see the world and how they see the president. Denise Bostdorff, professor of political communication and author of The Presidency and the Rhetoric of Foreign Crisis and Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine, is an excellent source for how presidents and presidential candidates--especially Truman through Obama--have talked about foreign policy. In particular, Bostdorff has examined war and crisis rhetoric, along with leaders' efforts to reach dual audiences as with Nixon in China or Obama in Cairo. She also has studied presidents' use of history and ceremony for political gain.
Expertise: William Gorton specializes in American political thought, constitutional law and the philosophy of social science and also conducts research on campaign rhetoric. He argues that political discourse has become less rational and scientific despite evidence that Americans are more intelligent, sophisticated and savvier than ever before. This "dumbing down" of political discourse, he says, is a result of social scientists and campaign consultants helping politicians craft messages that appeal to particular demographic groups. A prime example, says Gorton, was John McCain's use of "Joe the Plumber" in the 2008 presidential debates. In his study, Gorton analyzed presidential debates over the last 60 years. Since 1992, he found a significant decline in the abstract language used in debates. This doesn't mean politicians are less intelligent than they used to be, he says; rather, politicians purposely shy away from talking in abstract terms and instead use language that trigger an "us vs. them" response. His study was published in the online edition of "Public Understanding of Science."
Is Mitt Romney a "true conservative"? Has the notion of what it means to be a conservative changed during the past 50 years? Jeff Roche, associate professor of history at The College of Wooster and author of the forthcoming book,The Conservative Frontier, as well as numerous articles on the modern conservative movement, can provide an interesting historical perspective about these and other issues, including why voters in certain parts of the country consistently vote conservative and the relationship between the American West and modern politics.
Expertise: As a former Ohio governor and legislator, Bob Taft has a unique perspective on the political landscape of the state. He teaches a course on the U.S. Congress, so his knowledge and experience extends to federal government as well. Taft stays in frequent contact with elected and appointed officials at all levels of government. A former Peace Corps schoolteacher, Gov. Taft has a personal interest in education issues, particularly school choice, school accountability, college access and student success.
Expertise: Murray Borrello is an expert on environmental policy and makes national presentations on how the technical aspects of the Environmental Protection Agency Superfund should be addressed politically. He can talk about environmental issues raised in the presidential campaign, or, on the flip side, the lack of environmental debate in the presidential campaign. He also can discuss the scientific and environmental agricultural impacts on the environment.
Expertise: Nancy A. Miller is a professor in UMBC's Department of Public Policy specializing in health policy, disability and long-term care, health disparities and aging policy. Miller has conducted interdisciplinary health policy research for two decades, serving at the Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) prior to coming to UMBC. She is nationally recognized for her expertise on Medicare and Medicaid, as well as changes in health policy under the Obama administration, which will be widely debated in 2012.
In the recent NPR story "A New Nursing Home Population: The Young," Miller introduced listeners to the increasing number of working-age people living in nursing homes, likely due to cuts to state programs that enable home or other institutional care. In addition to innovative research on nursing home decision-making and community-based care programs, Miller focuses on access to care. She can provide expertise on health policy issues from policymaker, caregiver and patient perspectives.
Expertise: His research focuses on civic participation, immigration policy, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States. He can comment on issues involving the Asian-American vote in some key states for the presidential and Senate races, including Virginia, Nevada and Florida. He is the project director of the National Asian American Survey, the only nationally representative survey of Asian-American voters done so far--first in 2008 and again this summer, with results anticipated by mid-September. Quoting Ramakrishnan on the impending decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Arizona's SB1070: "This case could have a big impact on the November election. Mitt Romney has declared that he would allow state laws like Arizona's SB1070 to stand, and President Obama has opposed such laws. Regardless of how the Supreme Court decides, if Romney continues to voice support for these laws, he will find it difficult to win Latino supporters."
Expertise: Mahallati served as the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations from 1987 to 1989, when he worked on U.N. Security Council Resolution 598 to end the violence between Iran and Iraq that began with the Iran-Iraq War in September 1980. Currently a professor of Islamic studies and ethics, he is known in academic circles to be a staunch promoter of religious moderation and interfaith understanding. His writings deal primarily with interfaith peacemaking and bridge building between civilizations. His current research involves the ethics of friendship in Muslim cultures and examines cultural and traditional factors that could be utilized in modern international relations. Since 2004, he has been an annual participant in the Conference on World Affairs. Mahallati previously served as a senior scholar and affiliate with several think tanks, including the Middle East Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Affairs, Search for Common Ground, and others.
Expertise: As a former senior staff member of the
National Security Council and aide to President Carter, Quandt
helped craft the 1978 Camp David accords between Israel and
Egypt. Quandt is an expert on the Middle East,
especially Egypt, Israel and American foreign policy in the
Middle East. He was a consultant to ABC News during the
Gulf War, and has been quoted widely in major media. In
a book strikingly relevant to the current turmoil in the
region, Between Ballots and Bullets: Algeria's Transition
from Authoritarianism, Quandt looks at both the pressures
that erode authoritarian regimes and the difficulties of
making a transition to democracy in the Arab world. Media
citation examples and more info at:
Expertise: Always a battleground state, Ohio is once again expected to be in play in 2012. Dr. Richard Stock monitors the battered Ohio economy, keeping an eye on trends in jobs, housing sales, foreclosures, industry and signs of recovery. Since the 2008 economic crisis and during the presidential election, Stock was frequently sought by national and regional media for evaluations of the economies of Ohio and the Midwest for quotes such as: "We are the leading, bleeding edge of manufacturing in terms of job losses.
Expertise: A former journalist (CNN) Mindich is the author of two books about media and politics. Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don't Follow the News, a widely reviewed book in 2005, charts a trend away from a deep engagement with politics, particularly among young people. Just the Facts: How "Objectivity" Came to Define American Journalism explores objectivity and bias in American history, particularly around issues of politics and race. In recent years, Mindich has explored the role of minor candidates in the U.S. political process and has been interviewed on NPR about the topic.
Expertise: Thomas Ealey is an authority on healthcare administration and public policy, reform of the American healthcare system, nursing home leadership and crisis management, and financial abuse of the elderly. Ealey can talk about the need for healthcare reform, the complexity as well as the intended and unintended consequences of the Obama legislation, and the budgetary impacts of healthcare reform. He is the author of opinion pieces and articles titled "Health Care Reform's Good, Bad and Ugly," "Healthcare Reform: The Devil Is in the Details" and "Calculating the Impacts of Healthcare Reform.
Expertise: Sparks is less interested in what candidates say than in how they say it. With a background in radio broadcasting and research in the art of persuasion, Sparks is highly attuned to how convincing candidates are in speeches and debates. Sparks analyzed candidate speeches during the 2008 presidential campaign and is available for morning-after comments on speeches and debates. His persuasion research has appeared in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology and The New Scientist. Quoted by: The Associated Press, Washington Times, Dayton Daily News, Canadian broadcaster CTV. Sparks: "People are very, very concerned about the style of the message. The degree to which a speaker is fluent has an effect on his or her credibility. Even though what someone says may make sense, you are more likely to think they don't know what they're talking about.
Expertise: Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for The Economist, is artist-in-residence at UMBC's Imaging Research Center. There he leads the popular USDemocrazy project, helping students explore and explain the US political system (see www.usdemocrazy.net/about/mission-video/). His work for The Economist and The Baltimore Sun has appeared in over 100 publications worldwide, including Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Pravda, Krokodil, Daily Yomiuri, The Australian, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and The Washington Post.
"My job is not to make people laugh. It's to make people think, Kallaugher says. "You're trying to further the political discourse using a tool which is accessible to the masses." His drawings have been exhibited at the Tate Gallery, Library of Congress, Cartoon Art Museum and Walter's Art Museum, which curated "Worth a Thousand Words: A Picture of Contemporary Political Satire" and "Mightier than The Sword: The Satirical Pen of KAL."
Expertise: Laura Hussey, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on American morality and social welfare policy and public opinion on policy issues, including the role of political ideologies and religion. She's examined political engagement among those who don't define themselves as "liberal" or "conservative" and can discuss how increasing partisanship and the tea party movement have impacted the political/policy landscape. Hussey has recently provided insight for the Baltimore Sun, among other regional print, radio, TV and online media, and served as a commentator for the 2010 election. She can also comment on state and local politics and how US government agencies function.
Expertise: Thomas F. Schaller is the author of the acclaimed Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South, of which Publishers Weekly wrote, "The basic truth of the author's fight-fire-with-fire strategy is undeniable: a much-needed shot of realpolitik in the arm of the modern Democratic Party." Schaller is an expert on the American presidency, U.S. Congress, interest groups/lobbying and electoral campaigns. He has recently commented on political rhetoric, the Tea Party movement and the impact of demographic change on national priorities and political ideologies. He can also provide an important historical perspective on presidential issues."
Schaller's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, American Prospect, Politico, Salon and The New Republic. He has been a guest on The Colbert Report, ABC News, MSNBC, NPR, PBS and C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
Expertise: Politics, public opinion and the media. Dan Birdsong is a lecturer at the University of Dayton, teaching courses on American Politics and Global Politics. He has a background in polling and policy research. He is currently conducting research into how people consume news in an era of multiple sources and new media. Do people consume a variety of news sources or do they find news that fits their thinking? Is it possible to have a national discussion on any given issue when the sources of information often disagree? Research on how and where people get their news will help create a better understanding of public opinion. Birdsong received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati where he worked from 2005-09 at the Institute for Policy Research on the Ohio Poll, the Ohio Health Issues Poll and the Greater Cincinnati Survey.
Expertise: Connelly, a former Congressional Fellow with the American Polical Science Association who served as legislative assistant for both Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana and Congressman Dick Cheney of Wyoming, has most recently been examining the role that partisanship plays in the political process. His latest book, James Madison Rules America: The Constitutional Origins of Congressional Partisanship (Rowan & Littlefield) was published in 2010 and argued that partisanship occurs, in part because we have a governmental system premised on the separation of powers. This three-branch, bicameral framework, instituted by Madison in the Constitution, promotes competition and innovation. He has been a regular commentator for numerous diverse publications on a variety of issues in politics. Connelly serves as the faculty adviser to Washington and Lee University's Mock Convention, a quadrennial tradition in which student delegates attempt to predict the presidential nominee of the political party currently out of the White House.
Expertise: Grover's research interest is in presidential power, particularly how the structure of the political economy constrains presidents (regardless of party or personality) to conventional definitions of economic growth and national security. This set of structural imperatives insures presidents follow very similar policies, frustrating voters who might want "change" to some substantial degree. His books include The President As Prisoner: A Structural Critique of the Carter and Reagan Years, and Voices of Dissent: Critical Reading in American Politics (8 editions). He is a former American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Quoting Grover: "An understanding of the structure of the American political economy can help explain why there is so much controversy and frustration about the trajectory of the Obama presidency."
Expertise: Loevy goes to presidential caucuses and primaries to critique them academically. He has observed presidential caucuses and primaries (1992 through 2008) in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, Oregon, California and Colorado. He is highly critical of the presidential nominating process, and his "Small States First, Large States Last" proposal (similar elements appeared in the Delaware Plan) was considered but rejected by the Rules Committee at the Republican National Convention in 2000. He also supports pre-primary national conventions and abolition of the Electoral College. Loevy has published two books on the presidential nominating process in the United States: The Flawed Path to The Presidency 1992 (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995) and The Manipulated Path to The White House (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1998).
Expertise: Kimberly Moffitt is a co-editor of the 2010 book, The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign. The book, a collection of essays that places Obama's candidacy and victory in the context of America's experience with race and the media, was inspired by a national conference that Moffitt co-organized to discuss the nomination of the first presidential candidate of African descent. "No one else was able to capture that unique space in which Obama was still a candidate, yet deemed successful at changing the way we do politics and campaigning," said Moffitt.
Moffitt''s areas of study include multiculturalism and media studies, particularly how people of African descent are portrayed in the media. In addition to The Obama Effect, she is a co-editor of Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities and The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade.
Expertise: Kate Blanchard is a religious ethicist and the author of the 2010 book The Protestant Ethic or the Spirit of Capitalism: Christians, Freedom and Free Markets. The book looks at Calvinist theology with an eye toward his economic teachings and compares it to the teachings of Adam Smith and the Chicago School of Economics. Blanchard can comment on campaign issues related to religion, including the role of religion in politics, Christian theology and ethics, and why Christians don''t have to be afraid of Muslims.
Expertise: Nationally-renowned historian David O'Brien writes and comments on the intersection of religion and culture, specializing in religion and politics, Catholic social and political thought and the history of U.S. Catholicism. For the 2012 campaign, he's watching the Tea Party, the influence of U.S. bishops and the Catholic swing vote. The author of six books and numerous essays, O'Brien has been quoted by The New York Times, The Associated Press, America, National Catholic Reporter, Catholic News Service and PBS. About the 2011 campaign: "In 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush really went after the Catholic vote, but it went to the Democrats in 2008. The Catholic vote has always been a swing vote, so it will be interesting to see how the parties go after it and which way the trend will swing."
Expertise: Michael Parkin's research focuses on political campaigns and the relationship between candidates, the media, and voters. He is particularly interested in how candidates use "new media" (e.g., blogs, twitter, facebook, and entertainment television) and the effect this has on voters.His research has uncovered a number of intriguing and often surprising results including how candidates approach social networking sites in very different ways depending on their relative strength in the race and that candidate's appearances on late night talk shows can stimulate voters to think in policy terms rather than focusing on the candidate's personality. His research has appeared in American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and The Social Science Computer Review. He teaches courses on political psychology, media and mass political behavior, and campaigns and elections.
Expertise: Christiansen has been widely quoted analyzing political campaign rhetoric, women in politics and presidential campaigns. She can talk about the 2012 presidential campaign and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's possible run for the presidency against fellow Republican and Minnesotan Rep. Michele Bachmann or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Her expertise includes political communication, rhetoric and public address, rhetoric of social movements and feminist rhetoric. Her scholarly efforts have focused on the language of war and the rhetoric of social movements. More information can be found at http://www.macalester.edu/politicalscience/facultystaff/adriennechristiansen/
Expertise: Allgor's primary research interest is in the role of women in American political history, including America's first ladies. She is the author of Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government and A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation. Quoting Allgor: "Dolley Madison set the pattern for all first ladies. Before her White House, there was no one single space where everyone in Washington, including members of government, their families and the locals, could all get together. She became really famous for her parties." And on America's fascination with first ladies' fashion sense: "In politics, fashion has everything to do with one of the functions of the first lady, which is to be a charismatic figure, a larger-than-life figure for her husband's administration that imparts emotion and psychological messages to the nation."
Expertise: How do gender stereotypes relate to the underrepresentation of women in the United States political arena? Angie Bos, assistant professor of political science, explores the role of gender stereotypes in relation to the traits and issues of female candidates as they are seen by voters. Bos emphasizes that voter stereotypes can affect whether women are able to become candidates (i.e., get through the nomination process) as well as how female candidates can communicate strategically as they address voter stereotypes in their campaigns.
Expertise: Dolan can talk about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) and her possible run for president. Bachmann has emerged as one of the most-quoted critics of the Obama administration and is a Tea Party favorite and potential presidential candidate in 2012. Dolan's research focuses on women in politics, American political institutions, public administration and representative bureaucracy. She is the author of Women and Politics: Paths to Power and Political Influence with Melissa Deckman and Michele L. Swers, first published in 2006, revised 2010.
Expertise: Kelley-Romano's relevant research area is political communication. She examines editorial cartoons, traditional public address, media and campaigning, and issues concerning gender and political communication. Women in the political sphere -- and the ways these women handle, and are handled by the media -- is of special concern to Kelley-Romano. Currently, she is working on examining the ways race, class, and gender intersect and affect characterizations and opinions of women in the political sphere. She has published work on newspaper coverage and the public sphere, political cartoons, and crisis rhetoric.