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Experts: Campaigns, Elections, Political Parties and Voting Rights

John Geer: Negative campaign advertising, polling, bias against Mormon candidates, the presidency, elections

Distinguished Professor of Political Science

Geer is an expert on the use and usefulness of negative advertising in political campaigns, with his book In Defense of Negativity: Attack Advertising in Presidential Campaigns the leading text on the issue. His other books include Nominating Presidents: An Evaluation of Voters and Primaries and From Tea Leaves to Opinion Polls: Politicians, Information and Leadership. He served as the editor of The Journal of Politics from 2005 to 2009. He has provided extensive commentary on politics, including television interviews for FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC and NPR and print interviews with The New York Times, USA Today and many others.

Geer is also chair of the Department of Political Science, professor of public policy and education and co-director of the Vanderbilt poll.

Contact: 615-322-6222 · 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Bruce Oppenheimer: Congress, Senate, legislative process, Congressional elections

Professor of Political Science

Oppenheimer is knowledgeable about the workings of the U.S. Congress, including process, elections, development of energy policy in the Congress and the effect of war deaths on elections. Oppenheimer is one of the most-quoted political scientists in the country.

His books include Sizing Up the Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation (with Frances Lee) and Oil and the Congressional Process: The Limits of Symbolic Politics.

Contact: 615-322-6222 · 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Larry Bartels: Public opinion, campaigns and elections, effect of the economy on elections, voter behavior, democracy

May Werthan Shayne Professor of Public Policy and Social Science, Professor of Political Science

Bartels’ research focuses on electoral politics, public opinion and the role of citizens in the policymaking process. Bartels has been quoted in the Washington Post, The New York Times and many other national publications.

He is the author of three books: Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, Campaign Reform: Insights and Evidence and Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice.

Contact: 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Thomas Schwartz: Presidential historian, foreign policy; international relations

Professor of history

Schwartz is an expert on the history of the presidency. He has done extensive research on the making of American foreign policy and can discuss our relationships with Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and U.S. efforts to contain the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. His has done extensive research on the modern presidency and has written Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam and America’s Germany, both published by Harvard University Press. He is currently writing a biography of Henry Kissinger and working on a book about the Cold War. He is co-editor of The Strained Alliance: U.S.- European Relations from Nixon to Carter. Schwartz is also a professor of political science and European Studies.
Contact: 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Marc Hetherington: Political party polarization; presidential elections; trust in government; public opinion polls; media and politics

Professor of Political science

Hetherington can discuss party polarization, presidential elections, political behavior, public opinion polls, media coverage during a campaign and campaign rhetoric. He has done extensive research on how trust in government affects elections and public policy. He has written several books including Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics; Why Trust Matters: Declining Political Trust; and the Demise of American Liberalism.

Contact: 615-322-6222 · 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Carol Swain: Immigration, voting rights law, African American representation in politics

Professor of Political Science; Professor of Law

Swain is an authority on immigration, voting rights law and African American representation in politics. Swain is the editor and contributor to a published book of essays titled Debating Immigration. In the book, Swain talks about the impact of immigration on African Americans. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed book Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress, which won the 1994 Woodrow Wilson prize for the best book on government published in the United States, and The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration. Her most recent book is Be The People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise. Swain discusses her belief that America’s departure from the founding fathers’ Judeo-Christian roots has come at a cost politically, socially and morally. Swain also serves on the National Council on the Humanities. Swain has extensive print, TV and radio experience.

Contact: 615-322-6222 · 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Joshua Clinton: Congress, campaigns and elections, use and misuse of statistics in politics

Associate Professor of Political Science

Clinton uses statistics to better understand issues dealing with elections and the conduct of Congress. He developed one of the leading methods for analyzing legislator role call behavior and studies the posturing of legislators and lawmaking behavior.

Contact: 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Alan Wiseman: The effectiveness of legislators, political institutions, bureaucracy, government regulations

Associate Professor of Political Science and of Law

Wiseman is writing a book on the causes and consequences of legislative effectiveness in the U.S. Congress. He also studies regulation in different product and service markets.

His first book was The Internet Economy: Access, Taxes and Market Structure.

Contact: 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


David Lewis: Presidential appointments, government failures, the federal bureaucracy

Professor of Political Science and of Law

Lewis is the author of an award-winning book on presidential appointments, The Politics of Presidential Appointments: Political Control and Bureaucratic Performance. He has taught courses about government performance under crisis and follows presidential cabinet appointees closely.

His first book was Presidents and the Politics of Agency Design: Political Insulation in the United States Government Bureaucracy.

Lewis is also vice chair of the Department of Political Science.

Contact: 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website



Efrén O. Pérez: Race, ethnicity and politics, public opinion, immigration

Pérez studies the public opposition to immigration and other aspects of political psychology involving race and ethnicity. He is a former media relations expert for political consulting firms and now an assistant professor of political science. His upcoming book is titled In the Blink of an Eye: How Race Colors the Politics of Immigration.

Contact: 615-322-6222 · 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website


Cindy Kam: Influencing voters, gender and politics, public opinion

Associate Professor of Political Science

Kam looks at the issues that influence voting and also other types of political participation such as petition signing, yard signs and volunteering for campaigns. She is the director of Vanderbilt’s Research on Individuals, Politics and Society Lab, which conducts experiments via opinion surveys. She has studied issues including the feasibility of a woman being elected president. She has co-written two books, Us Against Them: Ethnocentric Foundations of American Opinion (with Donald R. Kinder) and Modeling and Interpreting Interactive Hypothesis in Regression Analysis (with Robert J. Franzese Jr.)

Contact: 24/7 News & Communications: 615-322-2706 · Email · Website

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