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Faculty experts at DePaul University discuss Election Day

Scholars comment on voting rights, trends and history

Experts at DePaul University are available to discuss presidential, national and local elections. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
CHICAGO — As voters prepare for Election Day, DePaul University faculty experts are available discuss how the presidential, national and local elections relate to various topics in U.S. history, politics and culture. Their expertise includes political marketing, the millennial vote, the psychology of leadership, voting rights and civil rights. Experts include:

Election process and voter turnout
Erik Tillman, Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
 Tillman is an expert on elections, primaries and public opinion. “Donald Trump as a candidate has undermined democratic norms by alleging electoral fraud and suggesting that he will not accept the election outcome, while we have found ourselves in the unusual position of dealing with suspected foreign interference in the campaign. After this election, it will be crucial for leaders from both parties — and especially the losing party — to affirm their commitment to the fundamental norms and practices on which democracy depends,” said Tillman. He adds: “The final challenge for each party will be mobilizing its voter base to turn out and vote. While the evidence points to a Clinton victory, control of the Senate is still up for grabs.” Tillman can be reached at

Nick Kachiroubas, Associate Teaching Professor, School of Public Service.  An expert on leadership and its relationship to politics, policy and the presidency, Kachiroubas has served in a wide range of elected and supportive roles in federal, state and local governments. “There are many important decisions to be made on Election Day. While the media focuses much attention on the U.S. presidential race, important decision-makers at the federal, state and local levels will be decided upon in this upcoming election. These decision-makers can have a tremendous impact on the overall success or failure of the next president, the governor and important issues affecting your everyday life.” Kachiroubas has published a guide on the presidential election process, online at Kachiroubas can be reached at 312-362-7649 or​.

Wayne Steger, Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Steger can speak about presidential nominations, election forecasting, media coverage of presidential campaigns, voting behavior and campaign finance. “The intense polarization of the political parties and the strength of partisan identification means that the vast majority of people have already made their decision and know who they will vote for this fall. The big questions are who will vote or stay home, and what will this election mean for the party coalitions,” said Steger. He can be reached at 773-325-4240 or  

R. Craig Sautter, Adjunct Faculty, School for New Learning. Sautter is author of three books on presidential conventions and elections ( For more than two decades, he has written and produced radio and TV ads for candidates running for Congress and other offices across the nation. "This presidential election is among the most fascinating in U.S. history, matching one of the most politically experienced candidates ever against one of the least prepared and most flamboyant. Yet going into the final week, the race seems to be neck and neck. Why? The reasons are both personal and institutional, including a reaction against an ‘entitled’ political class that is prospering while much of the nation is economically hard-pressed. The end game is likely to be wild." Sautter can be reached at

Michael L. Mezey, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Mezey is an expert in congressional and presidential elections and processes, public policymaking and the Electoral College. He can discuss current polling, the Electoral College, and the electoral coalitions that both Clinton and Trump need to assemble and energize in order to prevail. He is also interested in the larger meaning of the Trump candidacy for the process of presidential selection. Mezey is an editorial board member of Legislative Studies Quarterly and has published books on Congress and the U.S. presidency. Mezey can be reached at 773-896-6766 or  

Youth vote
Zachary Cook, Adjunct Faculty, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and School for New Learning. Cook’s academic focus includes the politics of the millennial youth vote, campaign finance, voter turnout and political parties and polarization. He can discuss day-to-day tactics and news narratives of the 2016 presidential campaign and its broader democratic significance. Cook can be reached at 773-325-8679 or

Psychology and leadership
Jaclyn M. Jensen, Associate Professor of Management, Driehaus College of Business. “While being hostile and negative might be very flashy, research suggests that type of leadership style does much more harm than good,” said Jensen. “There are also issues of honesty, openness and transparency when you want to occupy the highest office in the land,” she said. An organizational psychologist, Jensen researches negative employee experiences at work, with a focus on employee mistreatment, conflict, destructive relationships and hostile work conditions. Jensen can discuss how candidates’ personalities, quirks and traits might make them effective in the workplace and how they use these qualities to persuade voters. She can be reached at 312-362-6852 or

Race and politics
Valerie Johnson, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “The presidential election season has surfaced numerous fissures in America, most notably those related to race and inequality. Unfortunately, once again we have missed the opportunity to have an open and honest dialogue about race, and incessantly pitting groups against one another impedes our ability to tackle enduring problems we all share in common and whose solution will require all of our energies. Race is America’s cancer,” said Johnson. She is an expert on U.S. politics, African-American politics and urban politics, multiracial political alliances and the politics of urban education. Johnson can be reached at 773-325-4731 or

Christina R. Rivers, Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Rivers teaches and researches African-American politics and political thought, as well as civil rights and voting rights law. She is the author of “The Congressional Black Caucus, Minority Voting Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court” and has written about the implications of mass incarceration on minority voting rights. Her current work is on mass incarceration, particularly felon disenfranchisement laws and prison-based gerrymanders. Rivers has also taken an interest in prison education. She recently taught a course on law and politics at Stateville Correctional Center as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program at DePaul. Rivers can be reached at 773-325-4593 or

Latino Vote
Maria De Moya, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication, College of Communication. 
De Moya studies how immigrants are treated in the media, as well as how ethnic organizations communicate. She can discuss how public relations campaigns target ethnic communities, specifically Latinos. De Moya believes presidential candidates are portraying Latinos as “saints or sinners,” polar opposite stereotypes that will alienate many Latino voters. She can speak to issues that matter to Latinos and effective messages that will resonate with voters. De Moya is fluent in Spanish and can be reached at 312-362-6099 or

Political marketing
Bruce Newman, Professor of Marketing, Driehaus College of Business.
"The 2016 race presents two different but equally challenging marketing obstacles for each of the presidential candidates to overcome, much like an organization in crisis trying to hold onto its customers with a convincing public relations pitch,” said Newman. “In the end, each candidate will need to drive the thinking of voters in a direction that suits their own respective ‘niches’ in the political marketplace, where public opinion is the currency," said Newman. An expert in the application of marketing technology to politics, Newman’s book “The Marketing Revolution in Politics” explores how recent U.S. presidential campaigns have adopted the latest marketing techniques, learning from the winning formulas President Barack Obama’s campaigns pioneered. Newman was a communication adviser to the senior staff in the Clinton White House in 1995 and 1996. He is the author of several books on the subject, including “The Marketing of the President,” and is editor of the Journal of Political Marketing. Newman can be reached at 312-362-5186 or

Influence of journalism, communication on elections
Bruce Evensen, Professor of Journalism, College of Communication. Evensen teaches a course called “The Press and the Presidency” and can speak to the role of mass media in presidential campaigns, including how candidates attempt to use the media and how media use the candidates in the presidential race to garner page views. He can be reached at or 312-362-7616. 

Paul Booth, Associate Professor of Media and Cinema Studies, College of Computing and Digital Media. Booth is an expert in the use of social media and how candidates use it to reach their fans. “One of the most effective uses of social media in this election is to garner fans,” said Booth. “Candidates will have to appeal to different groups at different times.” Booth can be reached at 312-362-7753 or 

Benjamin Epstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.  Epstein researches how political communication has changed in the U.S. over time and the intersection of the Internet and politics today. “Political communication changes have created greater potential for a more people to gather, create, and share political information, but it has also created new challenges for both the creators and consumers of political information,” said Epstein. In a forthcoming book, "The Political Communication Cycle," Epstein explores the technological, behavioral and political roles that interact in the recurring process of political communication change. “The current period of rapid political communication change actually has a long history that can help provide insights into how, why and when various political actors innovate their strategies and where our political communication practices might be headed,” he said. Epstein can be reached at​.

Michael Miller, Associate Professor of Economics, Driehaus College of Business. An expert in the areas of monetary and fiscal policy decisions, Miller believes the key to economic success going forward is economic growth, not income redistribution. “Government fiscal policy must be devised so as to allow the American economic engine to grow at its full potential, which will be rooted most firmly in the encouragement of entrepreneurship,” said Miller. “The funding of social programs and having workers realize the fruits of their hard work cannot occur without this growth.” Miller can be reached at 312-362-8477 or

Margaret Storey, Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. 
Storey is a historian who researches the Civil War and American history. “There are interesting parallels between the pre-Civil War political environment and our own,” she said. “Our system is built on compromise, but when compromise doesn’t happen, politics — or the art of the possible — itself can break down. Leading up to the Civil War, similarly intransigent positions forced changes in the party structure and the way that politics was conducted, and those changes had dramatic, and often unanticipated, consequences.” She can be reached at 773-325-7482 or


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