American University Experts Offer Analysis of Presidential Debates

Media contact: 202-885-5950 or [email protected]

Newswise — WHAT: American University experts are available for the commentary and analysis of the presidential debates on Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. WHERE: American University experts are available from Oct. 6 onward for commentary and analysis from the American University campus in Washington, D.C., in-studio, via Skype or telephone.

WHO: Austin Hart, assistant professor in the School of International Service, specializes in the study of political behavior. He is the author of Economic Voting: A Campaign-Centered Theory.

Jennifer Lawless, director of American University’s Women and Politics Institute, is a nationally recognized expert on campaigns and elections, and women’s participation in the political process. Her latest book is Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in the Polarized Era.

Jan Leighley, professor of public affairs, is an expert on American political behavior, racial/ethnic political behavior, voter turnout, and the intersection of media and politics. She is an author of Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality, and Turnout in the United States.

David Lublin, professor of public affairs, is an expert on race and ethnicity, congressional elections, partisanship, redistricting, and electoral systems.

Elizabeth Sherman, assistant professor of public affairs, is an expert on American politics and government, campaigns and elections, and women in politics.

Jordan Tama, assistant professor in the School of International Service, can discuss foreign policy and national security strategy; terrorism; the intelligence community; and the presidency and U.S. Congress.

James Thurber, director of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is a leading expert on campaigns and elections, presidential-congressional relations, and author of Obama in Office and American Gridlock: The Sources, Character and Impact of Political Polarization, among other highly-regarded political books and articles. Watch Prof. Thurber discuss campaign finance and the 2016 elections.

Kenneth A. Ward is a professor of math and statistics who can discuss strategic voter theory and predictions based on what math models find when crunching the numbers from modern U.S. presidential campaigns. Among Ward’s findings are that negative campaigning can help a moderate candidate; opportunistic candidates can strategize by revealing little information; and if voters aren’t well-informed, the moderate candidate can lose.

Prof. Ward says, “More recent models say that majority rule only works when voters are well-informed. We can take this as mathematical evidence for the political science theory which says that anyone who votes should be informed about policy issues and others’ political views.”

Don Williamson is the Managing Director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center and an expert on federal income, estate and gift, corporate and partnership, tax accounting and procedures, income tax credits as well as international tax issues. Williamson can weigh in on Presidential tax returns and the financial disclosures of the 2016 presidential candidates.

Regarding Donald Trump’s taxes Prof. Williamson says, “Whether or not Mr. Trump is as rich as he says he is, his possible use of a perfectly legal tax provision for real estate professionals to reduce his tax liability may at the same time be reducing his chances of becoming our next President.”

Find more AU Election Experts

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

- AU -