Newswise — For stories about the 2010 midterm election, consider the following sources from The Johns Hopkins University. Listed with each source is a brief description of his or her area of expertise.

Race and Politics, the 2010 Midterm Elections, and Beyond: Lester Spence, assistant professor of political scienceSpence says that race will play an important role in the upcoming midterm. While some argue that the Democratic Party may lose control of Congress, others argue that black voters can potentially turn the electoral tide. But Spence has a subtly different take. “We’re beginning to see an effort to mobilize black citizens by President Obama and other black elites," Spence said. "But there are real questions as to whether this effort will lead to high black turnout, in as much as black unemployment and foreclosure rates are extremely high. They support the president tremendously, but many of them have yet to see significant gains under an Obama administration.”

Spence’s areas of expertise include black politics, race in popular culture, public opinion, political behavior, and the legitimacy of the American courts in the wake of the 2000 presidential election. Spence, author of the forthcoming Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics, has appeared on National Public Radio, has served as a source for news stories and offered commentary in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Detroit Free Press (among others), and

How the Press Treats Women and Men Candidates Erika Falk, program director of the Master of Arts in Communication at Johns HopkinsFalk says that despite the fact that we see women candidates in print and on TV on a daily basis, the coverage isn't as comprehensive for them as it is for their man competitors. Her research has shown that stories about female candidates are shorter, less substantive and tend to emphasize their physical appearance and families when such things are not mentioned about male candidates. “Historically, we’ve associated masculinity with leadership,” Falk was quoted as saying in a New York Times story on Oct. 21. “If you’re a woman politician, it makes pretty good sense to come off in a stereotypically masculine way.” Her book Women for President: Media Bias in Nine Campaigns (University of Illinois Press, 2010), analyzes gender bias in press coverage of the presidential campaigns of Victoria Woodhull (who ran in 1872), Belva Lockwood (1884), Margaret Chase Smith (1964), Shirley Chisholm (1972), Patricia Schroeder (1988), Lenora Fulani (1988), Elizabeth Dole (2000), Carol Moseley Braun (2004), and Hillary Clinton (2008).

Foreign Policy and the ElectionJohns Hopkins can offer numerous sources at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) who can speak to reporters about foreign policy and the election.

Health Care and the Midterm Election Brad Herring, assistant professor in Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public HealthThe March 2010 Affordable Care Act is the biggest change to the healthcare system since the Medicare program was created in the 1960s. The lengthy healthcare reform debate was very partisan with ultimately no Republicans voting in favor of the final legislation and public opinion hovering just below 50 percent in favor of the law. Brad Herring is available to discuss the policy debate surrounding healthcare reform, the use of healthcare as a polarizing issue leading up to the midterm elections, and the likely impact of projected Republican gains on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions. Herring is a health economist whose research focuses on issues related to private and public health insurance coverage. He served for a year with the White House Council of Economic Advisers before arriving at Johns Hopkins, and he now works with the media to help explain various healthcare issues.

Health Care ReformDouglas Hough, assistant professor of the business of health, Johns Hopkins Carey Business SchoolHough has been a research economist at the American Medical Association, a manager in the health care consulting division of Coopers & Lybrand, and a partner in two health care strategy consulting firms. He is a frequent speaker and author on health care issues as they relate to physicians. He is co-editor of the three-volume set The Business of Healthcare, published by Praeger. Hough is writing a book, tentatively titled, Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare: What Behavioral Economics Can Tell Us About Health Care and Health Care Reform. Hough earned an MS and a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin and a BS in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Impact of the Mortgage CrisisCelso Brunetti, assistant professor, Johns Hopkins Carey Business SchoolBrunetti is available to discuss the impact of the current mortgage crisis and the effects of the financial turmoil in general, on the election. He can also talk about financial reform and the banking crisis. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of London.

Business and the Presidential CampaignPhillip H. Phan, professor of management, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Phan can address a number of business-related topics, including mergers and acquisitions; strategic alliances; innovation and entrepreneurship; the airline industry, software, and forestry industries; telecommunications and media; and corporate governance. Phan has consulted for numerous organizations including the World Bank, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, Ernst & Young, and Singapore Airlines, and he is a regular expert contributor to major media outlets around the world. He earned a PhD in strategic management from the University of Washington. Phan's blog is

Embracing cynicism in the face of political posturingBenjamin Ginsberg, professor of political scienceIf you hate politics, you aren't alone. In his book, The American Lie: Government by the People and Other Political Fables (Paradigm Publishers, July 2007), Johns Hopkins political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg suggests that embracing one's inner cynic is important for keeping political rhetoric at bay. Politics is not about truth, justice and principle, Ginsberg asserts. Rather, he says, it's about money, power and status. Ginsberg argues that politicians pretend to fight for principle in order to conceal their true selfish motives. Ginsberg encourages citizens to become "realistically cynical" in their participation in the election process, to think outside the ballot box and find new ways to act on behalf of their own individual interests and the greater public good. And if voters do make it to the polls, Ginsberg's advice is, "When in doubt, vote them out." Details on the book are online at

Local and statewide elections in MarylandMatthew Crenson, professor of political scienceFor stories concerning Maryland's political campaigns, especially the First Congressional District contest between incumbent Frank Kratovil and Andy Harris and the race for governor, Matthew Crenson is well-known by reporters as a go-to source. A native of Baltimore, Crenson has been studying local and state politics for more than 30 years.

Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at on automatic E-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.