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.
- Watch: Vanderbilt political scientists say Bush legacy will likely improve
- Bias against Mormonism may not keep Romney out of White House
- Vanderbilt Poll: Santorum leading Republican Candidate in Tennessee
- Watch: Campaign spending – you haven’t seen anything yet
- Watch: The media’s role in attack ads
- Religious bias still hurdle for presidential candidates, study shows
- View all John Geer stories
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.
- Watch: Battle royale for Republican nomination
- Congress and Obama
- View all Bruce Oppenheimer stories
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.
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
- Watch: And the next president is…
- Domestic partisan politics remain key to presidential election
- Revolution in Middle East subject of Vanderbilt forum
- View all Thomas Schwartz stories
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.
- Watch: Why Congress is so polarized
- Listen: How voters view authority speaks volumes about political views
- View all Marc Hetherington stories
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.
- Watch and read: Reclaiming America’s faith and promise
- Faculty featured at Southern Festival of Books Oct. 14-16
- View all Carol Swain stories
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.
- Watch: The power of polls and the influence they have on lawmaking
- Watch: How to make a political poll fair
- Watch: How media coverage of campaign advertising influences election results
- Watch: The power of a provocative political ad
- Vanderbilt political scientist assists NBC News with midterm election analysis
- View all Joshua Clinton stories
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.
- Watch: Effective lawmaking in Congress – who does it best?
- Political scientist Alan Wiseman to speak
- View all Alan Wiseman stories
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.
- Watch: Consequences of too many political appointees
- Watch: Why President Bush will be remembered more favorably by future generations than he is today
- View all David Lewis stories
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.
- Watch: The role immigration will play though the election cycle
- Watch: What’s wrong with our current immigration policy?
- Watch: Mistakes Republicans are making in attracting Latino voters, especially with the immigration issue
- Watch: Why some Latinos and African Americans seem like ideal Republicans, but don’t vote with the GOP
- Listen: Implicit bias against Latinos affects all immigrants, Vanderbilt research shows
- View all Efrén O. Pérez stories
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.)