UofSC faculty experts: 2020 S.C. Senate, congressional races and presidential election

The University of South Carolina’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs has compiled a list of faculty experts who can discuss topics relevant to the South Carolina Senate and congressional races and the presidential election. 

To arrange interviews, contact the staff member listed with entry below. Direct questions to Carol Ward, ward8@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-7549. 



Public opinion, political polling and surveys:

Robert Oldendick is a political science professor and expert on American and South Carolina politics, elections and polling. He can discuss public opinion, political polling and survey and polling methods and response, including the effect that new technologies have on nonresponse. Oldendick also can offer insights into the race between Jaime Harrison and Lindsey Graham for South Carolina's seat in the U.S. Senate.,
News contact: Bryan Gentry, brgentry@sc.edu.

Jacob Long is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. An expert in political communication, he can discuss the data science behind polling – how data is analyzed, how it’s shared and what to make of it. Long can also speak on other issues at the intersection of media and politics, including the correlation between news coverage and polling performance and how political comedy shows such as The Daily Show influence news consumption.
News contact: Rebekah Friedman, rebekahb@email.sc.edu, 803-576-7270.

Racial and ethnic politics: Todd Shaw is an associate professor of political science and African American Studies. He is an expert in American racial and ethnic politics, African American politics, urban and local politics and citizen participation. He and several co-editors are completing a book for NYU Press on African American politics in the post-Obama era (slated for 2020). He researches questions of African American attitudes, ideology, voting behavior and civic engagement but can speak to American voting patterns and public policy more broadly. He is a past president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. He joined the UofSC faculty in 2003 and co-wrote Uneven Roads: An Introduction to Racial and Ethnic Politics in 2015.
News contact: Bryan Gentry, brgentry@sc.edu.

Voting behavior and political geography: David Darmofal, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, researches political behavior, political geography,  American political development and political methodology. 
News contact: Bryan Gentry, brgentry@sc.edu.

Gender in politics: Katelyn Stauffer, an assistant professor of political science, focuses her research on topics related to gender and politics, representation, electoral politics and public opinion.Broadly, her research examines how gender shapes American political behavior. She can address questions related to women voters, women candidates and other forms of political participation by women. She is also affiliated faculty with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.  
News contact: Bryan Gentry, brgentry@sc.edu.

Social influence on political behaviors: Elizabeth Connors, an assistant professor of political science, studies how people’s social surroundings influence their political values, opinions and behaviors.  She can comment on social desirability bias in polling and how that might affect the accuracy of results. 
News contact: Bryan Gentry, brgentry@sc.edu.

Presidential politics, media coverage and debate strategies and analysis: Charles Bierbauer, founding dean of the College of Information and Communications from 2002 to 2017, is a former political reporter and White House correspondent for CNN. He covered presidential campaigns from 1984 to 2000. Since joining the university, he has been sought by national and regional media for his insightful commentary and keen observations about political campaigns and South Carolina’s political landscape ever since.
News contact: 
Rebekah Friedman, rebekahb@email.sc.edu, 803-576-7270.



Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist in the Division of Research at the Darla Moore School of Business, conducts research and comparative research related to South Carolina’s economy. In addition to economic impact studies and forecasting data, he compiles the annual economic outlook for South Carolina. Von Nessen, a native South Carolinian, can discuss South Carolina’s economy and the economic drivers and industry clusters throughout the state’s regions, particularly since the Great Recession in 2008.
News contact: Leigh-Anne Lawrence, leigh-anne.lawrence@moore.sc.edu, 803-777-4306.



Social media insights: What are South Carolinians saying about political figures, events and issues? How do those conversations compare to the rest of the nation? The university’s Social Media Insights Lab uses artificial intelligence-powered software to study online conversations around a variety of topics. Kaitlyn Park, Insights Lab manager, can provide analytics on public sentiment, recurring topics of conversation, social media influencers and more.
News contact: Rebekah Friedman, rebekahb@mailbox.sc.edu, or 803-576-7270.

South Carolina visuals: South Carolina Political Collections in the Hollings Library offers an excellent visual backdrop for media interviews. The library is home to manuscripts, electronic records and audiovisual materials documenting contemporary government and politics, and its collections include those of South Carolina leaders and political parties.
News contact: Kathy Dowell, kdowell@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-2029.

Kennedy Greenhouse Studio: Located just off the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe and only two blocks from the State House, Kennedy Greenhouse Studio is a turn-key production studio capable of sending live video feed (rates vary based on air time and connection requested). Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hour times are available upon request. As an educational studio, precedence is given to student shows and class activities. For more information about equipment, rates and reservations, visit the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio website or contact Britt Hogg, bhogg@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-3248.

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