Wednesday March 26, 2008

Election Experts

University of Dayton experts and students are available to discuss hot issues surrounding the presidential election including Ohio's role, the youth vote, the foreclosure crisis, voting rights and the economy.

The University of Dayton has a number of faculty experts and students available to comment on the heated presidential race and Ohio's March 4 primary. They can discuss hot campaign issues including the youth vote, the foreclosure crisis, voting rights and Ohio's role in selecting nominees.

Topics include:

 * American Political Culture; Christianity and American Politics

 * American Political Systems, Legislative Politics; Church and State

 * Urban and Southern Politics, Political Parties, Interest Groups

 * Voting Rights and Resulting Lawsuits

 * Voting Behavior, Public Opinion and Political Behavior

 * The Forclosure Crisis

 * Economic Issues

 * Youth in Politics

American Political Culture; Christianity and American Politics

Christopher Duncan, professor and chair of the political science department — Duncan studies American political culture and historical development. He has written about public and social policy and is currently working on a book about Christianity and American politics. He can comment on ideological trends and thinking in the American electorate and between various candidates. Duncan published a two-page column about Ohio being a battleground for a "political holy war" in the Sept. 22, 2006, issue of Commonweal. Duncan can be reached at 937-229-3648 or

American Political Systems, Legislative Politics; Church and State

The Rev. John Putka, S.M., political science lecturer — Putka teaches classes in American political systems, legislative politics and issues of church and state in U.S. politics.

"Right now a number of social conservatives are holding back. But as the conventions near, the running mates are chosen, and the campaign unfolds, my guess is that most will move to McCain, considering it their only choice when confronted with 'the evil of two lessers,'" Putka said. "McCain will win easily in Ohio. My prediction is that Hillary will win in Ohio, even though Obama will have big margins in the areas of the state with large numbers of black voters."

Putka participated in a 2006 election forum organized by the Dayton Daily News and WMUB-FM, Oxford, and attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7-9. Putka offers blunt, colorful political commentary and has been interviewed by FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, The Associated Press, The Washington Times, and The Columbus Dispatch, among others. Putka can be reached at 937-229-2594 or

Urban and Southern Politics, Political Parties, Interest Groups

Nancy Martorano, assistant political science professor — Martorano has conducted research in the areas of urban politics, Southern politics, political parties, interest groups and state legislative electoral politics. She helped write "A Transforming South: Exploring Patterns of State House Seat Contestation," which was published in the American Review of Politics. The San Francisco Chronicle, The Associated Press,, The Plain Dealer and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, among others, have talked to Martorano about state and federal political issues. Martorano can be reached at 937-229-3650 or

Voting Rights and Resulting Lawsuits

Richard Saphire, constitutional law professor — Since 2002, Saphire has served as co-counsel in two federal court voting rights cases, Stewart v. Blackwell challenging Ohio's dual balloting system, and ACLU of Ohio v. Brunner, a pending case challenging Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's and Cuyahoga County's decision to use central count optical scan equipment for the March primary election. Saphire recently co-wrote two scholarly articles on voting rights. He currently teaches a course on civil liberties litigation. The Associated Press, Gongwer News Service and Ohio News Network quoted Saphire after a Stewart v. Blackwell decision. Saphire can be reached at 937-229-2820 or

Voting Behavior, Public Opinion and Political Behavior

Grant Neeley, associate political science professor — Neeley teaches classes on voting behavior, public opinion and political behavior.

About this year's election, Neeley said, "Ohio will again be a pivotal state for determining the presidency. It remains to be seen if the Democratic gains at the state level translate into support for the Democratic nominee in November."

Neeley also has worked at the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati and the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Tennessee. He helped published "Who is Early Voting?: An Individual Level Examination" in the Social Science Journal, "Turnout Differences Among Registered Voters" in  Southeastern Political Review and "The Impact of Early Voting on Turnout: The 1994 Elections in Tennessee" for State and Local Government Review. Neeley can be reached at 937-229-2595 or

The Foreclosure Crisis

Jim Durham, law professor — Durham is a property law expert who can discuss the nation's foreclosure crisis. Durham wrote a three-volume treatise on Ohio real property law for use by practitioners as well as a casebook for use in advanced real estate transactions classes that emphasizes the practical aspects of real estate practice. The Associated Press, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, The Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, and WLW-AM (Cincinnati) have interviewed or quoted him regarding eminent domain. Durham can be reached at 937-229-3228 or

Economic Issues

Richard Stock, director of UD's Business Research Group — Stock has conducted economic impact studies in the public sector and studies to predict the behavior of customers for clients in the private sector. Local and regional media frequently turn to Stock for his observations of the Ohio and regional economies. To reach him, contact Shawn Robinson in  the office of communications at 937-229-3391.

Youth in Politics

Alex Orlowski, junior sociology/political science major — Orlowski is co-author of "Millennials Talk Politics: A Study of College Students Political Engagement", and author of "Television Consumption and Civic Engagement Among 15- to 25-Year-Olds." The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement released both studies, which are available at The Associated Press, The Gayle King Show on Oprah & Friends Radio, Newhouse News, the Dayton Daily News, and Dziennik, a daily newspaper in Poland, have interviewed him.

"Millennials are really hungry to get involved," he said. "They want to be heard, they want to see the effects of their efforts. They want information that is free from partisan spin. They want the facts of the case so they can make their own decisions on issues."

To reach him, contact Cameron Fullam in the office of communications at 937-229-3256

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or