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Communications and Media

American University Experts Available to Comment on Alabama Election Results

WHAT: American University experts are available to comment on the Alabama Senate election and the political landscape in America.

WHERE: In studio, on campus, e-mail, Skype, or telephone.

WHEN: December 12 – ongoing

Experts available:

David Barker, director of American University's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is a nationally recognized expert on campaigns/elections, public opinion, political information/misinformation, political polarization and political representation. His latest book is Representing Red and Blue: How the Culture War Changes the Way Citizens Speak and Politicians Listen. His new book, One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy will be published in 2018.

Richard Benedetto is an adjunct professor in the School of Communication. He is a retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and political columnist for Gannett News Service. He reported on local, state and national government and politics for nearly 40 years and continues to write political commentary.

Capri S. Cafaro, Executive-in-Residence at American University's School of Public Affairs, is former Democratic leader of the Ohio State Senate. Ms. Cafaro is available for interviews on topics related to health care policy, transportation and infrastructure, finance and policy, U.S. foreign policy and Eastern Europe (including Ukraine-Russia conflict), women in politics and leadership, state-federal relationship, campaigns and elections. During her ten years in the Ohio State Senate, Cafaro advocated for economic growth and development, access to health care and victim's rights. Cafaro drew upon her extensive experience in health-care policy and social-service delivery to author Ohio's Medicaid reform law. 

Jennifer Lawless, director of American University's Women and Politics Institute, is a nationally recognized expert on U.S. politics 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 government, 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.

Bob Lehrman is an adjunct professor of Public Communication and an expert on political speeches. Lehrman has served as a speechwriter for dozens of Democratic political figures, including Vice President Al Gore. He is the author of The Political Speechwriter's Companion. He is available to comment on the changing dynamics of political speech and political communication.

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

Molly O'Rourke has more than 15 years' experience in the field of public opinion research, most recently as a partner at Hart Research in Washington, DC. She has directed multiphase qualitative and quantitative research for a variety of issue advocacy and nonprofit organizations, trade associations, political candidates and parties, and media outlets. 

Eric Schnure is an adjunct professor of Public Communication. He is a former speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore and has been called of Washington's "most sought after political humor writers." As an independent speechwriter, his clients include a former president of the United States, other prominent elected officials, Fortune 500 executives, entertainers and more. He is available to comment on the changing dynamics of political speech and political communication.

Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of Public Communication and an affiliate professor of History. His expertise includes American politics, culture and media, strategic communication, the presidency, race relations, the 1960s, and recent American history. 

James Thurber, Distinguished Professor of Government, founder and former 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.