Faculty Experts: 2022 Midterm Elections – USC News & Events

Early voting is underway, and South Carolina voters will make decisions for many major races, including governor, US Senate, US House of Representatives and even two proposed state constitutional amendments. The University of South Carolina’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs has compiled a list of faculty experts.

To schedule interviews, please contact the agent listed below. Direct all other questions to Alexis Watts, [email protected]


Public Opinion, Political Polls and Polls: Robert Oldendick is a political science professor and an expert on politics, elections and polls in America and South Carolina. He may discuss public opinion, political opinion polls, and poll and poll methods and responses, including the impact of new technology on non-response.
Message contact: Bryan Gentry, [email protected]

Jacob Long is an assistant professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The big question this year is whether the election will repeat the same mistakes as in the last election. As an expert in political communication, he can talk about the data science behind polls – how data is analyzed, how it is shared and what you make of it. Long can also speak on other topics at the intersection of media and politics, including the correlation between news coverage and poll results and how political comedy shows like The Daily Show are affecting news consumption.
Message contact: J. Scott Parker, [email protected]

Charles Bierbauer, former dean of the College of Information and Communications, is a former political reporter and White House correspondent for CNN, where he covered presidential campaigns from 1984 to 2000. He has been sought out by national and regional media for his insightful commentary on political campaigns.
Message contact: Alexis Watts, [email protected]

Racial and ethnic politics: Todd Shaw is an Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies. He is an expert on American race and ethnic politics, African American politics, city and local politics, and civic participation. He and several co-editors have written a book for NYU Press on African American politics in the post-Obama era. He explores issues of African American attitudes, ideology, voting behavior, and civic engagement, but has a broader exposure to American voting patterns and public policy. He is past President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. He joined the faculty of UofSC in 2003 and co-authored Uneven Roads: An Introduction to Racial and Ethnic Politics in 2015.
Message contact: Bryan Gentry, [email protected]

Activist groups, social media and voting: Candice Edrington is an assistant professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Polls continue to show that the economy and inflation are high on voters’ minds, but several other issues are also vying for voters’ attention – racism, immigration, global warming, foreign policy and more. Edrington’s research examines the intersections of strategic communication, social movements, social media, activism, and advocacy through the lens of public relations. She analyzes the main goals of social movements and how they communicate them not only to the participants in the movement but also to those outside the movement by looking at the messaging strategies used on social media platforms and other forms of digital technology. Edrington can discuss how activist groups are working to mobilize voters through social media.
Message contact: Alexis Watts, [email protected]

Social influence on political behavior: Elizabeth Connors, Assistant Professor of Political Science, examines how people’s social environment influences their political values, opinions and behaviors. Some of her recent research focuses on political anger and its role in polarization. She may also comment on “social desirability bias,” in which polls are skewed by people responding to polls based on social factors or pressure and then voting differently.
Message contact: Bryan Gentry, [email protected]

State government, parties, campaigns and polarization: Josh Meyer-Gutbrod is an associate professor of political science and researches the impact of national party polarization on the various levels of elected institutions within the American system. Conventional wisdom holds that political polarization looks the same at national and local levels, but his research examines differences driven by competition between national agendas and different local concerns. He can polarize when it comes to state governments, campaigns and elections.
Message contact: Bryan Gentry, [email protected]

Voting behavior and political geography: David Darmofal, associate professor of political science, conducts research on political behavior, political geography, American political development, and political methodology.
Message contact: Bryan Gentry, [email protected]

Gender in Politics: Katelyn Stauffer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, focuses her research on issues related to gender and politics, representation, electoral politics, and public opinion. Broadly speaking, her research examines how gender shapes US political behavior. She may address issues related to women voters, women candidates and other forms of women’s political participation.
Message contact: Bryan Gentry, [email protected]


Joseph von Nessen, a research economist in the Research Department at the Darla Moore School of Business, conducts research and comparative research related to South Carolina’s economy. Polls show that the economy and inflation are high on voters’ minds. Inflation is still at a 40-year high and voters are being squeezed between higher consumer goods prices and interest rates that have been raised in hopes of lowering those prices. In addition to economic impact studies and forecast data, he produces the annual South Carolina Economic Outlook. Von Nessen, a South Carolina native, is able to speak about the South Carolina economy and the economic drivers and industrial clusters in the state’s regions, particularly since the Great Recession of 2008.
Message Contact: Marjorie Duffie, [email protected]

Douglas Woodward is Professor of Economics and Director of Research at the Darla Moore School of Business. He is an expert on the US economy, particularly South Carolina. A native of Rochester, New York, he has taught at the university since 1987. He has conducted extensive economic impact studies related to South Carolina and companies doing business in the state of Palmetto. Woodward has extensive experience working with national media and is able to speak on South Carolina’s economy, particularly as it relates to the election cycle.
Message Contact: Marjorie Duffie, [email protected]


Pictures from South Carolina: South Carolina Political Collections at Hollings Library provides an excellent visual backdrop for media interviews. The library houses manuscripts, electronic records, and audiovisual materials documenting contemporary government and politics, and its collections include those of South Carolina leaders and political parties.
Message Contact: Nicole Carrico, [email protected]

Kennedy Greenhouse Studio: The Kennedy Greenhouse Studio is located directly on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe and just two blocks from the State House. It is a turnkey production studio capable of broadcasting live video feeds (prices vary based on airtime and desired connection). The opening times are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. After-hours times are available upon request. As an educational studio, priority is given to student shows and class activities. For more information on equipment, pricing and reservations, please contact Britt Hogg, [email protected]

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