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News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager, (515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777



Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986

Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720

NEWS TIP: Iowa State experts offer insight on upcoming presidential election

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University offers several political experts with a gamut of experience and research on elections. From timely topics such as the Internet's impact on this year's presidential race to advertising trends to the "Nader Factor" -- Iowa State faculty members study the bipartisan pulse of the state and nation.

ISU experts:

Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of political science. Schmidt specializes in American politics and presidential elections. He is a frequent media source known for insightful and witty commentary on American politics and international political issues. Schmidt hosts "Dr. Politics," a weekly political call-in show on WOI-AM, a National Public Radio affiliate. He is the lead author of the most widely adopted introductory college textbook in American government, "American Government and Politics Today (2003-2004) -- Wadsworth Publishing. He can be reached at (515) 294-3825, or

Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. Bystrom has done extensive research and writing on issues related to women and politics, political advertising, and media coverage of male and female political leaders, including presidential spouses. She is co-editor of "The Millennium Election: Communication in the 2000 Campaign" (2003), lead author of a book on female and male political candidate communication to be published this year, and co-director of a national research project on the 2004 campaign. She currently serves as chair of the Political Communication Division of the National Communication Association. She can be reached at (515) 294-4185, or

James McCormick, professor and chair of political science. McCormick specializes in American foreign policy and international politics. He can discuss how the situation in Iraq and U.S. foreign policy decisions will play a role in this year's election. He is the author of "American Foreign Policy and Process" (fourth edition, July 2004) and co-editor of "The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy: Insights and Evidence" (fourth edition). He can be reached at (515) 294-8682, or

Ray Dearin, professor of English and political science. Dearin studies speech communication and effective speaking. He can talk about the rhetoric of political and campaign speeches. He will be writing papers on both of the convention acceptance speeches by Sen. John Kerry and President George W. Bush. He will study the situational constraints placed on each candidate (such as mentions of Iraq and the economy) and also compare and contrast each speech to traditional acceptance speeches for each party. He is also an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention. He can be reached at (515) 294-4826, or

Daniela Dimitrova, professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Dimitrova's research focuses on political communication in the United States and Europe. She also does research on the use of the Internet to communicate with citizens and key constituencies and on media coverage of the Iraq war. She is currently working on a grant about e-government issues. She can be reached at (515) 294-4435, or

Jose Amaya, assistant professor of English. He was the 2004 caucus chair for the Ames, Iowa, 3-1 precinct. He was a delegate to both the district and state Democratic conventions. He also works with the National Council for La Raza on bipartisan Latino issues. He also consults on the DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation pending in the U.S. Congress to clear up immigration status issues. He is past-president of the board of directors of Humanities Iowa and is working on a book about American citizenship. He has been part of two U.S. Senate Hispanic leadership summits and has given presentations on Hispanic education to the Hispanic Congressional Caucus. He also served on the Lt. Governor's Committee on Diversity and was vice chairperson of the Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs. He can be reached at (515) 294-3368, or

Robert Baum, associate professor of philosophy and religious studies. Baum specializes in religion and politics, particularly issues related to the separation of church and state and the rights of religious minorities. He also studies Islam and other religions of the African continent. He coordinates Iowa State's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' international area programs and directs the African studies program. He is a member of the Speakers Bureau of Humanities Iowa. He can be reached at (515) 294-0052, or

Patricia Hamm, assistant professor of political science and U.S. Latino/a Studies. Hamm is a founding member of The Mexican/Mexican-American Dialogue, a non-partisan forum of Mexican-origin researchers and practitioners from the United States and Mexico dedicated to discuss and analyze the national, international and transnational interests of the Mexican people. She studies immigration, American foreign policy (especially U.S.-Mexico relations), and ethnic politics. She can address the importance of the Hispanic vote in the upcoming election and the importance of immigration to that voting interest. She can be reached at (515) 294-6047, or (Hamm will return to campus Aug. 15).

Kimberly Conger, assistant professor of political science. Conger studies the impact of Evangelical Christians and "religious conservatives" on the Republican Party. She has written studies on "Evangelicals: Outside the Beltway," "Contract with the American Family," "New Evangelicals in Congress," and "Spreading Out and Digging In: Christian Conservatives and State Republican Parties." She also studies U.S. elections and public opinion, women and politics, and American political movements. She can be reached at (515) 294-3403, or

Robert Lowry, associate professor of political science. Lowry studies campaign finance law and contribution patterns, political polling and research methods used in polling. He also studies political parties and their interaction with interest groups, political economics, and nonprofit organizations. He can be reached at (515) 294-2455, or

Quick look

Iowa State experts can comment on the upcoming presidential election and political hot topics.