From daily developments on the stump to in-depth analysis of campaign issues, UWM faculty members can provide expertise on a range of topics related to the 2020 election.

The Campaign

These political science faculty members can talk about the 2020 election in general as well as the topics specified below.

Kathleen Dolan, women in politics, political participation and electoral and legislative politics
Dolan can answer questions and provide analysis on the campaign, including the impact of the record number of women candidates in the presidential race. The distinguished professor of political science can also talk about the gender gap in voting, public opinion, and how gender stereotypes might affect women candidates.

Thomas Holbrook, voter behavior, political campaigns and forecasting national elections
Holbrook can also speak about what kind of impact a political convention can have on a presidential campaign both regionally and nationally. A distinguished professor of political science, Holbrook is the author of “Do Campaigns Matter?” and “Altered States: Changing Populations, Changing Parties, and the Transformation of the American Political Landscape.”

Hong Min Park, Congress
Park’s research and teaching interests include the U.S. Congress, political parties, and American political institutions in general. He is an associate professor of political science.


Stanislav Dobrev, Trump’s base
Dobrev’s research interests include business and corporate strategy, organizational change, managerial incentives, and entrepreneurship. The professor of strategic management can speak to how President Trump’s entrepreneurial background shows up in his governing management style, and why the president’s unorthodox behavior and nonconformist communication appeals to his base.

Sang-Yeon Kim, civility, persuasion, diversity
Kim’s expertise lies in intercultural communication, diversity management, persuasion and social influence. The associate professor of communication can describe methods to promote intercultural attitudes, and also discuss political correctness and how people react to it.

Blain Neufeld, Trump and political rhetoric
Neufeld works on public reasoning and religious and moral pluralism, as well as the relationship between economic inequality and political freedom. The associate professor of philosophy can speak to the nature of President Trump’s political rhetoric, especially with respect to the country’s growing religious and cultural diversity, and the president’s appeal to economically disenfranchised voters.


John Heywood, older workers, labor, public sector employees
Heywood is an expert in the economics of personnel. The distinguished professor of economics examines topics including performance pay, earnings discrimination, the labor market for older workers, public sector labor markets and the economics of trade unions.

Kundan Kishor, monetary policy, housing market
Kishor researches national monetary policies, including monetary policy in emerging economies. The economics professor can speak about how federal and state economic policy, along with market behavior, can affect business decision-making and drive consumer-spending decisions. He can also talk about what the housing market tells us about the economy.

Rebecca Neumann, international trade, national debt, economic policy
Specializing in international finance and macroeconomics, Neumann is also interested personal finance and financial literacy. The economics professor can talk about the national debt and the performance of the U.S. economy overall. She can weigh in on topics including monetary policy, interest rates, unemployment, GDP and inflation.

Kevin Spellman, economic policy, impact on financial markets
Spellman is a senior lecturer of finance and director of the Investment Management Certificate Program in the Lubar School of Business. He can discuss how the Trump administration’s economic policies affect the economy and financial markets. A former analyst, portfolio manager and director of research, he consults for various sell-side and buy-side investment firms in the areas of the economic outlook, behavioral finance, asset pricing, investment strategy and quantitative investments.


Jenny Kehl, water security and water policy
Kehl conducts research in the political economy of water, including water security, water policy and transboundary water governance. An associate professor of freshwater sciences, Kehl can talk about the effect of climate change on water usage, water rights and water scarcity and safety.

James Price, drinking water treatment and water resources
As a post-doctoral fellow, Price worked for about three years as an economist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before leaving in early 2019. The associate professor of freshwater sciences can speak about drinking water treatment, the valuation of water resources, source-water protection and residential water demand.

Foreign Relations and Trade

Robert Beck, foreign policy
Beck is an associate vice chancellor and associate professor of political science. His research interests include international relations, use of force, international law and foreign policy. Beck is working on a new edition of the book International Law and the Use of Force: Beyond the U.N. Charter Paradigm.

Hamid Mohtadi, trade policy, impact of tariffs on trade, income inequality
Mohtadi researches issues including monetary policy, trade and income distribution. An economics professor, Mohtadi can discuss trade policies and impacts of tariffs on international trade; U.S. income inequality since World War II; and the relationship between economic transparency and corruption. He also studies the development of North African and Middle Eastern economies.

Shale Horowitz, U.S.-China relations, international trade and finance
A political science professor, Horowitz conducts research on international and ethnic conflict as well as the politics of international trade and finance. He can discuss the following: U.S.-China relations; international trade policy and disputes; international terrorism, East Asian security (China, Korea, Japan); Eurasian conflicts (Arab-Iranian, Arab-Israeli, India-Pakistan, Russia-Ukraine conflicts); and nuclear proliferation.

Health Care

Scott Adams, health care policy, labor
Adams served as a senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2008-09 under both Republican and Democratic administrations. A professor and chair of economics, Adams can address efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and assess how policy may impact the unemployment rate.

Mustafa Hussein, Affordable Care Act, health care costs, minimum wage
Hussein is an assistant professor of public health whose research focuses on labor policies and its effects on health, particularly in urban areas. Hussein also studies health insurance policy, including the Affordable Care Act and its effects on families’ financial well-being, as well as factors that contribute to health disparities. He can also answer questions related to minimum wage policies and insurance policy reform.

Barbara Zabawa, health care costs and reform
A clinical assistant professor in health sciences, Zabawa has experience as a consultant, consumer advocate, health lawyer, and in-house counsel to a large health insurer. She can speak on health care law and reform efforts, trends in health care costs and the ability of political candidates to communicate on these issues. She can comment on any health care lawsuits that may be in the news.


Rachel Ida Buff, history, deportation policy, immigrant rights
Buff is an immigration historian who can discuss contemporary and historical immigrant populations in Wisconsin and across the United States. Her professional expertise focuses on the histories of deportation policy and immigrant rights. The history professor also writes about the intersections of mass media, public policy and international law. Her upcoming book is A is for Asylum Seeker: A Glossary of Terms for People on the Move.

Public Opinion & the Media

Xiaoxia Cao, impact of social media
Cao’s research interests include media and public opinion, and the impact of social media on political participation. An associate professor of journalism, Cao can answer questions about public opinion polls and the role of social media in elections.

Maria Haigh, effects of misinformation
Haigh studies the effects of misinformation and methods for fighting it. Her work has found that methods used in the Ukraine and in European countries often forecast what will happen in the United States. An associate professor of information studies, Haigh can talk about why she thinks that the most common counterattack of political information – thorough fact-checking of stories – isn’t working. She can address the tactics perpetrators use to encourage sharing.

Margaret Hankenson, media coverage and debates
Hankenson’s research interests include media coverage of the presidency, including coverage of social media use and false or misleading statements made by candidates and elected officials. The associate professor of political science can answer questions and provide analysis of media coverage of primary and general election debates and the impact media coverage has on public opinion.

Michael Mirer, media ethics, social media and political communication
A visiting assistant professor of journalism, Mirer can discuss how candidates and politicians use social media, the role of social media in journalism and how social media is linked to activism.

Race & Ethnicity

Paru Shah, immigration policy, Voting Rights Act
Shah’s research areas include race, ethnicity and politics, as well as urban governance and politics. An associate professor of political science, Shah is also interested in public policy analysis and outcomes in the educational arena. She can address issues involving immigration policy, the Voting Rights Act and states’ rights.

Religion & Science

Timothy O’Brien, roles of science and religion in politics and law
O’Brien studies the roles of science and religion in politics and law, including issues like climate change, stem cells, and abortion. The associate professor of sociology has studied how people see science and religion as sources of morals as well as knowledge, and that these moral divides are associated with sweeping differences in social and political attitudes. He can discuss the effect science and religion have on party politics and why Trump appeals to evangelicals, as well as whether the Supreme Court may try to overturn Roe v. Wade.