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SMU experts in politics, the presidency, presidential history and debate are available to discuss the Obama-Romney race as it nears the finish line.

MATT WILSON: WILL NATURE’S WRATH OVERSHADOW THE ECONOMY?
Wilson, SMU associate professor of political science, specializes in religion and politics, as well as public opinion, elections and political psychology. 

"President Obama has a real chance to be re-elected despite the worst economic conditions for any incumbent since Jimmy Carter,” Wilson said. “If he does, he may have Hurricane Sandy to thank.  A natural disaster helps him to look presidential – and takes voters' minds off the economy – just as the final undecideds are making up their minds."

DENNIS SIMON: WILL SANDY SUPPRESS THE VOTE?
Simon, Altschuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science, is an expert on national elections, public opinion and political behavior, the American presidency and the political gender gap

"As close as this election is shaping up to be, President Obama has to be concerned about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy making even a slight dent in turnout on election day,” Simon said.  “Generally, any factors that work to depress turnout typically favor the Republicans."

JEFFREY ENGEL: NATIONAL POLLS 'MISLEADING AND UNHELPFUL’
Engel is an award-winning American history scholar, an expert in international affairs and the founding director of SMU’s Center for Presidential History

Engel asks why news organizations continue to report the results of national polls, whose results may point to the winner of the popular vote, but cannot predict the winner in the Electoral College. “It's misleading, unhelpful," and, Engel adds, "it's getting under my skin". 

BEN VOTH: FIRST DEBATE CHANGED THE LANDSCAPE
Voth is chair of SMU's Corporate Communications and Public Affairs division and an expert in debate and persuasion

“Debate number one will likely be marked by scholars of communication, political science, and history as the decisive moment in the election.  Until early October, media reports and polls suggested that President Obama was gaining an insurmountable lead on his challenger governor Mitt Romney.  Mitt Romney arguably scored the most decisive victory over an incumbent president in history.”

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