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Experts Advisory: The University at Albany's Political Experts

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 26, 2007) -- The significance of caucuses, Internet and politics, celebrity endorsements, popular culture and politics and the slate of candidates for the 2008 presidential election are among the topics covered by University at Albany faculty experts.

* Electoral Systems: All eyes are on Iowa as the caucuses get underway January 3. Known as the first major electoral event of the nominating process for president, the Iowa caucuses have served as an early indication of which candidates for president might win the nomination of their political party at that party's national convention. Political Science professor Joseph Zimmerman offers insight into the significance of caucuses, as well as their complicated rules. He has published and taught extensively on the Electoral College, as well as federalism and the impact of election systems on minorities and women.

* Popular Culture and the MTV Generation: MTV's "Choose or Lose '08" will have 51 young reporters -- one from each state and Washington D.C. -- cover the race for the White House in an effort to find out whether or not the nation's most important political event matters to young people. Communication professor William Husson offers insight into popular culture, youth and media, news and mass media effects.

* Internet and Politics: The Internet and blogs have already played a prominent role in presidential nomination campaigns. Both Republican and Democratic candidates have focused heavily on bolstering their Internet campaigns through video, podcasts and online video chats. Communication professor Jennifer Stromer-Galley offers expertise on Internet and politics, political blogging, political deliberation and dialogue and public opinion. Her research interests include the political uses of new communication technology, including blogging, campaigning through the internet, and citizen's political talk.

* Celebrity Endorsements: With Oprah Winfrey on the campaign trail for Democratic candidate Barack Obama and action hero Chuck Norris appearing in Republican candidate Mike Huckabee's TV ads, pollsters and pundits continue to discuss how much celebrity endorsements mean to political campaigns. Do celebrity endorsements translate into votes? Communication professor Kelli Lammie offers insight into the effects of celebrity endorsements on politicians and their campaigns. Her expertise also includes how late-night comedy and television dramas shape Americans' political attitudes.

* Minorities and the Presidency: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would be ground-breaking candidates if they receive their party's nomination - Clinton as the first woman and Obama as the first black nominee. Political scientist Helen Desfosses offers expertise on the entire field of candidates for the 2008 presidential election. Her expertise includes local, state, national and international politics; campaigns and elections; and public policy.

Visit UAlbany's extensive, searchable roster of faculty experts.

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit theUniversity at Albany. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts.

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