Headlines at Hopkins
News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

July 17, 2008
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

Johns Hopkins Sources for 2008 Presidential Election Stories

For stories about the 2008 presidential campaign, consider the following sources from The Johns Hopkins University. Listed with each source is a brief description of his or her area of expertise or particular take on the campaign. Specific contact information is listed for some sources; in cases where it is not, contact Amy Lunday at (443) 287-9960 or acl@jhu.edu.

> Hispanic Voters' Significant Role in the 2008 Election
Adam J. Segal, director of the Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins, says the trend is leaning toward Democratic dominance of the Hispanic vote, even though the Republicans have nominated the best possible candidate to try to capture a large share of their votes. Although he predicts that a majority of Hispanic voters will cast their ballots for Barack Obama, Segal contends that the competition will be fierce for undecided Hispanic voters who may help sway a close election. Segal notes that, to date, there has been record spending for Spanish-language TV ads, largely due to the Democrats, who have spent well over $4 million on the ads. He published a report in April to analyze the spending, online at tinyurl.com/4r8tck, and has followed all Spanish-language advertising since.
   Segal is a faculty lecturer in the Master of Arts in Communication in Contemporary Society program at Johns Hopkins, where he teaches ethnic marketing and political communication as well as Internet strategies. He is the president of the 2050 Group, a public relations and multicultural marketing agency in Washington, D.C., serving major Hispanic organizations, among other clients. He contributed a chapter to The Mass Media and Latino Politics: Studies of U.S. Media Content, Campaign Strategies and Survey Research: 1984-2004 (Routledge/Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Jan. 16, 2008).
   Contact: Adam Segal at 202-422-4673 (cell) or 202-756-2252 (office) or by e-mail at adam@the2050group.com.

> Foreign Policy and the election
Johns Hopkins can offer numerous sources at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies who can speak to reporters about foreign policy and the election. For information, contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes, director of communications and marketing, at 202-663-5626 or fklubes@jhu.edu.

> Election civility
P.M. Forni, director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins and professor of Italian literature
Political debates can turn friends and co-workers into sparring partners. Johns Hopkins University professor and civility expert P.M. Forni suggests ways to defuse arguments and offers techniques for people to express themselves without offending acquaintances with differing political views. Forni is the author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct. Its follow-up, The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude, was published by St. Martin's Press in June. Read Forni's tips online at www.jhu.edu/news/home08/jan08/civility.html.

> Presidential power
Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg, professors of political science
The American presidency is out of control and this long campaign has offered little hope of restoring the traditional balance of power in Washington, say Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg, Johns Hopkins political scientists and authors of Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced (W.W. Norton & Co., April 2007, $27.95). Picking up where Crenson's and Ginsberg's first co-authored book, Downsizing Democracy, left off, Presidential Power explains the exponential growth of the White House's authority since the mid-20th century. Writing for a general audience, they approach their subject as they would a murder mystery, looking at the motives, means and opportunities leading to the aggrandizement of power by the commanders-in-chief. More details about the book are available online at www.jhu.edu/news/home07/jun07/prespowr.html.

> Embracing cynicism in the face of political posturing Benjamin Ginsberg, professor of political science
If you hate politics, you aren't alone. In his book The American Lie: Government by the People and Other Political Fables (Paradigm Publishers, July 2007), Johns Hopkins political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg suggests that embracing one's inner cynic is important for keeping political rhetoric at bay. Politics is not about truth, justice and principle, Ginsberg asserts. Rather, he says, it's about money, power and status. Ginsberg argues that politicians pretend to fight for principle in order to conceal their true selfish motives. Ginsberg encourages citizens to become "realistically cynical" in their participation in the 2008 election process, to think outside the ballot box and find new ways to act on behalf of their own individual interests and the greater public good. And if voters do make it to the polls, Ginsberg's advice is, "When in doubt, vote them out." Details on the book are online at www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/home07/jul07/ ginsberg.html.

> The media's role in Hillary Clinton's lost bid for president
Erika Falk, associate program chair of the Master of Arts in Communication in Contemporary Society program
Research by Erika Falk, a communications expert, shows that the media treated Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton differently from the start. She analyzed news coverage during the first month (January 2007) of their campaigns and found that, among other things, Clinton was more likely than Obama to have her legislative title dropped and be referred to by her first name or by her gender; was mentioned in just 65 percent of the number of articles as Obama; had fewer paragraphs written about her than Obama did; and was less likely to see her name in a headline than Obama. Falk is the author of Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns (University of Illinois Press, January 2008). A podcast with Falk is at www.jhu.edu/news/podcasts/mp3/erika_falk.mp3.. A news release about her book is at http://www.jhu.edu/news/home08/jan08/mediabias.html.

> K-12 Education and the Election
Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at the School of Education; director of the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York, England; and co-founder and chairman of the Success for All Foundation.
A national expert on school reform, he can speak to a broad range of pressing educational issues in our nation's public school system, including No Child Left Behind, school testing and literacy. Contact: rslaavin@jhu.edu or Chris Atkins Godack, (410) 516-8590 or cgodack@jhu.edu.

> Electronic Voting Machines: Can We Trust Their Results?
Avi Rubin, professor of computer science and technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins
Avi Rubin has conducted research on the electronic voting machines that many states bought to try to avoid the "hanging chads" and other punch card ballot problems that created an uproar during the 2000 presidential election. Rubin believes the touchscreen machines pose problems of their own, because they are vulnerable to tampering and, in the absence of a paper trail, do not permit a meaningful recount in a contested race. Rubin has testified before government panels regarding his concerns. He also has studied security hazards posed by Internet voting. In addition to his research, Rubin can discuss his hands-on election-day experiences with voting machines as an election judge in Baltimore County. Rubin's book Brave New Ballot: The Battle to Safeguard Democracy in the Age of Electronic Voting (Random House, September 2006) tells of both his role as a whistle-blower and his observations of electronic voting in action. Rubin leads A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections (ACCURATE), a team of computer scientists and other academic researchers from across the country working to help bring the latest research, insights and innovations from the lab to the voting booth, with funding from the National Science Foundation. See www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111660.
Contact Phil Sneiderman at 443-287-9960 or prs@jhu.edu.

> The impact of the economy on presidential elections
Jon Faust, professor and director of the Center for Financial Economics at Johns Hopkins
Faust has studied the interaction between the economy and presidential elections. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006, he spent 15 years at the Federal Reserve Board, most recently as assistant director in the Division of International Finance. Bios of Faust are available at www.econ.jhu.edu/people/faust/index.html www.econ.jhu.edu/people/faust/index.html and www.e105.org/faustj/.

> Electronic Medical Records and Lowering Health Care Costs
Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have both endorsed using electronic medical records and information technology as a means to improve the quality of health care in the United States and contain high costs.

> Jonathan Weiner, DrPH, professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, studies the application of electronic health records and how there use could reform health care in the United States.
Contact Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.

> Experts from the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University:
Public policy and propaganda on the campaign trail Martin Lattman, instructor, Department of Marketing
While Martin Lattman isn't a political scholar, his marketing expertise would be useful to reporters interested in understanding the positioning that the candidates are trying to achieve. Specifically, this refers to the distinctive place that Obama and McCain are hoping to occupy in the minds of their target voter audiences. "For politicians, this is a particularly vexing challenge because they're trying to appeal to multiple constituencies," Lattman said. "I think that Obama has done a reasonably good job with this, whereas McCain is lagging at this stage. In fairness to him, he has the burden of being associated with an unpopular president, so he's faced with the dilemma of how aggressively he should separate himself from the Bush administration."