Political Experts


Contact 214-768-7650 or for interviews

Luisa del Rosal “Sustaining the strong economic and cultural relationship between Texas and Mexico, while still addressing the enforcement issues that concern the public, is key to the success of Cruz or O’Rourke. Texas is at the heart of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Whatever our elected officials do or not do in terms of Texas and Mexico will have a ripple effect across the county.”

Contact to discuss:

  • International Texas-Mexico relations
  • Texans’ perceptions of Mexico
  • Impact of cross-border trade on Texas’ economy
Cal Jillson “The Cruz-O'Rourke race shows that a good Democrat candidate in a good Democrat year can come close, even in Texas. It does not show that Texas is about to become a competitive two-party state. That interesting day is still a decade or two away.”

Contact to discuss:

  • Texas politics, including races for Senate
  • American politics
  • Presidential and Congressional politics
  • Immigration
Stephanie Martin “O’Rourke shouldn’t underestimate Cruz by any stretch. It’s still Cruz’s race to lose.”

Contact to discuss:

  • Economic messages in political campaigns
  • Presidential campaign strategy
  • Religious voters and evangelical social movements
Matthew Wilson“For the Cruz-O’Rourke race, suburban moderate Republicans will swing the race. Can O’Rourke convince enough to split their ticket?”

Contact to discuss:

  • Will Trump voters become reliable Republican voters?
  • The 2018 elections could mark the year that the Democratic Party moves decisively to the left, leaving its centrist wing behind.
  • The 2018 election battle between style and substance




JeJeffrey A. Engelffrey A. Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History

He is an award-winning American history scholar and an expert on the U.S. presidency and American diplomatic history. He has authored or edited six books, including Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War.


ViVictoria Farrar-Myersctoria Farrar-Myers, Senior Fellow and Director of the Tower Scholars Program

She’s a leading expert on presidential and congressional politics, with special attention to Super PACS and campaign financing in elections. In 2015, her co-edited volume, Controlling the Message, pulled together a series of studies on the use and impact of social and new media during the 2012 elections.


CalCal Jillson Jillson, Professor of Political Science

One of the nation’s foremost political experts, he regularly provides journalists thoughtful insight on Texas and U.S. politics. He is the author of the political classic Pursuing the American Dream, as well as Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy and American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change


StStephanie Martinephanie Martin, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

She brings nearly 20 years of experience in corporate, media and political campaign work to bear in her research into the discourse of conservative social movements. She can discuss economic messages in political campaigns, presidential campaign strategy and evangelical social movements.



MaMatthew Wilsontthew Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science

He specializes in religion and politics, as well as public opinion, elections and political psychology.



NNathan Cortezathan Cortez, Professor of Law

Law Prof. Nathan Cortez teaches and writes in the areas of health law, administrative law, and FDA law.

Economy & Unemployment

BruBruce Bullockce Bullock,  Director, Maguire Energy Institute

He can discuss and analyze marketing and policy issues related to the energy industry, including oil, gas, wind and geothermal.


WMichael Cox. Michael Cox, Dir. of O'Neil Center for Global Markets & Freedom

He studies the impact of competitive market forces on freedom and prosperity in the global economy. He is a former chief economist and senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where he served for 25 years advising the President on monetary and other economic policies.


Tom Tom FombyFomby, Professor of Economics

He can discuss the Texas economy vs. the rest of the nation, what the unemployment rate means for Texas and political promises about the economy.


Albert NiemiAlbert Niemi, Dean of Cox School and Business Professor
An authority on economic growth, economic forecasting and American business history.


BBernard Weinsteinernard Weinstein,  Economist and Business Professor

An expert on the national and local economy, economic development, public policy and taxation, and economic impact.



James HollifieldJames Hollifield, Director of SMU's Tower Center
James F. Hollifield is Ora Nixon Arnold Fellow in International Political Economy, Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Tower Center at SMU, as well as a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC.


Natalie NanasiNatalie Nanasi, Assistant Professor of Law
She is the director of the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women. She teaches and supervises students who represent gender-based violence victims and those involved in immigration issues.


Pia OrreniusPia Orrenius, Fellow at SMU's Tower Center for Political Studies
A senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, her research focuses on the border region and the causes and consequences of Mexico–U.S. migration, illegal immigration, and U.S. immigration policy. She is the author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization. 


Social Media in Politics

Jake BatsellJake Batsell, Assistant Professor of Journalism
An authority on digital journalism and communications, his research focuses on audience engagement using social media, mobile devices as news platforms, and social media as a political strategy. He is the author of Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences.


SMU Professor Rita KirkRita Kirk, Professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
Her knowledge of the evolving communication landscape has made her a valuable resource in analyzing trends in politics and political communication, such as that found on YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter and other social media. She has the ability to adapt to story topics and specializes in political and persuasive campaigns.



arrowContact SMU News and Communications at 214-768-7650 or
for assistance in setting up interviews.

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