In the home stretch: Who will win the race for Texas governor?

SMU professors are experts on the issues and the nuances of the hotly contested race for Texas governor.

Texas FlagGov. Rick Perry is leading in the polls, but former Houston Mayor Bill White is still scrambling to become the first Democrat to hold the state's highest office since Ann Richards in the early 1990s. The economy, immigration, unemployment and quality of education all loom as pivotal issues.

SMU professors are experts on the issues and the nuances of this hotly contested race. Contact SMU News and Communications at 214-768-7650 or for assistance in setting up interviews.

    Cal Jillson Cal Jillson, Ph.D., 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 Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State and Pursuing the American Dream.
    Matthew Wilson Matthew Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science
He specializes in religion and politics, as well as public opinion, elections and political psychology. He sees this election "as a real test of partisan realignment in Texas; if Bill White manages to win in a Republican year against a well-funded incumbent, then we really have reached a tipping point into genuine two-party competitiveness." 
    Pia Orrenius Pia Orrenius, Ph.D., 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. See video of her CNN interview video icon.
Polls and Surveys
Lynn Stokes Lynne Stokes, Ph.D., Professor of Statistical Science
She is an expert in surveys, polls and sampling, as well as in non-sampling survey errors, such as errors by interviewers and respondents. She recently conducted research on evaluating the accuracy of contest judges and on improving estimates of marine fishery yields by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Economy & Unemployment
    Tom Fomby Tom Fomby, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
He can discuss the Texas economy vs. the rest of the nation, the impact of the Gulf oil spill, what the unemployment rate means for Texas and political promises about the economy.
Are They Communicating?
    Rita Kirk Rita Kirk, Ph.D., 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.
Education Issues
    David Chard David Chard, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Dean
He writes op-eds and speaks to journalists on education issues ranging from controversial textbooks to inadequate teacher training. He is an expert on best educational practices.

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