SMU election experts available for ‘Decision 2024’ analysis

Starting with small-town gatherings in snowy Iowa and ending with balloting on Nov. 5, SMU political experts help journalists explain the drama of the presidential election season.

DALLAS (SMU) – The stakes are high as Americans wade into another presidential election season, and SMU political experts are available to help journalists make sense of it all. The analyses of Cal Jillson, Jeffrey Engel, Rita Kirk, Matthew Wilson and James Hollifield are routinely featured in local, national and international media.

Journalists seeking to speak with these experts should contact Stephen Fashoro at

Cal Jillson: Jillson, a political science professor, is a highly regarded and sought-after expert on state and national politics.


He can discuss:

  • Presidential and Congressional politics
  • Texas politics, including the Red/Blue divide
  • Texas primaries
  • Race and the American Dream
  • Immigration politics

Jeffrey Engel: Engel is the founding director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU. He’s an award-winning American history scholar and a frequent contributor on international and political affairs for the media.


He can discuss:

  • Presidential policy and politics
  • History of presidential impeachments
  • History of U.S. presidency and American diplomacy

Rita Kirk: Kirk, a professor of communication studies and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, has served as a debate analyst for many presidential debates.


She can discuss:

  • Undecided voters
  • Presidential debates
  • Political communications
  • The use of social media in politics
  • Soundbite substance

Matthew Wilson: Wilson is an associate professor of political science at SMU in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He frequently gives public lectures on various aspects of American politics, and routinely serves as a commentator on political affairs for local, national, and international media outlets.


He can discuss:

  • Religion and politics
  • Political psychology
  • Voting behavior of religious voters
  • Public opinion and politics

James Hollifield: Hollifield is the director of the Tower Center for Political Studies and a political science professor at SMU. Hollifield has served as an advisor to various governments in North and South America, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and various international organizations.


He can discuss:

  • Immigration
  • Immigration policy
  • Global migration
  • Assimilation into American society