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Colorado will play a major role in the 2012 presidential election as its voters as a whole aren't solidly aligned with one specific political party or movement.

These faculty members have expert insights into Colorado's role as a state in the spotlight during the 2012 presidential election. Each is available to speak about high-impact issues to Colorado voters this fall.

Contact any of these experts through the University of Denver Communications hotline at 720-608-0240.

Experts are listed by topic, in alphabetical order:

 

Colorado voters: The purple stateBack to Top


"Colorado has one of the most educated workforces in the nation, and while countless Colorado women have very successful careers, their paths have been peppered with negative experiences undeniably related to being female.

"In 2012, female voters may well determine the course of the presidential election." —Christine Riordan

"The heart of the problem for Colorado voters is the unwillingness of our leaders and candidates to tell us what it will really cost to fix the economy." —Buie Seawell

Peter Hanson
Assistant professor,
political science

Peter Hanson

Seth Masket
Associate professor,
political science

Seth Masket

Christine Riordan
Dean, Daniels College of
Business

Christine Riordan

Buie Seawell
Professor,
business

Buie Seawell

 

The Colorado economy Back to Top


"Colorado's economy weathered the recent economic downturn fairly well because the state had a divergent base of industries like energy, financial services, new technology, agriculture and tourism.

"But we’ve heard enough of vague calls for tax cuts and tax reform in the last few years from both parties and want ideas that our electorate truly believe might work." —Mac Clouse

Mac Clouse
Professor, finance

Mac Clouse

Ron Rizzuto
Professor, finance

Ron Rizzuto


 

Medical marijuana: Not just another green industryBack to Top


"When it comes to the overlapping regulation of marijuana in the United States, the status quo is clearly untenable. Marijuana, perhaps more than any other phenomenon, is treated divergently by the three levels of government.

"An industry employing thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—of individuals and taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue cannot be built on illegal transactions." —Sam Kamin

Sam Kamin
Professor, law

Sam Kamin

 

Power and influence in Colorado's political campaignBack to Top


"If we go back to the previous election of ‘08 and the tremendous business support for Democrats and for the Obama campaign, one of the primary reasons that was happening was because they said, 'Hmm, they’re going to win anyway; we might as well hop on board and ride with a winner.' And the same thing is happening on the other side of the ledger this time around." —John Holcomb

John Holcomb
Professor, business ethics,
legal studies

John Holcomb

 

Civil unions: It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when they become legal in ColoradoBack to Top


"An underdeveloped area of sexual orientation and gender identity scholarship is the legal rights and remedies of those who face discrimination because of their relation to or association with gays and lesbians—including children of same-sex families.

"Oddly enough, the most recent cases denying gays and lesbians the right to marry or to adopt rely heavily on the importance of conceiving and raising children. Yet legal doctrines on the rights of children are rarely invoked." —Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith
Professor, law

Catherine Smith

 

Race and religion in American politicsBack to Top


"Whenever race is in American politics, religion is never far behind. And vice versa: wherever religion surfaces in our political life, histories of race and racial beliefs are threaded through it.” Wadsworth is co-editor of “Faith and Race in American Political Life." —Nancy D. Wadsworth

"Most people think of the dominant issue of the national economy as one simply of the proper policy. However, the issue of values and character may become a more fundamental background issue, and the larger question of social and economic justice should rise to the fore.

"In other words, the bigger question looms: What kind of people are we? Furthermore, what do we really strive for and cherish as a people?" —Carl Raschke

Nancy D. Wadsworth
Professor, political science

Nancy D. Wadsworth

Carl Raschke
Professor, religious studies

Carl Raschke

 

Social media: The new political grassroots Back to Top


"The 2012 elections will be the first presidential campaign that fully leverages social media on an unprecedented scale—from soliciting political donations to turning out enough voters to win the election.

Social media will help determine which issues are brought up in political debates and whose voices are the most influential. And it will be decisive on which party wins and which party loses." —Stephen Haag

Stephen Haag
Associate professor,
business information analytics

Stephen Haag

 

The Electoral College Back to Top


"The Electoral College provides the foundation for federalism, ensures the separation of powers of the three branches of government, gives minorities a significant voice in national elections, increases the probability that a candidate supported by a majority of voters will be elected, and ensures that a regional demagogue who gains overwhelming support in one region of the country cannot be elected over the opposition of other regions of the country." —Robert Hardaway

Robert Hardaway
Professor, law

Robert Hardaway

 

Hispanic voters Back to Top


"It is difficult to predict whether immigration reform will become a reality in the Obama administration, especially given the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment across the country and elected officials' resistance to addressing the issue.

"Still, it is clear that Latinos have not forgotten the importance of immigration reform … These attitudes, coupled with their overwhelming support for Obama during the general election, could signal the important role they will play in electoral politics in the future." —Lisa Martinez

Lisa Martinez
Professor, social work

Lisa Martinez

 

Political historyBack to Top


Susan Schulten is currentlty researching the relationship between historical knowledge and American nationalism.

Susan Schulten
Professor, history

Susan Schulten

 

Politics and news coverage Back to Top


"Journalists often disagree about their professional obligations and even denigrate the rules of the profession, when doing so lets them defend the content that they produce." —Robert Handley

Robert Handley
Professor, journalism

Robert Handley

 

Denver as an international hub Back to Top


Christopher Hill
Dean, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Ambassador Christopher Hill