SF State experts available to comment on 2018 midterm elections

As the 2018 midterm election nears, San Francisco State University faculty experts are poised to provide insightful commentary on California and San Francisco races, statewide ballot initiatives and the national political landscape.  

They’ve been exploring a variety of topics, including:

  • How to address the homeless crisis in San Francisco. If Proposition C passes, it could raise business taxes to pay for homeless services. (See Jason McDaniel, associate professor of political science, and Tony Sparks, assistant professor of urban studies and planning.)
  • How will the president’s agenda be altered if the Democrats retake Congress in November? (See Rebecca Eissler, assistant professor of political science.)

California and San Francisco Politics and Ballot Measures

David Lee, political science lecturer, is an expert on open government, accountability, citizen participation, public transportation policy and affordable housing. He has written and spoken about the affordability crisis in San Francisco.

Specific expertise: Lee can comment on all statewide races and propositions.

Email: del@sfsu.edu  
Phone: (415) 408-8833

Jason McDaniel, associate professor of political science, is an expert in urban politics and voting behavior, with a particular emphasis on the role of racial group dynamics in elections. McDaniel frequently comments on issues surrounding elections and electoral reform. Additional areas of expertise include the ranked choice voting system, California state politics and San Francisco politics.

Specific expertise: McDaniel can provide commentary on San Francisco’s Proposition C and California’s Proposition 1.

Email: mcdaniel@sfsu.edu

Robert C. Smith, professor emeritus of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on African American politics. His research has examined comparisons between President Obama and President Kennedy and the relationship between conservatism and racism in the U.S. Smith can also comment on the role of presidents and presidential candidates in polarizing American politics. His book “Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama” was published in 2015.

Specific expertise: Smith can comment on local and statewide elections as well as the Texas Senate race.

Email: rcs@sfsu.edu
Phone: (510) 222-7273

Tony Sparks, assistant professor of urban studies and planning, is an expert on poverty, social policy, homelessness and social inequality

Specific expertise: Sparks can provide commentary on San Francisco’s Proposition C and California’s Proposition 1.

Email: tsparks@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 338-3689

National Election Outcomes

Rebecca Eissler, assistant professor of political science, studies public policy and American politics with an emphasis on agenda-setting and the presidency. Her most recent work, “Prioritizer-in-Chief: The Role of the President in the Policy Process from Reagan to Obama,” examines policy areas and strategies that presidents use to make policy and considers how presidents make trade-offs in attention and strategy. 

Email: reissler@sfsu.edu

Voting Behavior

Ron Hayduk, professor of political science, is a nationally recognized expert on immigrant voting rights and the author of “Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting in the U.S.” He has published research about the impact of voting laws and procedures on voter participation. Hayduk can also comment on election rules and administration and topics related to immigration in general.

Email: rhayduk@sfsu.edu  
Phone: (917) 691-4153

Francis Neely, associate professor of political science, is an expert on the ways in which voters form affiliations with political parties, the psychology of partisanship and the role of emotions in voting. He can also discuss voting behavior and election systems and has studied ranked choice voting extensively.

Email: fneely@sfsu.edu 
Phone: (415) 338-1522

Latino Politics, Immigration

Marcela García-Castañon, assistant professor of political science, is an expert on American politics, Latino politics, immigrant/immigration policy and politics and political communication. Her research explores notions of membership and citizenship development within immigrant communities and their connection to political and civic engagement. She is available for interviews in Spanish and English.

Email: mgcs@sfsu.edu 
Phone: (928) 446-7611