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Political Experts: Presidential Campaigns

Drake University has knowledgeable and well-spoken experts who are prepared for media interviews throughout this election season. To arrange an interview, contact Jarad Bernstein, public relations director, at jarad.bernstein@drake.edu or 515-271-3119.


Rachel Paine Caufield

Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations
Associate Director for Citizen Engagement, The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement

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Rachel Paine Caufield’s expertise in judicial and Congressional politics is informed by years of experience in the public policy and higher education fields. She teaches politics and international relations courses at Drake University, where she’s been a faculty member since 2001. Prior to joining Drake she served as a Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Areas of expertise include:
• Judicial retention
• Judicial politics
• Congressional politics
• The American presidency
• Political satire

Dennis J. Goldford

Professor of Politics and International Relations

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Dennis J. Goldford is the foremost expert in Iowa politics. The co-author of The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: the Making of a Media Event, 3rd ed. — the definitive chronicle of the origins, evolution and media spectacle of the caucuses — has shared his thoughtful, quotable and nonpartisan analysis in thousands of media interviews. He wrote The American Constitution and the Debate Over Originalism, published by Cambridge University Press in 2005, and The Constitution of Religious Freedom: God, Politics, and the First Amendment, published by Baylor University Press in 2012.

Areas of expertise include:
• Iowa Caucuses
• Ames Straw Poll
• Constitutional interpretation and Originalism
• Tea Party politics
• Interplay of politics, religion and the First Amendment
• Modern political theory

Art Sanders

Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Politics

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Arthur Sanders, the Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Politics, studies the formation and dynamics of public opinion, the role of media and the impact of money, political parties and interest groups on our political processes. Currently, he is studying the role of money and interest groups on elections and health care policy in Iowa.

Areas of expertise include:
• Interest groups and their influence on the political process
• Polling and public opinion
• The perception of electability
• Congressional and Presidential politics


Joan Faber McAlister

Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Studies

Joan Faber McAlister discusses, writes about and teaches a wide variety of rhetorical issues. She is experienced in expert analysis of political debate rhetoric, having delivered analysis in the spin room following ABC News’ Republican and Democratic debates on Drake’s campus in 2007. She holds a Ph.D. in rhetorical studies from the University of Iowa.


Tom Root

Associate Professor of Finance

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Tom Root has a deep knowledge of corporate and governmental finance. He earned his bachelor of science, master and PhD degrees in economics at the University of Kansas.

Areas of expertise include:
• Corporate Finance
• Financial Institutions Management
• Strategic Financial Processes
• Economic Forecasting
• Economic Turmoil
• Global Economy


Ian Bartrum

Assistant professor of law

Ian Bartrum has published numerous papers and professional blog entries on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the constitutional nature of health care reform. He argues that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and that expedited judicial review would be “a radical and unwise decision for the court.” Bartrum is a graduate of Yale Law School; he served as Yale’s Irving S. Ribicoff Fellow in Law for 2008-09.

Allen Zagoren

Associate Professor of Public Administration
General surgeon, Iowa Health Des Moines Methodist Medical Center

Dr. Allen Zagoren is a practicing general surgeon at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, teaches all of the health care related courses in Drake’s Master of Public Administration program, including ethics, policy, regulation, law and advocacy, management and informatics. He carries a deep knowledge of health care reform legislation, medical ethics and health policy issues.


Robert Rigg

Professor of Law
Director, Drake University criminal defense program

Robert Rigg is a congressionally recognized expert in immigration law. He has been quoted by National Public Radio, The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press and USA Today, among other major news outlets. In August 2008, Rigg testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law. He is the author of The Postville Raid: A Postmortem, a study of the largest immigration raid in the United States to date.


Hunter R. Clark

Professor of Law

Hunter R. Clark is an expert in international law, human rights and international trade. Clark has served as staff writer for TIME magazine and general counsel to the chief financial officer of the District of Columbia. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and joined the Drake Law School faculty in 1993.

Drake University is a private, independent university in Des Moines, Iowa, with an enrollment of approximately 5,600 students from 50 states and 50 countries. Drake University’s mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments and responsible global citizenship. The Drake experience is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty and staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation.