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Election experts: Early voting on campus, fundraising, what the U.S. economy needs

October 22, 2020 By Veronica Rueckert

MADISON — The following UW–Madison experts can comment on current topics surrounding the presidential election. See more here.

The author of “The Politics of Resentment” talks Election 2020

Author and political science professor Kathy Cramer is in the thick of the political season on campus.  In this Badger Talks video, she discusses the start of early voting on campus, why being “good to each other” will be important after the election, and what she’s heard listening to political talk radio in Wisconsin. Contact: 

The mute button

Alison Prasch, an expert on presidential rhetoric and assistant professor of communication arts, is available to discuss the new use of the mute button during the final presidential debate.

Prasch says, “The ability to ‘turn off’ a candidate may be a positive change. It provides some relief to an electorate that is weary of constant political noise. It is also important to note that while there have been sharp and testy disagreements in previous debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has never had to impose such rules. Instead, the CPD could depend on a basic decency and decorum from the candidates for the highest political office in the country. This, however, is no longer true. And the CPD’s decision should serve as a reminder to the general public that we should expect — and demand — more from political officials.”


What the U.S. economy needs to recover 

The Chinese economy is currently seeing a dramatic recovery with markets bouncing back sharply after a COVID-19-related plunge. Menzie Chinn, an expert on international finance and monetary policy, is available for interviews about what the U.S. needs to do if it wants to see a recovery like China’s. Contact:

‘Historic’ fundraising in 2020

Ken Mayer, professor of political science and an expert on campaign finance, is available to discuss late-game fundraising for candidates in the 2020 election.

Mayer says, “Not only is fundraising at historic levels, but a record number of people are making contributions, signaling extremely high levels of political engagement in 2020.”


Campaigning during a pandemic

Thomas Oliver, an expert on health policy, politics and system reform, is available for analysis on the reality of managing a campaign during a public health crisis.

Oliver says, “For better or worse, in most places the behavior of elected officials is guided by norms and guidelines rather than clear rules as they campaign in the midst of this historic pandemic.  Their decisions and actions directly affect people immediately around them, and indirectly affect many others by modeling more risky or less risky responses to the virus.

Unfortunately, a polarized political environment and other priorities in the middle of an election have made common-sense precautions a test of party loyalty, leaving everyone to make their own judgments whether and how to protect themselves and those around them.” For more information, contact Andrew Hellpap at

In addition to those above, more experts can be found on the UW–Madison Experts page.