CORVALLIS, Ore. – With new reports indicating Sen. Barack Obama may declare victory in the Democratic presidential nomination should he win the May 20 Oregon primary, Oregon State University political experts are available as media seek to put electoral dynamics of this state in perspective. Descriptions and contact information on multiple experts are provided below; media contacts above are on hand to assist with reaching any of these faculty.

James Foster, professor of political science, Oregon State University
(541) 322-3147

A faculty member at OSU-Cascades in Bend, Ore., Foster chaired the political science department at Oregon State’s main campus for 12 years. He regularly teaches courses on constitutional law, administrative law, gender and law and American political thought. He has published articles on legal education, affirmative action, equality debates and other issues, and has been president of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association. He can answer queries on:

• The makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court and what the future may hold under a new administration.
• Women in politics and the context for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
• Issues of race in politics and the context for Barack Obama’s candidacy.

William Lunch, chair of political science, Oregon State University
(541) 737-6242 or (541) 737-2811

The “dean” of Oregon political experts, Lunch has been the political analyst for 20 years for Oregon Public Broadcasting. His published work on Oregon and Washington politics most recently includes a chapter in Larry Sabato’s “The Sixth-Year Itch: The Rise and Fall of the George Bush Presidency.”

Susan Shaw, director of Women’s Studies, Oregon State University
(541) 981-0707 (cell)

Shaw teaches classes on feminism, oppression and discrimination. She recently published a book titled, “God Speaks to Us, Too: Southern Baptist Women on Church, Home, and Society.” She can weigh in on:

• Women leaders in the political system.
• Women in politics and the context for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
• The possibility of an Obama/Clinton ticket.
• How women might be judged differently in the political system

Brent Steel, professor of political science, Oregon State University
(541) 737-6133

Steel directs OSU’s popular Master’s in Public Policy Program and specializes in rural, environmental and sustainability issues. He is a founding board member of Project Vote Smart, a national non-partisan organization providing information to voters on candidates and issues. He is co-author of a forthcoming book from Oxford University Press on local and state governance.

• Rural issues in general, with an emphasis on Oregon’s loss of federal timber payments, which could be a major issue that candidates visiting Oregon will be asked to address.
• Environmental issues and what a new administration may mean.
• Youth and politics: How have the candidacies of Obama, Clinton and McCain influenced and been influenced by youth voters?

Robert Thompson, asst. professor of ethnic studies and African American studies, Oregon State University
(541) 737-5742

Thompson specializes in contemporary African American social and political discourse, racial patterns of urbanization, black political literature, black popular culture and African American political and social thought in the early twentieth century. He serves as co-advisor faculty of the African Students Association and faculty advisor of the Black Cultural Center. He can speak to:

• African-Americans in the political system.
• Obama’s popularity in Oregon, which has a low percentage of African American voters.
• The possibility of an Obama/Clinton ticket.


Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Mark Floyd,