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Dr. David Smith

An Outstanding Islander

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Predicting Election Outcomes

When the Coastal Bend community needs a political expert to discuss the upcoming elections, they often call upon Dr. David Smith at the Island University. Smith, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has conducted extensive research in a relatively new method of predicting outcomes in elections. 

“Currently, my research interests lie within the study of Pooling of the Polls, used to determine who will be the presidential candidates in 2016,” said Smith. “My ultimate goal is to determine if money that is donated or raised or success in a primary or caucus, could potentially impact the ‘front-runners’ based on my early predictions.”

According to Smith, previous scholars have used this method as a means of predicting not only the candidates, but also the potential outcome in national elections. His research is an attempt to expand the previous work in order to determine who the potential candidates will be for the 2016 presidential election.

Additionally, Smith and colleague, Dr. Jennifer Epley, developed an online homework system that they used in their classes that allows them to consistently track and account for student performance in a way that was conducive to determining student engagement and success.

As Faculty Advisor for the College Republicans, Smith hopes to encourage students to register to vote and to provide information on the candidates and issues at all levels of government.

“The students, most of whom were in my classes, asked if I would be willing to assist them in getting the organization reformed and active on campus,” he said. “And I, of course, said ‘yes.’

Smith also hopes to use his time as an educator to get students more involved in politics and research.

“One of the best gifts I was given in graduate school was the opportunity to do research with a faculty member,” said Smith. “It was something that I am extremely grateful for and hope to pass along to someone else.”