Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Smith is interested in the factors affecting the actions taken by political actors ranging from legislative candidates to voters. He is also interested in how different public policies relate to varied outcomes, particularly those affecting the number of gun deaths in the American states.
Discusses elected North Carolina Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry’s decision to place her picture on official elevator inspection placards in North Carolina in 2005, which increased her vote share in future elections by increasing her positive name recognition with voters.
Shows that the competitiveness of legislative majorities and the extent to which majorities are polarized affects candidate’s decisions on whether to run for that legislative body.
Finds the increased party financial efforts in congressional elections has minimal effect on overall seat turnover between the parties but that recruitment of experienced candidates has the potential to increase the number of competitive seats.
Provides a definition for congressional wave elections using the seat level and seat change in a congressional election compared to recent congressional elections.
Smith is a frequent interviewee of the Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student newspaper, on topics relating to national and North Carolina politics.