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Engage with the 2015 Republican presidential primary

CMU experts offer viewing guide and connect with viewers via Twitter

Contact: Dan Digmann


CMU debate experts will give viewers the opportunity to better understand and actively participate in Wednesday evening's Republican presidential primary debate.

Edward Hinck, Shelly Hinck and William Dailey – co-authors of "Politeness in Political Debates" – provide viewers with questions to ask themselves and key elements to take note of when watching the Oct. 28 Republican debate.

The trio will use Twitter to pose discussion topics and respond to viewer comments throughout the showdown. You can follow the conversation live at #CMUDebateWatch.

Related: ​Oct. 13 Democratic debate viewer's guide​

"Debates provide viewers with a relatively vast range of information about the candidates, their leadership potential, the issues and the campaign," Edward Hinck said. "We want to hear from viewers and discuss this information as it is offered, before it is framed by news coverage and campaign commentators."

Questions to consider

  • ​Now that Ben Carson is the front-runner, how will he respond to increased attention concerning his positions and candidacy?
  • Can any of the other candidates perform well enough to emerge as a potential nominee?
  • Will the candidates respond with greater detail concerning their positions and plans?
  • Will Donald Trump continue to rely on a strategy of aggressiveness? How will the candidates respond?
  • Can Jeb Bush connect with the voters during this debate?
  • Will Ben Carson's quiet, calm style prevail over Donald Trump's aggressive approach


Fundamental policy issues to watch for

  • ​How does each candidate propose to expand United States' job growth?
  • What does each candidate's tax plan include?
  • What are the candidate's strategies for mitigating the United States' social security crisis? How will their ideas affect retirement?
  • What are the candidates' plans for the United States' economy?
  • How do the candidates intend to manage the global economy?


Hinck, Hinck and Dailey are available for comment. Learn more about each expert below.

Edward Hinck
Hinck is a professor of communication and dramatic arts at Central Michigan University. He and other colleagues have a chapter in an upcoming book titled "Scrutinizing Argumentation in Context" on political leader debates in the United States, Great Britain and Egypt. Hinck served as director of forensics at CMU from 1988 to 2013. 

Shelly Hinck
Hinck is a professor of communication and dramatic arts at Central Michigan University. Her research focuses on civic engagement, with specific attention directed to political debates, service-learning, volunteerism and transformative learning. She has published articles in journals, such as "Argumentation and Advocacy," "Sex Roles," "American Behavioral Scientist," and "The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning."​ Hinck served associate dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts from 2010 to 2014 and interim dean from 2014 to 2015. 

William Dailey
Dailey is the chairperson of communication and dramatic arts at Central Michigan University. Possessing a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Dailey's basic interests are in the areas of conflict, bargaining and negotiating, and debate as a form of conflict. He has completed extensive research on how face-saving and face-threatening strategies shape audience's perceptions of candidates in presidential and vice presidential debates.​​

Body language and the debate
Nonverbal communication expert analyzes debate candidates

Lesley Withers, a professor of communication and dramatic arts at CMU, is an expert in nonverbal and emotional communication and analyzes candidates' use of facial expression, eye contact, posture and gesture to communicate their messages. Withers also is available to speak to the media. 


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