Before joining the faculty at the University of Washington in 1997, Mark Alan Smith completed his undergraduate degree in economics at M.I.T. and earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Minnesota. He is Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Communication and Comparative Religion at the UW. Smith’s research and teaching focuses on American domestic politics, including religion, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, and public policy. He is the author of two award-winning books, Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics; and American Business and Political Power: Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy. He is a regular commentator on national and state politics for print, radio, and television outlets.