Kornacki is a correspondent for NBC News, and has also contributed to such media agencies as Salon, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal. (Courtesy of NBC)
In the Donald Trump era of American history, have the rules of American politics as Americans thought they knew them changed? This is what MSNBC political correspondent and recent UMass Lowell honorary degree recipient Steve Kornacki will be addressing during his event, Steve Kornacki: One Year Since Election 2016.
The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS) is sponsoring the event which will be held on Nov. 17 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in University Crossing’s Moloney Hall. At this year’s event, Kornacki will dive into the past year with the Trump administration, future elections and the state of the American political climate one year after the 2016 election. “So much of the polarization, so many of the divisions that kind of defined the campaign, really feel the same about a year later,” Kormacki said.
“Last year I was trying to just dissect what exactly had happened on election day,” said Kornacki. Because the results of the election were so shocking, he said pollsters and pundits found themselves wondering how their predictions were so wrong.
“A lot of the instruments that we rely on to understand American politics ended up being wrong on election day,” Kornacki said. “In using those same instruments, it is apparent that Trump’s presidency is in rough shape.”
However, Kornacki said he wonders if these indicators will be wrong again as they were on election day. He speaks and writes about elections for a living. He said he tries to understand what they say about who Americans are and about what kind of country we live in. At the event, Kornacki said he will be discussing the upcoming 2018 midterm elections and the presidential election in 2020 as well.
“To decide between topics other than elections to discuss at the event when news of Trump doing something controversial seems to break every hour,” Kornacki said, “I think the challenge is to look for the patterns.” He said to focus less on the individual moments with Trump, but to look at who his actions provoke to react.
Francis Talty, assistant dean of the College of FAHSS and co-director for the Center for Public Opinion, said the event is open to the public, but a number of seats will be reserved for students.
Talty and Kornacki became connected when on his show, Kornacki discussed a poll by the Center for Public Opinion found that 23 percent of millennials would prefer a giant meteor to hit the earth instead of a Clinton or Trump presidency. After reaching out to Kornacki on Twitter, the two set up the event.
At UMass Lowell, Talty is not alone in his interest in having Kornacki back on campus. David Todisco, the president of the UMass Lowell College Democrats, said he remembers meeting Kornacki on several occasions. He said Kornacki is “such a local guy for someone who is on national television.”
At the Democratic National Convention, Todisco worked for MSNBC and NBC. He said that Kornacki was helpful to the students working the convention and was “very down to Earth.”
Kornacki also took classes at the university in the spring of 1997 as part of a dual enrollment program at his high school in Groton, Mass. He said he was amazed at the growth he had seen when he visited UMass Lowell last year for his analysis of the 2016 election.
Though Kornacki only studied at UMass Lowell for one semester, he may become a regular here. While discussing the possibility of a yearly visit to UMass Lowell from Kornacki, Talty said, “He’s always welcome.”