Political experts offer election insights

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s Department of Political Science is presenting a Presidential Speaker Series of lectures featuring national political experts to provide unique insights on the presidential election.

“We have fascinating and well known speakers, and we’ll be talking about issues of major concern to voters, ranging from the role of money in elections to media coverage,” said Matthew Streb, department chair.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for all of our students to learn beyond the classroom and for the university to share its resources with the public.”

The series began Sept. 12 with a presentation titled, “The Impact of Citizens United: The Role of Money in the 2012 Elections.”

It continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, when Mark Stencel, NPR’s managing editor for digital news, will discuss “Media Coverage and Presidential Elections” at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center on North Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb.

Stencel is responsible for overseeing the journalism on NPR’s website and other platforms. Since Stencel joined NPR in 2009, the network has been recognized as one of industry’s leading digital news services.

The third installment of the series will be led by Alan Abramowitz of Emory University, who will deliver a presentation titled “Predicting the 2012 Presidential Election” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room.

Abramowitz is a popular expert on national politics, polling and elections. His expertise includes election forecasting models, party realignment in the United States, congressional elections and the effects of political campaigns on the electorate.

The final installment of the series will feature an evening with former U.S. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, a Republican from west suburban Yorkville, and Bill Lipinski, a Democratic member of the U.S. House from 1983 to 2005, representing a Chicago district. Moderated by Streb, the post-election talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Event Room of NIU-Naperville.

“We’re thrilled and honored to host this discussion between two of Illinois’ most well-known and well-respected political leaders,” Streb said. “It promises to be a night filled with political insights in the wake of the presidential election.”

The Presidential Speaker Series is sponsored by the NIU Office of the President, Department of Political Science, Division of University Relations and WNIJ. More information is available at or by calling 815-753-1011.

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