North Central College in the News

Two faculty discuss the unpredictability of this year’s presidential campaign in interview

Jun 23, 2016

North Central College faculty Suzanne Chod and Abigaile VanHorn were interviewed and featured in a June 10 Chicago Tribune article about this year’s presidential campaign. Chod is associate professor of political science and VanHorn is assistant director of leadership programs.

Titled “2016 campaign fun for political scientists,” the piece was published soon after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump became the presumptive nominees of their parties for president. Chod and VanHorn discussed their perspectives of having the first woman and a businessman poised to lead their party’s tickets, as well as the topic of gender and roles of spouses.

Both Chod and VanHorn said the unpredictability of this election has made for interesting classroom conversations and led them to adjust their election predictions.

In the article, Chod noted she didn’t foresee Donald Trump’s rise to the top and, “As a result, I’ve decided to stop prognosticating.” Previous indicators of voter preferences no longer exist, she said. “As political scientists, we are always predicting what will happen. This time we missed things and we will need to look at that to see why we got it wrong.”

VanHorn, whose dissertation fellowship researched the role of candidates’ wives, said she’s particularly interested to see what role Bill Clinton will take in the coming months. “I don’t see Bill as having a traditional surrogate role on the campaign trail,” she said. And, if Hillary is elected president, more issues surface, she said, like what would we call Bill Clinton? “That’s the million-dollar question right now.”

View faculty profiles for Suzanne Chod and Abigaile VanHorn.