North Central College experts shared their insights on a historic Presidential Election and other major issues in local and national media in November. Read on to find out more!

North Central News

Election coverage highlights North Central College experts in the media in November


Kelly Murphy

Nov 30, 2020

As times of uncertainty have continued to take society by storm, North Central College has stayed current within the media landscape. From media placements nationally and regionally, the College’s subject-matter experts have been able to provide the public with knowledge they need on everyday issues. Here are the faculty’s media appearances in November 2020.

Dr. Steve Macek speculates on who will be the next host of ‘Jeopardy!’ in the New York Times

Devotees of the long-running quiz show are coming up with their own fantasy picks to replace Alex Trebek, who died on Sunday, November 8. A few of the names are predictable. Ken Jennings, the “Jeopardy!” champion who holds the longest winning streak on the show, was the ideal choice according to fans (and has since been appointed to the post). Other suggestions were a bit more unusual: Rosie Perez, Joe Rogan and George Stephanopoulos.

Dr. Steve Macek, professor and chair of the communication department at North Central College, was quoted on this topic in The New York Times.

“Ken Jennings’ serious yet genial demeanor would make him a natural successor to Mr. Trebek,” said Dr. Macek. “Fans would be upset if Trebek were replaced by some colorful or funny personality who upstaged the contestants and the questions. Ken Jennings, the winningest Jeopardy contestant, has to be in contention, and he’d be a good choice.”

Read the full article in The New York Times.

Dr. Patricia Bayona provides tips on how to learn English in U.S. News and World Report

English is one of the most popular languages in the world. More than 1 billion people speak it, about 380 million consider it their native language and many countries make sure young students learn it. There are many advantages to speaking English that surround four focal points: business, study, travel and the arts.

Dr. Patricia Bayona, assistant professor of Spanish, was quoted in U.S. News and World Report and shared that people have plenty of options for learning English, regardless of how you hope to use the language.

“It’s ideal to focus on the dialect of the place where you want to live,” said Dr. Bayona.

She shared some tips on navigating the journey of learning English, such as how long it might take to get a beginner or intermediate level and some of the best ways to learn as quickly as possible.

Read the full article in U.S. News and World Report.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo talks the ‘battleground blitz’ ahead of Election Day on ABC 7 Chicago

On Monday, Nov. 2 the push was on for those last-minute votes in key battleground states ahead of election day. Leading into the big day it was down to the wire for both candidates. One last day of rallies as both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden made their final push to get people to the polls.

Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, interviewed with ABC 7 Chicago political reporter Craig Wall.

“I think both of them need to get every voter to the polls who have not voted already,” said Caliendo.

Watch the full interview on ABC 7 Chicago.

Caliendo breaks down what to anticipate on Election Day on FOX 32 Chicago

Four years ago, a lot of Americans went to bed believing they were prepared to see Hillary Clinton become the first woman to win the White House, and Donald Trump changed that narrative. On Tuesday, November 3, voters decided if President Trump deserved another four years in office. Given the historical number of ballots, the question many political experts were asking is what type of turnout did President Trump need to stay in office?

Stephen Caliendo weighed in on what to expect on election day on FOX 32 Chicago.

“We know from states that require voters to register as a party when they register to vote that more democrats asked for mail-in ballots and cast them then republicans,” said Caliendo. “If that is the case, President Trump needs a good turnout in person today [election day].”

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Dr. Suzanne Chod shares final expectations ahead Election Day poll closures on WGN

With the last hour ahead of polls closing on election night, Dr. Suzanne Chod, associate professor of political science, took to the spotlight and was interviewed on WGN News to share what final expectations we could see from voter turnout. The focus was on the swing states and what voters could anticipate for an outcome.

“What we’re hearing a lot of and what I think is really important centers around Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Chod. “We look at the paths to victory for both candidates, and while the paths are a little narrower for Trump and there’s a couple of more for candidate Biden, a lot rests in Pennsylvania. Specifically, if President Trump can win Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia, and Joe Biden is expected to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, then it really comes down to Pennsylvania. And if Joe Biden can pick up Pennsylvania then it will come down to Arizona. I think those are the two main states to watch tonight.”

Watch the full interview on WGN News.

Caliendo provides commentary the morning after Election Night on CBS 2 Chicago

As America watched and waited for results, Stephen Caliendo spoke with CBS 2 Chicago on the events that took place on election night.

“Anything could happen in the sense that any candidate could win,” said Dr. Caliendo. “It will take some time until we know that for sure. It seems that certainly it looks like former vice president Biden is winning based on the certified results, or the unofficial result prior to the formal certification. There will be several lawsuits by the Trump campaign. They have instigated that are certainly focusing on Pennsylvania, but they could do so elsewhere which could drag things out.”

Watch the full interview on CBS 2 Chicago.

Caliendo breaks down a wild Election Night on FOX 32 Chicago

Going into the election, Americans knew we would not likely wake up the following morning knowing who had won the White House. In the morning following election night, many media outlets were fixated on the presidential address made by Trump in the early hours on November 4.

Stephen Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago on President Trump’s address and the wild ride that was election night.

“I was really disappointed that the president would make a statement like that, certainly in the White House in front of a crowd and to suggest there was fraud going on because they are counting ballots after election day,” said Dr. Caliendo. “It is suggesting that people were casting votes after the election was over when that is certainly not the case. He also said that he was going to go to the Supreme Court, which is not how it works. He would have to challenge in the state courts because the election is controlled by the states. It could ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court, but there is a process in place for that.”

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Dr. William Muck provides a 2020 General Election recap on Naperville Community Television (NCTV)

The votes were cast, but there was a lot still unknown in the 2020 General Election at the national, state, and local levels. Illinois was one of the first states called in the presidential election, and it went to Democrat Joe Biden. DuPage County shows 57.2 percent in Biden’s favor, with President Donald Trump earning 40.8 percent. Will County is closer, with Biden winning 52.7 percent to Trump’s 45.3 percent.

Dr. William Muck, professor of political science, spoke with Naperville Community Television (NCTV) reporter Casey Krajewski and gave an overall recap on the election.

“As we think about what’s happening in the country, we see that the suburbs are drifting Democratic,” said Dr. Muck. “And we saw that in DuPage County, we saw that in Naperville and elsewhere. That’s a really important measure, thinking about what’s going to happen over the next 5, 10, or 15 years in terms of the breakout of the country."

Watch the segment and read the transcript on NCTV's website.

Caliendo shares an update on the status of the election 2020 on FOX 32 Chicago

A few states had still yet to be decided in the race for the White House. As the wait continued, Americans questioned who would be the first candidate to reach that electoral 270 for the election win. Stephen Caliendo weighed in on FOX 32 Chicago as to whether or not the wait for results was surprising and how long voters can expect to wait.

“We want to count all the votes and find out,” said Dr. Caliendo. “A number of states are not quite there yet. It has been a close race and we want to see how it plays out. At some point there will have to be some discussion in the inner circle for the president about when he is willing to concede but that should not be until enough votes are counted, and many media organizations are convinced the states are ready to be called.”

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Dr. Sean Kim Butorac talks suburban voting on Election Day on NBC 5 Chicago

As the country remained on track to see a record number of voters, suburban Chicago polling places played a role in shaping American history. From first-time voters to frequent voters, people made their voices heard on Election Day.

Dr. Sean Kim Butorac, assistant professor of political science, interviewed with NBC 5 Chicago reporter Chris Coffey, who shared that the suburbs are changing the way they vote and people were motivated to get to the polls.
 
“Suburban voters have indicated the things they’re concerned about right now are primarily education as well as the coronavirus and the ongoing response to this public health pandemic,” said Kim Butorac.

Watch the full interview on NBC 5 Chicago.

Caliendo shares his thoughts on how long Americans might need to wait for election results on FOX 32 Chicago

As the country anxiously waits for all the votes to be tallied from the Tuesday, November 4 presidential election, many are wondering how long it will be before a winner is announced. Stephen Caliendo shared his insight into the ballot-counting process in an interview with FOX 32 Chicago.

“Everything is different this time around,” said Dr. Caliendo. “Remember, the states are dealing with a different mass, well volume rather, and they’re dealing with different types of ballots. And add to that the stress of lawsuits, which is always implicit, but now it is being very explicit on the part of the Trump campaign, and all eyes are on them. So, it is hard to patient—with Nevada in particular—because it seems like they have a higher percentage counted than Pennsylvania, which we knew was going to take a number of days to finish counting.”

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Caliendo talks key swing states in 2020 Presidential Election on FOX 32 Chicago

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the presidential race continues and votes continue to be tallied. Democratic nominee Joe Biden has pulled ahead in Pennsylvania and in Georgia, President Trump must win both of those states to have any shot at keeping his office in the White House. Stephen Caliendo interviewed with FOX 32 Chicago on Friday, November 6, where he discussed the projection of the key swing states in the election, and if there was a path to reelection for President Trump.

“There are still votes to be counted,” said Dr. Caliendo. “We want to make sure the process goes the whole way through. Certainly, we know the president has signaled he will have some challenges in key states. But I imagine the major media organizations when the states acknowledge that they have counted all the votes in front of them—maybe save some provisional ballots—that they will make a call. It will feel at that moment that we have a good sense of who the next president will be.”

Watch the full interview on FOX 32 Chicago.

Kim Butorac shares insight behind the speculation surrounding the 2020 election on WGN

As the wait continued and the American people grew more and more anxious, political analysts and leaders nationwide took to speculation regarding the 2020 Election. For example, Rudy Giuliani mentioned he thought the Biden campaign was trying to steal the election and that the Trump campaign will not be bullied into conceding.

Sean Kim Butorac interviewed with WGN News on this and the overall status of the election on Wednesday, November 4.

“Looking at where things stand, democrats clearly are not out of the woods yet, but things do look promising for them, but that doesn’t mean the Biden campaign is trying to steal the election,” said Dr. Kim Butorac. “Biden has got some narrow leads in the Midwest, and state officials have indicated that they will provide results as soon as possible. It’s unclear whether or not that’s going to give us a winner in the next 24-hours—we will just have to wait and see.”

Watch the full interview on WGN News.

Caliendo weighs in on Trump fighting the transition post-election on CBS 2 Chicago

The votes may almost be counted, but President Donald Trump’s fight to stay in the White House is just beginning—all while Joe Biden will be assembling a transition team. President Trump has no plans to concede if Biden is the projected winner. Stephen Caliendo interviewed with Dana Kozlov of CBS 2 Chicago, where he discussed that even if Trump won’t concede, it will not stop Biden’s transition plans—event if there are legal battles waiting. Biden’s transition could always come to a halt if President Trump is declared the winner after all.

“He has the right to challenge the ballots if he thinks there’s wrongdoing, and the courts have the right to decide if there is or isn’t,” said Dr. Caliendo. “It’s the rhetoric that’s the problem. It is absolutely unacceptable. It needs to stop. It’s false.”

Watch the full interview on CBS 2 Chicago.

Chod discusses history of electoral college on WGN

Election Day turned into Election Week and there was a lot of anxiety as votes were being counted. In that moment of uncertainty, there was a lot of talk about the electoral college as opposed to the popular vote, and a lot of people do not know the history behind the electoral college and why we follow it each election. Suzanne Chod interviewed with WGN News on Friday, November 6 and shared the key aspects behind that history.

“The electoral college was initiated initially as a way to try to balance out representation between big states and small states, northern states and southern states,” said Dr. Chod. “The fight was over whether salves who had no rights as humans, but were seen as property, should be considered as part of the population. Of course, southern states wanted them as part of the population so they could get more representation in Congress, which would give them more electoral college votes, and the compromise there was the three-fifths compromise to count every five slaves as three people. And so, what that ended up doing was amplifying the amount of representation that really five southern states got in the electoral college. So, it has deep roots in racism and slavery and in representation and compromising a balance between the north and the south to be able to get the constitution ratified.”

Watch the full interview on WGN News.

Chod sits on post-election panel on WGN’s ‘People to People’

The whole world watched as the U.S. elections took place. People are still watching as ballots continue to be counted and recounted and voter turnout reaches historic levels. Democrat Joe Biden has been named president-elect with more history being made by way of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Biden won the popular vote with more than 77 million Americans voting for him as president along with electoral votes. However, President Donald Trump is pushing back, alleging fraud and refusing to concede.

Suzanne Chod interviewed on WGN’s “People to People” show, where she discussed the developments of the 2020 General Election.

“So typically, what happens is the race is called once a candidate has gone over that 270 electoral vote count,” said Dr. Chod. “But, because of the mail in ballots, many states are taking much longer to get all of those votes counted. Every vote should be counted, that’s what happens in a democracy.”

Watch the full interview on WGN News.