‘Prescient Predictions’ virtual town hall slated
A symposium, “Prescient Predictions: Who Won 2020,” will be offered during a virtual town hall July 26 at 3 p.m.
The 90-minute program is sponsored by Conservations on the Green in Washington and is the group’s fourth event of the season.
It will be led by Steve Kornacki who is known for his MSNBC “Big Board” on election nights.
The live-streamed program will discuss the dominant forces driving the campaign and how they will determine who wins.
The panel of all-star forecasters will explain how the two major-party candidates are assembling their coalitions, what voting blocs will tip the outcome, and which states are key to victory.
A lifelong politics wonk, Kornacki is an NBC national political correspondent and the paragon of a statistical geek who turns columns of numbers into comprehensible analyses of trends.
Dr. Rachel Bitecofer, who is known as the “It-Girl” of political forecasting, will headline the panel with Kornacki.
David Axelrod, the chief strategist for President Barack Obama’s longshot but victorious effort in 2008 and his re-election drive four years later will round out the panel.
The interactive symposium will be moderated by former NBC correspondent and national talk show host Jane Whitney,
Kornacki, 40, is a self-described sports nut who is obsessed by game shows and has written for myriad major newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Salon.
In addition to piloting “The Big Board” on MSNBC’s election night coverage, he has hosted several of the network’s programs.
Bitecofer, a 42-year-old election forecaster and senior fellow at The Niskanen Center, was largely unknown in the male-dominated world of political forecasting until November 2018, when she nailed the Democrats’ win in the House.
Not only did she get the numbers right, she did it earlier than anyone: she made her forecast in July, then stuck with it while polling shifted throughout the summer and fall.
Her concept is that modern American elections aren’t determined by swing voters but rather by shifts in who votes.
She’s an extreme apostle of the old saw that “turnout explains everything” and argues that most experts have been slow to understand the impact of polarization’s heralded rooting.
Axelrod is mild-mannered and soft-spoken with an appreciation of Chicago’s bare-knuckled campaign tactics.
He is credited with implementing the people-powered, grass-roots campaign style that allowed the obscure Illinois senator to overwhelm better known and better-financed opponents.
Now a senior CNN political commentator, Axelrod began his career at The Chicago Tribune covering national, state and local politics.
He says politics appealed to him because he is an idealist and in 1985 started the political consulting firm, Axelrod & Associates. He soon became known as a specialist in urban politics and for working with black politicians, advising minority mayoral candidates in major cities around the country.
He nearly sat out the 2008 campaign as five of the leading candidates were former clients and he had deep personal ties to Hillary Clinton, who had raised major funding for epilepsy research on behalf of a foundation co-founded by his wife and mother, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, CURE.
But he ultimately decided to become Obama’s chief strategist and media advisor.
After helping to lead Obama’s 2012 reelection drive, he stepped back from American campaigns and founded the non-partisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, where he serves as director.
For more information and registration, which is $25, visit www.conversationsonthegreen.com.
All proceeds from Conversations on the Green events benefit local organizations including the Susan B. Anthony Project, New Milford Hospital and Greenwoods Counseling & Referrals.