SIU Professor John Jackson Provides a Historical Perspective on the 2016 Election

by Shawn Healy, PhD, Civic Learning Scholar

I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. John Jackson, Professor of Political Science, during a visit to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale late last month. Dr. Jackson is affiliated with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, a long-time partner of ours in bringing civic education opportunities to Southern Illinois teachers and students. He directs the Institute’s internship program, edits the Simon Review, and assists with its annual statewide poll.

Dr. Jackson has researched and written extensively about the presidential nominating process and party conventions, with a specific focus on delegates. He weighs in on the process across time in the following segment, and also provides an extensive retrospective on the 2016 cycle.

As Election Day fast approaches, Dr. Jackson comments on the road ahead for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in her attempt to persuade millennial voters that supported Sanders. He also draws historical parallels to 2016 cycle, invoking the names of Wendell Willkie and Hubert Humphrey.

In this final piece, Dr. Jackson shares how teachers can use Simon Statewide Polls. He also addresses the extent to which Illinois a blue state, and weighs in on a number of down ballot contests on November 8. He concludes with general advice to teachers about bringing elections and public policy into our classrooms.

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