Steve Kornacki shares experience, inspires students in Q&A panel


Angel Saldivar

On Tuesday, Steve Kornacki, an NBC News and MSNBC national political correspondent spoke at the Spurlock Museum.

By Marta Narag, News Editor

Steve Kornacki, NBC News and MSNBC national political correspondent, answered questions ranging from politics to sports during a Q&A panel on Tuesday night. 

The Q&A was presented by the Frank Center for Leadership and Innovation in Media and hosted by Colleen King, assistant professor in Media and director of the Frank Center. It was held at the Knight Auditorium in the Spurlock Museum. 

Though King had a list of predetermined questions, time was designated at the end for audience inquiries. 

After a brief introduction of his background and the beginning of his career, Kornacki spent the majority of the time discussing the results of the 2022 midterm election. He discussed what an election day looks like, how he prepares for it and the reality that he faces during it. 

“It’s not just gonna be election night,” Kornacki said. “It’s gonna be election week.”

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
Thank you for subscribing!

He noted that because of how dynamic each election is, it’s hard to get bored with what he does. Kornacki went on to mention that he runs election day on only a cup of coffee.

Both students and community members were present at the panel, and there was also an option to listen online via a Zoom broadcast. 

“I learned a lot about what was going into all of the election,” said Hunter Farnham, freshman in Information Sciences. “Namely, how much independents changed the course of the election, and how factors like Trump and Republicans’ unfavorability gave Democrats some unexpected success in the 2022 midterms.”

Farnham said that he is passionate about data analytics and hopes to pursue a career similar to Kornacki’s. 

Like Farnham, other students came to gain insight from Kornacki’s political expertise.

“Even though it’s just a hobby, I’m really interested in political analytics, and Steve Kornacki is obviously extremely influential in that,” said David Mengel, sophomore in Engineering. “I thought it would be really interesting to hear what he has to say.” 

Mengel was one of the four audience members who were able to ask Kornacki a question of their own. 

“It’s really important to have an interdisciplinary understanding of a lot of things, and coming to this let me gain a better knowledge of how Mr. Kornacki communicates to people what political data actually means,” Mengel said. 


[email protected]