Political Analyst and OHIO Alumnus to Visit for Authors@Alden

Political analyst Kyle Kondik, author of “The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President,” will be visiting Sept. 27 for the Authors@Alden series. “The Bellwether” focuses on how Ohio voters reflect national voting patterns. (Book cover courtesy of Ohio University Press)

The United States will soon pick the next president, but according to the research of one OHIO alumnus, the state of Ohio will be particularly telling.

Kyle Kondik, author of “The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President,” will be visiting Alden Library on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. for the Authors@Alden series. Kondik, a 2006 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and former editor of the student newspaper The Post, is now the director of communications at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. He previously served as director of policy and research for former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and worked at newspapers in Northeast Ohio. Kondik has been featured on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC and has given speeches at the U.S. Department of State and National Governors Association, among other groups.

Kondik said that Ohio voters often reflect voting patterns nationally. Ohio voters have failed to support the next president only twice since 1896, in 1944 and 1960.

“The state has always been a good microcosm of the nation. It is a good mix of urban, suburban and rural, which also reflects the nation,” Kondik said. “If you know what the Ohio results are, you’d probably have a pretty good idea of who won nationally.”

The state is the subject of his book “The Bellwether,” which was released by the Ohio University Press in June. With the presidential election approaching on Nov. 8, Ohio has become a focus for the candidates due to its status as a swing state.

“Do you care who is elected president? If so, you’d better read this book, because Ohio may well hand the keys to the White House to a lucky candidate this November, just as it has done many times,” said Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in his review of the book. “Kyle Kondik, a brilliant young analyst and rising star in the study of U.S. politics, has made your task easy. This book is well written, richly illustrated, and bursting with gems about the Buckeye State—the center of our universe every four years.”

Kondik, who is originally from the Cleveland area and now lives in Washington D.C., said his experiences at OHIO helped prepare him for his career as a reporter and political analyst.

“Practically doing journalism at The Post and being the editor there … I think really helped prepare for me for my professional life,” he said. “I think I used a lot of the research skills I picked up at [the University] to write the book.”

Kondik will be speaking on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of Alden Library. The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.