November at MSNBC is nearly upon us, and traditionally that means a substantial dose of Steve Kornacki. The veteran political correspondent (and his khakis) will once again be featured across NBC News and MSNBC platforms on midterm election night next week.
Kornacki, MSNBC’s resident data guru and captain of the “Big Board,” is seeing his signature month start a day early this year. His new six-episode podcast, The Revolution with Steve Kornacki dropped today. MSNBC dedicated its 11 a.m. timeslot exclusively to The Kornacki Countdown from NBC’s Washington bureau today. Additionally, the Washington Post Magazine published a profile of Kornacki out today.
Anna Peele writes:
The man is a beacon for those who turn on MSNBC on election night to find out who will lead the country. How many people clung to Kornacki’s presence on Nov. 8, 2016, as he explained the dwindling number of increasingly byzantine paths to a Clinton victory? How nice was it in 2020 to know that Kornacki was conscious for the days before the election was called, sucking down Diet Cokes and waiting to analyze the outstanding ballots that would determine the next president of the United States of America?
Yes, Kornacki likes to let the data tell the story, but he also has doubts.
And yet there’s an irony to the Kornacki phenomenon. Viewers look to him for answers, but Kornacki himself understands better than most the fragility of certainty. Perhaps it’s because he covers politics almost as a sport: “People use ‘horse race’ as a disparaging term,” he says. “But I’ll defend horse-race journalism … or at least the idea that there can be useful horse-race journalism.” He knows that on Election Day, anything can happen — that the factors separating a win from a loss can be highly unpredictable. “Where a lot of people have confidence, I have doubts,” he told me in October, a month before the big day. “My doubt-to-confidence ratio is extremely high.”