Political science professor is guest commentator on election night

Dr. Jeff VanDerWerff, political science professor and dean of the social sciences at Northwestern College, was a guest commentator on KDCR radio on election night.

VanDerWerff joined KDCR news director John Slegers and criminal justice and public administration professor Donald Roth of Dordt College for two hours of commentary while polls were closing and election results—such as Republican Congressman Steve King’s narrow win over J.D. Scholten—were coming in.

Between announcing results, VanDerWerff says their political analysis covered, among other things, the dynamics of King’s race, whether or not the so-called ‘blue-wave’ had materialized, and the fact that Iowa sent its first two women to the U.S. House of Representatives.

VanDerWerff enjoys providing political commentary and says his teaching informs the election night observations he made. He also says his own unsuccessful run for political office two years ago was very beneficial to his teaching. “It’s one thing to talk about, for instance, the differences between primary and general election voters, but it’s another to actually have experienced it.

“It was interesting to live into the reality of bringing my faith to bear on politics and the pursuit of elected office. We have, in my estimation, far too many purists seeking to serve. We live in a society that is growing increasingly diverse, and this pluralism requires a humility and moderation that allows for compromise and incremental improvement.”

VanDerWerff earned a doctorate from the University of Kansas. He teaches courses in government, public policy and electoral politics. His scholarly research focuses on religion and politics.