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Candidates for one elective office can affect the outcomes for others on the same party ticket. For example, an unattractive or goofy candidate at the top of the ticket can depress turnout of the party faithful, thus depriving all candidates down the ballot of their votes. That is what scare…

Jim Nowlan's past columns

Readers will be pleased to know that I have brought on a part-time research assistant. So, I will no longer have to make things up for my writings, and can use real facts based on research, if I choose to. What an improvement.

The recent election of Republican Glenn Youngkin to be governor in Democratic-stronghold Virginia displays emphatically that Trump conservatism fares better — without Trump. The conundrum for Republican Party leaders, a weak lot, is how to double down on this fact in 2022, and keep former Pr…

Whenever I go to a high school or college football game, I cringe at the sight of players on the field, standing as if witless (which they aren’t), looking to the sidelines for instructions from the coaches for the play to call and defense to mount.

We live in Trump country. Seven of 10 voters in our respective central Illinois counties voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. We are not Trump fans, yet many of our friends are. 

Barack Obama recently purchased a $12 million summer place on Martha’s Vineyard and planned to host 600 “swells” there for his 60th birthday, until the resurgent pandemic shrunk his party numbers.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar has created a program that might be the last great hope for struggling Illinois, yet his Edgar Fellows Program has yet to prove its potential. I propose that the nearly 400 Fellows take on the task, never before tried, of building a strong future for Illinois. The chall…

I had lunch recently with two friends from way back. As we sat down at a public golf course in Prophetstown in northwest Illinois, I realized each of us has been president of a respected statewide organization over the many decades. There might be a column here, I thought.

To borrow a popular sports metaphor, 2022 is likely a rebuilding year for an Illinois Republican Party that is on the ropes (can’t get away from sports lingo). To be honest, chances of the GOP winning statewide offices next year are slim, but not impossible. And unless overturned by the cour…

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On a sprawling plantation in Maryland, Harriet Tubman took her first breath into a life of servitude, surrounded by fields of cotton, tobacco and sorrow.

As tensions about raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling build, the headline that should be flashing in front of every American is that our country is not working.

About the columnist

About the columnist

Jim Nowlan was a senior fellow and political science professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He has worked for three unindicted governors and published a weekly newspaper in central Illinois.

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