US Election Watch 2016: Predicting the unpredictable

Part of the series



17 May 2016


The University of Sydney


Public forum



The 2016 race has proved to be one of the most unpredictable elections in modern times, with a host of larger than life characters presenting striking challenges to party elites and proving the pundits wrong over and over again. How did we get here and what issues are likely to define the next six months until Election Day? And who is most likely to win the White House?

To discuss these important issues and how they might affect Australia, the US Studies Centre hosted a panel discussion with: 

  • Sarah Ellen Graham, lecturer in US Foreign Policy at the United States Studies Centre
  • Professor Leonie Huddy, professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and visiting fellow at the United States Studies Centre
  • Professor Simon Jackman, Chief Executive Officer at the United States Studies Centre
  • Stephen Loosely, Chair of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former Labor senator and president of the Australian Labor Party.

Moderated by Tom Switzer, research associate at the United States Studies Centre, the speakers tackled issues that have defined the campaign thus far and what can be expected from the candidates as Election Day edges closer.

Predicting the Unpredictable


  • Dr Sarah Graham
    Dr Sarah Graham
    Honorary Associate, United States Studies Centre

    Dr Sarah Ellen Graham is an Honorary Associate at the United States Studies Centre. Her research examines the American government's use of propaganda and public diplomacy in contemporary and historical contexts, the role of emotions in foreign policy, and US foreign policy in South Asia.

  • Professor Simon Jackman
    Professor Simon Jackman
    Chief Executive Officer, United States Studies Centre

    Simon Jackman commenced as CEO of the US Studies Centre in April 2016. He was previously a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.

  • Tom Switzer
    Tom Switzer
    Presenter, ABC Radio National

    Tom Switzer was a senior fellow at the United States Studies Centre until March 2017. He is a presenter on the ABC’s Radio National and a columnist at Fairfax publications.

  • Professor Leonie Huddy
    Professor of Political Science , State University of New York at Stony Brook

    Leonie Huddy was a Visiting Fellow at the US Studies Centre from April to May 2016. Huddy is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Survey Research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has written extensively on social and political identities, emotions, reactions to terrorism, gender and politics, and race relations. She co-authored (with Stanley Feldman and George Marcus) the book Going to War in Iraq: When Citizens and the Press Matter (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

  • Stephen Loosley, AM
    Stephen Loosley, AM
    Non-Resident Fellow, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

    Stephen Loosley served in the Australian Parliament during the Hawke and Keating Governments where he chaired both the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and the Senate Regulations Committee.


Part of the series

Election Watch

Since 2008 the United States Studies Centre has been helping make sense of the US presidential elections with a series of events featuring Centre experts and visitors.

View all events in this series