Mercer University class teaching the science behind elections and campaigns

During the Campaigns and Elections class students are piecing together each presidential candidate's road map to a win.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – When it comes to understanding the numbers and science behind elections, it can be complicated and always up for debate.

A Mercer University political science professor is teaching his students about campaigns and election strategy while a real life battle for votes plays in the background.

Dr. Chris Grant is the Political Science Department Chair at Mercer University. During his Campaigns and Elections class his students are piecing together each presidential candidate’s road map to a win.

“People tend to take a step back and try to argue academic arguments for either side,” said Mercer senior Trevor Langill.

As students break down the must-win states for President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, Grant is hoping his students gain real-world insight about politics.

“They need to understand the context of the elections and what’s likely to happen,” explains Grant. “If you work in politics and campaigns the only experience that counts is actual experience.”

The students taking the course are also required to focus on a service-learning community project. Due to COVID-19, the students had to focus their efforts on the Mercer campus community. Projects included voter registration drives and debate watch parties.

“People say that college students aren’t interested in politics because they don’t want to mess with it,” said Mercer sophomore Drew Williams. “But my experience has been this year everyone is really interested.”

Williams is a sophomore and also involved with the Mercer Young Democrats Club. He says they are focused on election enthusiasm and getting young people excited about voting and showing up at the polls.



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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.