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Iran, the Wild Card

May 8, 2012 One distinct possibility in this election year has always been that a major international incident, very possibly in the Middle East, could push a close presidential election decisively in one direction or the other. An air strike by Israel, the United States, or both, against Iran to prevent it from ...

Election Rests on the Economy

May 1, 2012 Regular readers of this column know that in analyzing the 2012 presidential race, I have been preoccupied—some would say obsessed—with the state and direction of the U.S. economy. Presidential elections have many moving parts and can turn on many things, but rarely is a single factor more important than the ...

Romney Must Win Over Women

April 24, 2012 For the past year or so, we’ve seen television ads for a prescription drug designed to help men with something called “Low T,” which turns out to mean low testosterone levels (who knew?). As I waded through tons of polling data and focus-group findings this week, it hit me. For ...

Election Could Come Down to the Wire

April 17, 2012 Presidential elections have a lot of moving parts. They rarely turn on any single factor or issue. Take, for example, the tensions over Tehran’s nuclear aspirations and the possibility of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities by either Israel or the United States. In five minutes, the tone and direction ...

Does Santorum Hear the Music?

April 10, 2012 Rick Santorum has every right to continue his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, just as Edward Kennedy did when he carried his fight against President Carter to the Democratic convention in 1980, and just as Hillary Rodham Clinton did through the last of the primaries four years ago. But ...

Young Voters Disappointed in Obama

April 3, 2012 When you look back at Barack Obama’s 7-point victory over John McCain in 2008, think of a four-legged stool. Obama needed each leg to support his candidacy. One leg was independent voters (29 percent of the vote); they chose Obama over McCain by 8 percentage points, 52 percent to 44 ...

A Conflicted GOP

March 27, 2012 Ever since former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s candidacy fizzled after August’s Iowa Republican straw poll, I’ve been pretty convinced that Mitt Romney would end up winning the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination. I had moments of doubt, such as after his crushing loss to Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. If Romney ...

Primaries a Threat for House GOP

March 19, 2012 There are plenty of good reasons why Rep. Jean Schmidt’s Republican primary loss last week in Ohio’s 2nd District to Brad Wenstrup, a tea-partying podiatric surgeon and an Iraq war veteran, should not be extrapolated to other congressional districts. For one thing, Schmidt has chronically underperformed in GOP primaries. And, ...

Infighting Hurts GOP Candidates

March 13, 2012 Republicans, who only weeks ago could not imagine how President Obama could be reelected, sure are trying hard to make it happen. Through 11 primaries and caucuses going into Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney had accumulated more delegates than Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul combined. Again on Tuesday night, ...

Senate Control Looking Like a Close Call

March 6, 2012 Republican strategists and the GOP establishment weren’t breathing that much easier last Wednesday, the day after Mitt Romney’s presidential primary victories in Arizona and Michigan, than they had been the day before. But at least they were breathing. Many had been holding their breath after Rick Santorum’s wins in Colorado, ...