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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, ...

Independents Flee GOP

February 28, 2012 It’s misleading to say that the state of the economy determines whether a president will win reelection. But it is fair to say that when a White House incumbent is running for a second term, the election is first and foremost a referendum on that president; the single most important ...

The Election is Still a Long Way Off

February 21, 2012 The current spike in gasoline prices and the flap over the Obama administration’s proposed requirement that religiously affiliated institutions provide their employees health insurance covering contraception are useful reminders that economics and politics are both dynamic, not static. It’s always risky to project that the status quo will hold, particularly ...

Right and Wrong

February 14, 2012 The practical effects of Rick Santorum’s sweep of the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri nonbinding primary are that it moves his long-shot candidacy marginally ahead while undercutting Mitt Romney’s argument of inevitability. The Romney campaign decided to expend minimal money and candidate time (the scarcest of commodities) on ...

Improving Fortunes

February 6, 2012 Mitt Romney’s impressive 14-point victory in the Florida primary gave the GOP frontrunner more votes than Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum combined. After an exciting detour, this nomination race seems back on the track that analysts anticipated several months ago. With no debates and no high-profile caucuses or primaries in ...