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A Strange Game of Hearts

January 15, 2008 This presidential campaign season is perhaps the most confusing and disorienting one I've ever watched closely. As strange as the unfolding drama for the Republican nomination is, the turn of events on the Democratic side is what really has political analysts scratching our heads. The situation in the Republican race ...

The Enthusiasm Gap

January 8, 2008 DES MOINES -- One key difference between the way Iowa Democrats and their GOP counterparts conduct their caucuses is that the Republicans cast paper ballots while Democratic caucus-goers must publicly stand for their preferred candidate. This time around, another big difference was a quite noticeable enthusiasm gap. As Republican candidates ...

Slip-Sliding Away

December 18, 2007 In 2006, the Republicans' majorities in the House and Senate were buffeted, indeed destroyed, by a tidal wave. The situation developing for 2008 is not so much a wave as a drainage problem -- with Republican retirements, resignations, and deaths slipping districts into open-seat status. Republicans can expect a few ...

Seeing the Election From Abroad

December 11, 2007 There is something about overseas travel during our presidential campaigns that helps put things into perspective, reminds us of the dangers of overemphasizing the day-to-day verbal jousting and towel-snapping, and frames the election in a broader context. Trips and meetings this year took me to Paris in January; Melbourne, Australia, ...

It's the Economy, Maybe

December 4, 2007 The biggest question in the race for the Republican presidential nomination so far has been whether Rudy Giuliani's national support can withstand the effect of expected victories by Mitt Romney in early primaries. Romney has spent considerable time and money trying to build support in Iowa, enjoys next-door-neighbor status in ...

Two Contests, Worlds Apart

November 20, 2007 The contrast between the two presidential nomination contests continues to be startling. On the Democratic side, the divide is almost theological: Some party members believe that the nomination of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is virtually inevitable; others believe that resistance to her is too strong for her to prevail. The ...

Refusing to Turn on a Dime

November 13, 2007 Every once in a while, a piece of data crosses your desk that causes you to scratch your head. That happened to me when I saw the most recent Newsweek poll. Even though U.S. military and Iraq civilian casualties have been declining for several months and even though people in ...

Far Right Revolt?

November 6, 2007 If Rudy Giuliani were to win the Republican presidential nomination, would that trigger a significant third-party effort by social and religious conservatives, potentially costing the former New York City mayor the general election? Don't expect an unequivocal answer here. I, for one, am still trying to get my arms around ...

Steady Gains

October 30, 2007 While there is a lot of talk these days about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's strong showing in Democratic presidential primary polls, considerably less has been said about the small but consistent improvement in her general election poll standings. During the first four months of this year, Clinton trailed former New ...

Reconsidering Giuliani

October 23, 2007 Good mottos for political columnists might be "Quick to judge, quick to change" and "Don't go down with the ship." That is, don't hang on to a theory or prediction that you no longer believe in or that is increasingly likely to be wrong. As political analysts, we are supposed ...