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Judgment Calls

March 18, 2008 If we've learned anything in political journalism this year, it should be that absolutes are absolutely to be avoided. Hillary Rodham Clinton might well win more delegates than Barack Obama in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary. And it is plausible that she could close in on her rival by winning ...

Starting Line

March 11, 2008 "Once again two great armies will be coming back to Pennsylvania to fight the decisive battle." Tony Corrado, a professor of government at Colby College, is one of the few real experts on the Democratic Party's byzantine delegate-selection process and the strategies that flow from it. When he started using ...

The Democrats' Advantages

March 4, 2008 With the upcoming Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont contests, this presidential primary campaign will, for all intents and purposes, turn the corner. John McCain will almost certainly win enough delegates to officially put him over the top for the Republican nomination, and, although Barack Obama will not have a ...

Closing In

February 26, 2008 Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., clearly had a good night on Tuesday. With his wins in Wisconsin and Hawaii, he seems to be closing in on his party's presidential nomination. Not nearing a majority of the delegates, mind you, but building enough of a delegate lead that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, ...

Depressed Old Party

February 19, 2008 In a funny way, I can identify with how Republicans are feeling and acting these days. I've been fighting a cold since before I boarded a plane for Des Moines to attend the Iowa caucuses, feeling lousy the whole time. Republicans aren't feeling well either. Their 12-year leadership run in ...

The Middle Man

February 5, 2008 With John McCain's 5-point victory in Florida's Republican primary, he appears all but unstoppable. The momentum that this win, wider than expected, gives the Arizonan going into Super Tuesday means that only a massive mistake would derail his candidacy now. The vacuum that existed in the GOP field, unfilled by ...

Chaos Keeps Winning

January 22, 2008 Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney should have been dancing, singing, and doing his best imitation of John Travolta's "Staying Alive" when the Michigan results rolled in on Tuesday night, because that is just what he did: He kept his campaign alive. When Romney invested millions of dollars and scores of ...

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 ...