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Money Isn’t Everything

July 10, 2007 There are no two ways about it: Sen. Barack Obama's blistering $32.5 million second-quarter fundraising is impressive. For any presidential contender to raise $58.3 million in the first six months of a campaign is nearly unbelievable. But for someone who was sitting in the Illinois Legislature less than three years ...

Polling Trends

July 3, 2007 The political world will soon be awash in second-quarter fundraising numbers from the 2008 presidential campaigns. But this column's focus is on polling numbers -- the combined results of four national surveys, conducted in late April, mid-May, and twice in June, by Thom Riehle and RT Strategies for The Cook ...

Patience Wears Thin

June 19, 2007 Voters seem to be channeling baseball's Casey Stengel these days, echoing his memorable lament, "Can't anybody here play this game?" Last fall, the American people rather robustly threw the Republicans out -- ending their control of the House and Senate because of disenchantment about the war in Iraq, scandals, high ...

Balancing Act

June 12, 2007 Ever since recapturing control of Congress last November, Democrats have clearly had their work cut out for them. They have had to try to balance the demands of their liberal, militantly anti-war base with those of the broader electorate, whose support for the war has waned but whose attitudes toward ...

Turning the Tables

June 5, 2007 With the recent disclosure that Pentagon war planners are working on options to begin withdrawing U.S. troops next year, we got a glimpse of America's Iraq policy of the not-too-distant future. Revealed even before all of the troops in President Bush's surge have reached Iraq, a drawdown is not the ...

Financial Checkup

May 29, 2007 In five weeks, the presidential campaigns must close their books on the second quarter and begin preparing their reports to the Federal Election Commission on fundraising, spending, and cash-on-hand. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that this will be a make-or-break moment for any of the campaigns, their ...

Closing In

May 22, 2007 Given how early the 2008 presidential race started, it's no surprise that we're already swimming in national polls. But too often the surveys that attract the most attention are the outliers, those that differ from what most of the others are finding. For analysts and the news media, the dilemma ...

Getting Jumpy

May 15, 2007 The war in Iraq is probably the biggest single variable that will influence the outcome of the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. It is likely to be a more important factor than whom each party nominates for president or how the parties fare at candidate recruitment and fundraising. And Iraq ...

First-Quarter Grades

May 8, 2007 Analyzing politics can be viewed as a science or as an art. Likewise, presidential campaigns can be evaluated objectively, based on quantitative measurements, or subjectively, based on judgment, experience, and intuition. Neither way is perfect, but all too often people look at elections entirely through a subjective prism, and they ...

Controlling Themselves

May 1, 2007 Need proof that Democrats are intent on holding their House and Senate majorities in next year's elections? Then look no further than the refusal of Hill Democratic leaders to respond to the Virginia Tech massacre by calling for sweeping gun control legislation and to respond to the Supreme Court's decision ...