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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 ...

Underestimating Giuliani

April 24, 2007 At the end of every year, The Washington Post's David Broder writes what has to be a horribly painful column cataloging every journalistic mistake he's aware of having made over the previous 12 months. Broder is a fine journalist, but he must have some latent masochistic tendency: You will never ...

Taking a Stand

April 17, 2007 Politicians are routinely accused of blowing with the wind, of doing whatever seems to be most expedient. Although it's true that the final edition of Profiles in Courage left the printer long ago, we too often tend to think that politicos who take a stand that we agree with are ...

Combining Polls

April 10, 2007 The proliferation of polls makes modern presidential campaigns more fun to watch than those of earlier periods. There are so many polls that it's not hard to figure out where a race stands at a given point, even if it's very unclear where it is headed. Looking at an average ...

Bottoming Out

April 3, 2007 For the longest time, the political consequences of the war in Iraq were very simple: It was hurting Republicans -- no ifs, ands, or buts. Scandals and other issues certainly contributed to the GOP's loss of six Senate seats, 30 House seats, a half-dozen governorships, and more than 300 state ...