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Courting Conservatives

April 18, 2006 As Sen. John McCain of Arizona begins moving to the right to maximize his chances of winning the 2008 Republican presidential nomination -- before making an equally inevitable move back toward the middle if he reaches the general election -- it will be fascinating to see how deftly he maneuvers. ...

Motivational Challenge

April 11, 2006 The loudest sound in Washington this week was the huge sigh from Republican officials relieved that their chances of holding Tom DeLay's congressional district have improved from, at best, 50-50 to more like 90-10. To be sure, few partisans ever like to see a former leader, no matter how controversial, ...

Second-Rate Candidates

April 4, 2006 Almost every day seems to bring a new storm warning for Republicans. The current national political climate is undeniably awful for their party. A report released last week by the Gallup Poll's Jeffrey Jones said that in elections from 1974 to 2002, when the approval rating for Congress as an ...

Structural Advantage

March 28, 2006 Structural barriers are protecting the GOP's majorities like seawalls, and would likely withstand the surge from a Category 1, 2, or 3 storm. Despite national political trends indicating that the GOP is in serious trouble, a race-by-race "micro" analysis suggests that Democrats cannot easily seize control of the House or ...

The Big Picture

March 21, 2006 Are the Republicans in serious danger of losing both the House and the Senate? Or would the Democrats have to get extremely lucky to take control of either chamber? At least for the moment, the forecast depends on whether contests are examined race by race -- the "micro" approach -- ...

Bench Strength

March 14, 2006 No one would mistake me for the president of the Howard Dean fan club. I can't even count the number of times that the chairman of the Democratic National Committee has said things that I considered a bit over the top and that I thought contributed to the caricature that ...

Looking Toward 2008

March 7, 2006 Although political observers are focused on this year's elections, the fight for the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential nominations and the fortunes of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain, as well as that of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are never far from their minds. Those three ...

Hard Choices

February 28, 2006 When several thousand Republicans gather in Memphis for a joint meeting of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and its Midwestern counterpart on March 9 to 12, they're likely to spend a great deal of time agonizing over -- or at least privately debating -- whom their party should nominate for ...

Popularity Factor

February 21, 2006 A president's popularity, as measured by job-approval ratings, plays an undeniably critical role in determining his Capitol Hill clout and his party's electoral prospects. So whatever influences that popularity is important. Countless factors can cause fluctuations in a president's approval ratings, including interest rates, inflation, unemployment, the general health of ...

Real Control

February 14, 2006 A half-dozen years ago, Mel Gibson starred in What Women Want, an inane movie about a guy who suddenly could read the minds of women he came close to. That silly film comes to mind these days when I listen to what Democrats say, because I find myself wondering what ...