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Power Shift

April 12, 2005 In a fascinating and provocative analysis of the 2004 elections, Michael Nelson, a political scientist at Rhodes College in Memphis, makes a strong case that last year's election was a clear departure from recent elections. In a just-released book with chapters from eight other distinguished political scientists -- including the...

Which Way Will the Wind Blow?

April 5, 2005 While the controversies surrounding House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, have not yet jeopardized his leadership position, he does appear to be nearing an important fork in the road. If no additional allegations of ethical transgressions or new controversies crop up, DeLay's troubles may all blow over. In that case,...

Deja Vu

March 29, 2005 The strategies that both Republicans and Democrats employed to handle the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman, were clearly driven directly by what happened in the 2004 elections. For Republicans, the strategy of growing their social- and cultural-conservative base rather than reaching for the middle was successful last...

Jostling For A Seat

March 22, 2005 Washington-area political junkies may reside at the epicenter of the political universe, but opportunities to watch interesting and trulycompetitive Senate and House races in our own backyard have been few and far between. The 1994 Senate race in Virginia between Democratic incumbent Chuck Robb and Republican Oliver North was great...

An Uphill Battle

March 15, 2005 It's the time in the election cycle when the House campaign committees beat the bushes for top-flight candidates to run for the handful of seats that ought to be competitive next time around. And, like Christmas presents that get repackaged year after year, the same old districts get billed as...

Cut Your Losses

March 8, 2005 The slow, public death of President Bush's Social Security proposal validates the view that the 2004 election was not a transformational one, and that any mandate that Bush received from it was meager indeed. The 2004 election in a nutshell: Thanks to his fabulous campaign organization, Bush, whose stature was...

Drawing Skills

March 1, 2005 Before the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature redrew that state's 32 congressional districts in 2003, midterm redistricting was unheard-of in modern-day American politics, except under court order. Today, taking a second crack at political boundaries redrawn as a result of the most recent census is a game that a growing number of...

Midterm Anxiety

February 22, 2005 There is a palpable nervousness among Capitol Hill Republicans these days. They are well aware that history has been unkind during midterm elections to the party of second-term presidents: In such elections since the end of World War II, the president's party has lost an average of 29 seats in...

Performance Assessment

February 15, 2005 What with President Bush's State of the Union speech, the ongoing debate over his efforts to change Social Security, his federal budget proposal, and the Iraqi elections, political junkies have had plenty to chew on in recent weeks. To top it off, we can mull former Sen. John Edwards's never-too-soon...

The Hunt for Willing Volunteers

February 8, 2005 Diane Farrell is the Democrat who last November held longtime Republican Rep. Christopher Shays (CT-04) to the lowest winning percentage (52 percent) of his career. She was in Washington recently to check in with top House Democrats and fundraisers. She's hesitant to commit to challenging Shays a second time, despite...

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