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Premature Panic

June 1, 2004 Panic is never a particularly attractive trait. But congressional Republicans were beginning to show some last week. Senate Republicans have been aware for a month or two that their chamber will be "in play" this November. The extreme anxiety among House Republicans, however, is new. One powerful House chairman pulled ...

High Stakes

May 25, 2004 If 1997 was the most boring political year we've had in over two decades, 2004 is turning out the be one of the most fascinating. This election is going to come down to whether President Bush can convince voters to re-elect him, or whether John Kerry can clear that threshold ...

Crunching the Numbers

May 18, 2004 This presidential contest is beginning to look more like a demolition derby than a marathon, the traditional metaphor used for the ever-lengthening campaigns for the White House. President Bush's campaign is beating Sen. John Kerry black-and-blue, while outside events are inflicting equally severe injuries on the incumbent. Under most circumstances, ...

Choosing the Right Partner

May 11, 2004 It's safe to say that the state-by-state battleground on which this presidential campaign is being fought is defined more clearly, and earlier, than any other in modern history. Despite Sept. 11 and two wars, the terrain on which the 2004 campaign is being waged differs only slightly from the one ...

The Specter Factor

May 4, 2004 If there is any truth to the old saying that nothing is more exhilarating than being shot at and missed, then four-term Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., must feel especially energized. Specter fought off an aggressive challenge from his right by Rep. Pat Toomey, taking 51 percent in last Tuesday's Republican ...

Serious Senate Races

April 27, 2004 Heading into Pennsylvania's Republican primary Tuesday, campaign strategists on both sides are watching conservative Rep. Pat Toomey mount a strong challenge to moderate four-term incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. The outcome could determine whether the GOP's tenuous 51-seat majority in the Senate is in serious danger, or whether Senate Republicans are ...

Political Balance

April 20, 2004 Over the course of the Clinton presidency, the American public became very polarized. One camp hated the president and his wife; the other camp supported them. The division was widely viewed as a commentary on the Clintons -- and nothing more. During the 2000 campaign, conservatives' animosity toward President Clinton ...

Perilous Times

April 13, 2004 President Bush's re-election campaign has a certain Perils of Pauline aspect. Just as the job-creation situation showed signs of improving, Iraq suddenly turned worse. A month or two from now, we could see things in Iraq get better but see the jobs situation turn south again. For now, Iraq seems ...

Teetering on the Edge

April 5, 2004 If the presidential election had been held in December after the capture of Saddam Hussein, President Bush would certainly have won. But if he'd had to face the voters in the second half of January or any time in February, Bush probably would have lost. And if the election were ...

The Known Quantity

March 23, 2004 Seeing conventional wisdom turned on its head is always exciting, especially when a new theory forces me to rethink cherished assumptions. A paper on the decline of competitive congressional races -- delivered by Emory University professors Alan Abramowitz and Brad Alexander at last week's annual meeting of the Western Political ...