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Warning Signs

March 2, 2004 Ralph Nader's decision to run for president as an independent caused Democrats to have heart palpitations and made Republicans euphoric. But just the opposite was the case five days earlier, when, for the first time since 1991, Democrats captured a Republican seat in a House special election. With the closeness...

Power Struggle

February 24, 2004 North Carolina Sen. John Edwards's strong second-place finish in Wisconsin means the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination is not quite over. But now that Democrats have captured a Republican-held congressional seat in the special election in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District, attention may soon begin to turn, albeit briefly, to...

Rush to Judgment

February 17, 2004 It is dangerous to assume anything this election year. But at this point, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's claim on the Democratic presidential nomination looks close to rock-solid, and the contours of a President Bush vs. Kerry race are beginning to take shape. In the wake of Bush's headline-grabbing Thanksgiving Day...

Crowning Kerry

February 10, 2004 Editor's Note: This week marks the debut in the Tuesday column slot of "On Politics," a look at what's happening in the world of campaigns and elections. With the 2004 presidential contest well under way, and with many other races also destined to have a big impact on the operations...

Iowa caucus results leave Democratic race wide open

January 20, 2004 DES MOINES, Iowa -- In Sunday's Des Moines Register, David Yepsen, the dean of the Iowa political press corps, reminded us of the "Nagle Rule." Named after former Rep. Dave Nagle, D-Iowa, the rule posits that a presidential campaign in the Iowa caucuses should, "organize, organize, organize. Then get hot...

With one week to go, many Senate, House races very close

October 29, 2002 Just-completed national polling suggests a wind shift in favor of Democrats going into the last week before this year's critical midterm elections. It probably won't be sufficient to help House Democrats capture a majority, but it could help Democrats in their nip-and-tuck fight to retain control of the Senate. And...

Homeland security reorganization may be good politics

June 11, 2002 While there were a multitude of sound policy reasons for President Bush's decision to centralize most federal homeland security functions in a single department, it looks like it may have been a bit of good politics as well. Most national polling since the first of the year has shown the...

Election day unlikely to transform Congress

April 29, 2002 Because the two major parties are heading into the 2002 midterm elections very evenly matched, each race is unusually important. Less than two years ago, 110 million votes were cast for president, but the final outcome hinged on the votes of just 537 Floridians. The 2000 election resulted in a...