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If Obama Loses, Blame the Debates

October 30, 2012 Before the first presidential debate, it was easy to say that the face-offs usually don’t matter that much. One had to go back to 1976, 1980, and 1984 to find examples of a debate having a material effect on a presidential election. But that first debate earlier this month—specifically, Mitt ...

Possibility of a Popular, Electoral Vote Split is Real

October 23, 2012 Partisans still hoping that their candidate will build a clear lead in the presidential contest are likely to be disappointed. The race seems destined to be a close one, with the outcome remaining in doubt to the very end. President Obama won the second debate, but not by nearly enough ...

There's No Question, Romney Changed the Game

October 16, 2012 Before the first presidential debate, this column repeatedly pointed out that Mitt Romney needed something to happen -- an event or development that would change the trajectory of this race -- or he would lose. As Jay Leno remarked, the only people who thought President Obama won the debate were ...

Mitt Romney Breaks His Losing Streak

October 9, 2012 Too many political observers see politics in an entirely binary way: Everything has to be either a “0” or a “1”; a race is either tied or it’s over; every election is either won or stolen. Some people never want to admit that their side lost. And some people think ...

Shades of 1996

October 2, 2012 Public attitudes toward candidates and elections often start off in a fluid state. Then they gradually begin to jell, first reaching a semisolid state before hardening to rock-solid. This year’s presidential race isn’t over, but Mitt Romney’s current trajectory in the polls will not cross President Obama’s by Nov. 6—or ...

Obama’s Uptick

September 25, 2012 Reality is often more complicated than conventional wisdom would have you believe, a point underscored in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The survey showed President Obama with a 6-point lead among all registered voters, a 7-point edge among registered voters in 12 swing states, and a 5-point advantage ...

Obama’s a Good Bet

September 17, 2012 By this time next week, there should be enough national and state-level polling data to present a pretty clear picture of where this election stands, post-Labor Day and after whatever bounces the candidates may have gotten from the conventions. But we have seen enough data in recent weeks to draw ...

Democrats Could Keep the Senate

September 11, 2012 For Senate Democrats, the 2012 cycle was supposed to be about exposure to the kind of losses that would imperil their majority. Their goal for the cycle was simple: Hang on to control of the chamber by a thread. Just months ago, such an objective seemed like a pipe dream, ...

Analysis: It turns out Democrats could keep the Senate

September 4, 2012 For Senate Democrats, the 2012 cycle was supposed to be about exposure to the kind of losses that would imperil their majority. Their goal for the cycle was simple: Hang on to control of the chamber by a thread. Just months ago, such an objective seemed like a pipe dream, ...

What Women Want

September 4, 2012 Top strategists from both the Obama and Romney camps are quick to point to suburban women as the pivotal swing vote in this election. Many of these voters find themselves torn about their choice, as evidenced by a focus group of a dozen suburban women in Milwaukee not strongly committed ...