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The Race Shouldn’t Be Close

August 27, 2012 Just about any analysis of the 2012 presidential election should start with words to the effect that this is a very close race, that close races can go either way, and that many different factors—convention speeches, debates, verbal miscues, overseas conflicts—can change the trajectory of such a race. A decision ...

How Romney Can Change the Subject

August 7, 2012 Looking at the broadest numbers in the presidential race, things don’t look too bad for Mitt Romney. In the latest-available trend estimate (a fancy weighted average) of national polls compiled by HuffPost Pollster, Romney leads President Obama by one-tenth of a percentage point, 45.8 percent to 45.7 percent—a statistically insignificant ...

Negative Impressions Hold Romney Back

July 31, 2012 The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows President Obama widening his lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters from 3 points in June to 6 points in July, 49 percent to 43 percent. Among a somewhat smaller group of voters in the dozen battleground states, Obama’s lead is 8 ...

Another Recession?

July 24, 2012 If you hear some scurrying, it may well be an economist quickly revising downward his forecast of economic growth for the just-completed second quarter of 2012. A steady stream of worrisome data has been coming out in recent weeks. The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence declined for the fourth ...

Dreams Deferred for the Middle Class

July 17, 2012 It’s a good bet that no authors dedicated a book “To Earl Long and Robert F. Kennedy” before James Carville and Stan Greenberg penned It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! It’s an odd book, but definitely worth putting on your preconvention reading list. Indeed, for many Democrats, it will become the ...

Skip Electoral College Math

July 3, 2012 It is a source of constant amusement to me that so many people obsess—as if fiddling with a Rubik’s Cube—over the various combinations of states that could get either President Obama or Mitt Romney to the magic number of 270 votes in the Electoral College. The guilty include pros at ...

Bye-Bye 'Wave' Elections

June 26, 2012 One might have expected that two years after Republicans picked up 63 House seats—the biggest gain in a midterm election since 1938—Democrats would be on track to win back a boatload of those districts that the GOP didn’t have much business winning in the first place. But a little more ...

Obama, Backed Into a Corner

June 19, 2012 Any day now, the Supreme Court will announce its decision on President Obama’s health care law. Regardless of the ruling’s details, look for over-caffeinated pundits on radio and television talk shows to immediately declare that it is the most important development to date in the 2012 presidential campaign. As such, ...

The Wrong Fight in Wisconsin

June 12, 2012 The “if it feels good, do it” school of political decision-making experienced yet another painful lesson in its ill-fated effort to recall Wisconsin’s GOP Gov. Scott Walker this week. If ever there was a case of a terrible idea poorly executed, this was it. Putting aside whether Walker should or ...

Trouble for Obama

June 5, 2012 Gallup has now finished its first six full weeks of tracking surveys for the 2012 presidential campaign, interviewing 20,565 registered voters. Yes, you guessed it: President Obama and Mitt Romney are tied, 46 percent to 46 percent. The margin of error for a sample of this size is just under ...