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Donald Trump Won't Release His Tax Returns Before the Election

“This is the ultimate reality show—it’s the presidency of the United States,” Paul Manafort, a top adviser to Donald Trump, said on MSNBC Tuesday. Manafort’s comment was intended as both a defensive measure—a reply to those who mock Trump as a lightweight who thinks he’s still on The Apprentice—and a rebuke to President Obama, one of those who voiced the critique, sniping last week, “We are in serious times; this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show.”

But Manafort’s statement is also a useful key to explaining how Trump is approaching the general election. One of the rules of reality shows—right after not being there to make friends—is to break the rules. In an interview with the Associated Press released Wednesday morning, Trump said he will not release his tax returns before the general election in November. Here’s the AP report:

"There's nothing to learn from them," Trump told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. He also has said he doesn't believe voters are interested.

This being Trump, it’s unwise to wager much on him sticking to that...

Polls: Tight Race Developing Between Clinton, Trump

Warning: Candidates in this election may be closer than they appear.

To listen to the handwringing from despondent Republicans and the self-assurance from exultant Democrats over the last week, a Hillary Clinton landslide defeat of Donald Trump in November seemed a fait accompli. On Tuesday morning, however, the release of a group of polls put a damper on that forecast—at least for a few hours until the next ones come out.

The swing-state surveys from Quinnipiac University and a national snapshot from Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm, show a surprisingly close general-election race. The PPP survey found Clinton leading Trump by just four points nationally, 42 percent to 38 percent, while Quinnipiac found the two essentially tied in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Trump edged Clinton by four points in the Buckeye State, and Clinton led him by a point in Florida and Pennsylvania. As with any poll taken six months before the election, these require a couple grains of salt, and in the case of Quinnipiac, perhaps a few more. Other political forecasters pointed out that its sample of voters in the three states was more white than in 2012 exit polls, while the electorate is expected to...

Trump Culture: Threat, Fear and the Tightening of the American Mind

  • By Michele Gelfand, Joshua Conrad Jackson and Jesse R. Harrington
  • May 7, 2016
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For the past 10 months, Donald Trump has been a political enigma. Against the predictions of journalists, policy wonks and odds makers, a tabloid darling with no political experience and few coherent policies is now poised to be the Republican nominee for president.

Hundreds of journalists and political scientists have tried to explain Trump’s appeal, suggesting reasons that range from the decline of White America to the rise of authoritarianism. Yet even with these insights, the current dialogue around Trump’s ascendancy seems to have hit a “wall.” Every article describes a single piece of the Trump puzzle, but none seems to capture the bigger picture: the cultural movement that has fueled Trump’s success.

What is “Trump culture,” and where is it coming from?

As it turns out, our group at the University of Maryland has been studying the basis for Trump culture for the last 10 years, something that we call “cultural tightness-looseness.”

How threat tightens culture

To understand tightness-looseness, we need to step away from the current election cycle and consider the history of human culture, particularly its relationship with warfare, famine and natural disasters.

Our theory – which has been supported by computer modelsinternational surveys...

Why George W. Bush Won’t Go to the Republican National Convention

For the second elec­tion cycle in a row, former Pres­id­ent George W. Bush won’t at­tend this sum­mer’s Re­pub­lic­an con­ven­tion in Clev­e­land—but this time it’s per­son­al.

Since leav­ing of­fice in 2009, the 43rd pres­id­ent has made it a point to keep a low pub­lic pro­file and re­frain from com­ment­ing about Pres­id­ent Obama, Hil­lary Clin­ton, or the 2016 Re­pub­lic­an con­tenders.

But the emer­gence of Don­ald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz as fi­nal­ists for the GOP nom­in­a­tion made it an easy choice for the young­er Bush to stay away from the Ju­ly con­ven­tion—and to an­nounce that he won’t have any­thing to say about Trump’s re­sound­ing vic­tory, much less en­dorse him.

It’s one of the worst-kept secrets of the Bush clan, in fact, that neither Pres­id­ent Bush has much use for Trump.

George W. Bush “was nev­er go­ing to the con­ven­tion any...

How Trump Rose to the Top of the GOP Race

Donald Trump has emerged as the presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee by assembling a coalition that proved remarkably consistent across geographic lines—and ultimately showed more breadth than any of his rivals.

From the primary campaign’s beginning to its effective end Tuesday night, Trump’s core strength remained his overwhelming advantage among several big groups in the GOP electorate, particularly whites without a college education and men. 

But Trump also displayed more ability to reach across the party than any of his rivals, particularly in the weeks after his early April defeat in Wisconsin. In one telling contrast, Trump consistently fared much better among evangelical Christians—who Ted Cruz considered the foundation of his coalition—than Cruz did among voters who are not evangelicals. Over the past month, Trump has posted his best performances not only among the groups that preferred him from the outset, but many of those that had resisted him, including college graduates and women.

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Despite a striking series of early victories that transcended the party’s usual geographic divides, Trump struggled through most of the primary season to consolidate...