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Analysis: Can Kelly Rein in the Unruly President?

August 8, 2017 One of the more interesting political questions these days is whether Gen. John Kelly can bring some semblance of order to the Trump White House. If anyone can transform the most disorganized and confused White House in modern history into something resembling a functional Office of the President of the...

Shutdown Crisis Looms for GOP

April 4, 2017 If you could be a fly on the wall eaves­drop­ping on a meet­ing these days, only one would be more in­ter­est­ing than the brain­storm­ing ses­sions that Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell and House Speak­er Paul Ry­an are hav­ing with their re­spect­ive lead­er­ship teams. It would be the meet­ing at which...

Why Trump's Immigration Switch Won't Move the Needle

August 26, 2016 The top­ic du jour is Don­ald Trump’s at­temp­ted walk-back of his po­s­i­tion on im­mig­ra­tion—roughly speak­ing, from an ab­so­lut­ist policy to one that’s merely tough. The op­er­at­ive ques­tion is wheth­er he can strike a bal­ance, en­ti­cing in­to his column the un­de­cided voters that he pre­vi­ously ali­en­ated with his “send ‘em all...

The Trump-Clinton Race Is Not As Close As It Looks

May 31, 2016 The latest round of polls re­leased pri­or to Me­mori­al Day week­end, which showed Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump in a vir­tu­al tie, set off in­tense hand-wringing among Demo­crats, Clin­ton back­ers, and Trump de­tract­ors alike. They much pre­ferred the polls from a month earli­er giv­ing the former sec­ret­ary of State a...

Florida and Ohio Primaries Critical in the 'Stop Trump' Movement

March 11, 2016 In this screw­ball year, it’s dan­ger­ous to say any­thing defin­it­ively, but it sure looks like Tues­day’s Ohio Re­pub­lic­an primary will be the make-or-break point for the “Stop Trump” move­ment. This is as­sum­ing that Don­ald Trump beats Marco Ru­bio in Flor­ida, which seems a bit more likely than not. Then it...

The GOP Nod Will Go to Trump or Cruz, Unless the Establishment Sorts Itself Out

February 16, 2016 With every passing day, the odds in­crease that the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion will come down to a choice between Don­ald Trump and Ted Cruz. Even with Chris Christie’s de­cision to sus­pend his cam­paign, three con­ven­tion­al, es­tab­lish­ment-ori­ented can­did­ates—Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Marco Ru­bio—re­main in the race. Which is two too...

A Time for Culling, Not for Winning

January 26, 2016 It’s now less than a week be­fore the Iowa caucuses, two weeks be­fore the New Hamp­shire primary, and thus time for polit­ic­al afi­cion­ados to whip them­selves in­to frenzy. People of­ten be­come so pre­oc­cu­pied with the two con­tests that they lose sight of the lar­ger pic­ture. So take a deep breath,...

Next Phase of the Republican Campaign May Look More Like What We've Seen in Past Elections

September 22, 2015 One or even two opin­ion polls don’t con­sti­tute a trend, and it’s fool­hardy to put too much em­phas­is on such a small sampling. But the first live-tele­phone-in­ter­view sur­vey re­leased after last week’s Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial de­bate, the CNN/Opin­ion Re­search Cor­por­a­tion Poll con­duc­ted Septem­ber 17-19, will get—and de­serves—a lot of at­ten­tion. It...

What's Behind the Recent Political Upheaval?

September 15, 2015 Nor­mally, the hopes and fears of the two ma­jor polit­ic­al parties are roughly sym­met­ric. If one party is wor­ried or pess­im­ist­ic, the oth­er party is usu­ally hope­ful or op­tim­ist­ic. There are oc­ca­sion­al ex­cep­tions—say, if one side is in­creas­ingly op­tim­ist­ic about an elec­tion while the op­pos­i­tion is in deni­al or even...

The Donald Trump Conundrum

August 1, 2015 August is arriving, and we are entering week six of Donald Trump's rise—first into the double digits, now into first place—in the national polls for the Republican presidential primary race. While there are few if any experienced GOP pros or political reporters who think Trump can actually win the nomination,...