Closing Arguments

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are making their closing arguments as the campaign enters its final week, which is a bit strange to say because as I write these words the election is already over for about 40% of the likely electorate. Through early voting and mail-in ballots, over 60 million people have locked in their preferences, and as the … Read More

Minority Rule

Donald Trump is scared. He has spent the month of October telegraphing his fear, oscillating wildly between grandiosity and desperation as he negotiates with himself about how to confront the humiliating rejection of epic proportions that he senses is barreling his way. One moment he fancies himself invincible, reportedly thinking of emerging from Walter Reed Hospital in a Superman t-shirt; … Read More

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2020 Update: Three Scenarios

There have been two inflection points in this steadiest of presidential campaigns. The first took place around June 1, when the nation erupted in protest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, and Donald Trump unleashed tear gas on peaceful protesters in front of the White House to clear the way for a photo op while moving prematurely to open … Read More

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Unmasked

I have long felt that living through the Trump administration is like watching a movie that’s so bad it would be comical if it wasn’t tragic. Had the past four years never happened, I can imagine a pitch meeting where someone tried to convince studio executives to bankroll a film based on the events we’ve endured. “Hear me out. It … Read More

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Ruthless

Let me make sure I have this right: Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat held by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, assuring a polarizing nomination fight and potentially securing a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic when the Court hears a challenge to the law in November.  Within hours … Read More

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2020 Update: Labor Day Wave Edition

Twelve weeks ago, I wrote that Joe Biden was in the best position of any challenger to an incumbent president since scientific polling began 90 years ago, having led every large-sample live interview poll for 17 months. That stretch has now extended to 20 months. Six weeks ago, I wrote that the campaign remained stable, with deep disapproval of Donald … Read More

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We’re Here. And They’re Not.

The most honest moment of a Republican convention built on lies and deception came midway through Donald Trump’s droning slog of an acceptance speech, when he pointed to the White House and ad libbed, “We’re here. And they’re not.” If you were one of the very few Americans who sat through the entire four-day hall of mirrors grievance fest masquerading … Read More

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Unconventional and Effective

Democrats pulled off the first nominating convention of the Covid-19 era with a surprisingly compelling prime time presentation that probably won’t change many votes but managed to achieve a range of strategic and tactical objectives. When it became apparent late last spring that there would be no safe way to assemble tens of thousands of people in an arena in … Read More

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2020 Update: Mid-Summer Wave Edition

Six weeks ago, I offered a comprehensive assessment of the 2020 election. In that piece, I looked at the fundamentals of the 2020 campaign and concluded that the forces responsible for the 2018 blue wave were still present and were being accelerated by Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic and protests against structural racism. Today and periodically until November, I plan … Read More

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