First Draft of History

I started writing about the Georgia runoff and electoral vote certification three days ago for a piece I had planned to post on Thursday. Then the Capitol was attacked by right-wing insurrectionists at the direction of the president and it suddenly felt quaint to be talking about an election. As I was re-writing, the fallout […]

Red Rip Tide

It’s been two weeks since election day and ballots are still being counted, but enough details about the 2020 electorate have emerged to support informed speculation about why the blue wave that was evident across virtually all pre-election data did not materialize. Notwithstanding voter suppression efforts of the known or unknown variety that may have […]

No Wave, But A Sea Change

It was not a wave. It was not a repeat of 2018. For a few hours it felt like it could be a repeat of 2016. In the end, it was a slugfest between two closely matched halves of an electorate seeking to impose their irreconcilable differences on the other, resulting in the election of […]

Storm Surge Watch In Effect Through Tuesday

With less than a week to go before Election Day, the Democratic presidential ticket is campaigning in Georgia and Texas, while the Republican president and vice president are in Nebraska and South Carolina. That’s all you need to know about what the two campaigns think about the state of the electoral map. Biden is on […]

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 […]

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 […]

Birth Pangs of the Seventh Party System

The sun is setting on the Reagan era. In about 50 days we will have an election that will end either with the repudiation of Trumpism, which really is little more than the rump remains of Reaganism, or devolve into a chaotic fight about political legitimacy between an ascending electorate and a receding one. What […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]