Undermine Becomes Overthrow

A little history on how we arrived at the brink of a violent overthrow of a duly elected government.  At the start of what would come to be known as the Reagan era, Republicans had an electoral majority that developed out of a long stretch of economic stagnation and white pushback to the civil rights […]

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 […]

If You Can Keep It

There is a tendency in some quarters to look at the way our nation is surviving the death throes of the Trump administration and proclaim that the guardrails of democracy held. I’m not inclined at this moment to be so generous. Trump will fail in his efforts to reverse the results of the election, but […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]