Matt Kerbel

Paradigm Shift

Joe Biden wants to move the governing paradigm permanently to the left. Political conditions may make that possible.

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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 the country in the midst of a deadly pandemic. What had been a steady five or six point Biden lead expanded to eight or nine points and remained there all summer before falling back by a point over the course

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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 starts when  . . . Donald Trump . . . is  . . . elected . . . president!” If the meeting didn’t end with that absurd premise, the script it produced would have been developed as a farce.  Maybe

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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 of Ginsburg’s passing, Mitch McConnell telegraphed his intention to move ahead with expedited hearings. Lindsey Graham, the Senate Judiciary chair, has promised a confirmation vote in his committee just days before the election. Both McConnell and Graham contorted themselves beyond

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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 it will not do is validate the status quo. As the electoral shadows grow long, Donald Trump’s last act will be to try to derail democratic mechanisms to engineer a victory out of a second consecutive popular vote loss – this one looking to be

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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 Trump’s response to the pandemic and race relations driving down the incumbent’s chances. At that time, I said: Donald Trump is losing the country. By wide margins people are rejecting his public relations response to the pandemic. He is on

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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 as a nominating convention, you could have spared your sanity by just tuning in to hear that fleeting passage, because it distills the essential pitch of the Trump campaign and serves as an ominous warning about how events might unfold

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