The Great Illusion
March 07, 2012
The premise of Linda Killian's The Swing Vote is based on the greatest myth in American politics: that independents are actually independent. They are
Why Obama’s Re-Election is Going to Look a Lot Like 2008
March 01, 2012
Judging from recent headlines, things are looking up for President Obama. The Republican presidential nominees have been serially embarrassing themselves; the White House communications department has successfully focused its messaging on jobs and economic fairness; and consumers are feeling ever more confident about the economy. But it's not just anecdotal evidence that suggests Obama’s re-election chances have improved—most of the polling data suggests the same.
Why Obama's Re-Election Hinges On the Hispanic Vote
January 23, 2012
Hispanics, who were responsible for most of U.S. population growth in the last decade, have been a more important part of the electorate each election. Now the largest minority group in the United States, they are poised to play a potentially decisive role in this year’s contest between President Obama and his GOP opponent. This has been cause for concern by some Democrats, who worry that Obama’s record on immigration may depress his turnout and support within the Hispanic community; the data suggest, however, that they are worrying more than they should. Consider first the national level.
Why Obama's Re-election Campaign Will Depend On the Youth Vote
December 26, 2011
Americans are polarized like never before as we head into the 2012 presidential campaign, and the greatest dividing line of all seems to be age. Indeed, President Obama has astoundingly consistent support from Americans less than 30 years old, the so-called Millennial generation. In a recent Pew survey, this cohort favored Obama over Romney by 24 points, 61-37. The generation least likely to support Obama, on the other hand, is the "Silent generation"—the generational group slighter older than Baby Boomers, and the group now dominant among the ranks of seniors.
My new report with John Halpin, “The Path to 270: Demographics Versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election,” has generated a lot of comment, much of which focuses on the alleged need for the Obama campaign to “abandon” the white working class and embrace a coalition based on emerging demographics like minorities, Millennials, single women, and college graduates.
Why a Majority of Americans Are Getting Behind Occupy Wall Street
October 20, 2011
Ruy Teixeira on the birth of aspirational populism.
Obama’s New Populism Isn’t Alienating Moderates
October 10, 2011
During Obama’s pivot toward deficit reduction after the 2010 election, culminating in the vain attempt to fashion a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans during the debt limit negotiations, pundits repeatedly asserted that his approach might tick off his base but would yield dividends with independents and swing voters. Instead, the strategy turned out to be a flop on both levels. His support did decline among base voters but even more among independent voters.
How to Exploit America’s Contradictory Relationship to Keynes
August 24, 2011
This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy.' Click here to read other contributions to the series. After innumerable false starts, it finally appears that President Obama will begin to focus his energy on the country’s unemployment problems. Unfortunately, the initial signs suggest that his pivot won’t nearly be strong enough.
Obama’s Unhealthy Obsession With Independents
August 02, 2011
The debt ceiling deal has been struck and the score looks to be in the neighborhood of Republicans: a zillion, Democrats: zero. It is perhaps the inevitable outcome of a process in which Obama treated GOP default-threatening tactics as legitimate and accepted the GOP framework that cutting debt, not creating jobs, was the country’s central problem. As a result, we have a deal that severely undercuts Democratic policy priorities and cuts government spending just as the economic recovery is showing signs of tanking. Just how, exactly, did it come to this?
Does Obama Have a Problem With His Base?
July 13, 2011
I recently argued that an increased deficit among the white working class could sink Obama’s re-election chances. That’s particularly the case if Obama is already weakened by relatively poor support from his base. Right now, that looks like a distinct possibility. This can be seen by looking at Obama’s two key base demographics: the minority vote and the youth vote. Start with minorities, the heart of the Obama coalition. In 2008, Obama received 80 percent support from minorities, who were 26 percent of all voters. Can he replicate that performance in 2012? Consider first the probable minori