Michigan

The Diversity of the White Working Class
June 19, 2012

Are Republicans increasingly becoming the party of the white working class? So says Jonathan Haidt, but political scientist Larry Bartels offers up a convincing response: While the white working class has trended toward Republicans over the last few decades, the movement is exclusively a Southern phenomenon.

The Great Republican Swing-State Dissonance Problem
June 14, 2012

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Will Obama Regret His Decision Not to Buy Ads in Michigan?
June 14, 2012

With the financial balance of power shifting toward the Republicans, Democrats are understandably alarmed that a deluge of cash from outside groups and Wall Street could swamp Obama’s reelection efforts. As an initial step, the Obama campaign has concentrated their expenditures on a smaller number of swing states, ensuring that they at least remain competitive in the markets they consider most important. But when you concentrate resources, some areas end up short-changed, and the decision to narrow the playing field has left Obama without substantial purchases in several media markets.

A Message for New Health Professionals—and a Mission
June 13, 2012

Last month, I had the privilege of speaking at commencement exercises for the health professional schools at Nova Southeastern University. It was a homecoming of sorts: I spent most of my childhood in South Florida, about fifteen miles from the campus. But a lot has changed. When I left in the late 1980s, the sports/concert arena where I spoke did not exist. Neither did the hockey team that plays there. As for NSU, I remember it as a small, relatively obscure school, with maybe a few thousand students overall and no significant presence in health care.

What Democrats Really Should Be Worried About
June 07, 2012

I’ve spent too much of the past week trying to rein in Beltway overreaction, adding in the context necessary to keep my fellow ’12 correspondents from spinning off into the ether. No, Barack Obama did not accuse the Polish people of genocide. No, Bill Clinton’s wandering off the rhetorical reservation is not particularly newsworthy. No, Scott Walker’s win in Wisconsin does not necessarily spell doom for the Democrats. But I’ll abandon that scolding, buzz-killing mode this afternoon to pour some fuel on the latest news of the day—the Republicans’ big fundraising haul.

Electionate Live-Blogs the Wisconsin Recall
June 05, 2012

Wisconsin by the Numbers Scott Walker cruised to a 53-46 win in the Wisconsin Gubernatorial Recall, stunning Democrats expecting a tight race after early exit polls. Walker's victory was built on a GOP-friendly electorate, even whiter, older, richer, and less Democratic than the 2010 midterms, let alone 2008. Seniors represented 18% of the electorate, up from 16% in 2010 and 14% in 2008. The non-white share of the electorate fell from 11% in 2008 to 10% in 2010, to 9% in 2012. 20% of voters made more than $100,000/year, up from 16% in 2010 and 19% in 2008.

Five Takeaways From the 2012 Primary Season
June 04, 2012

Now that Mitt Romney is officially the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and we have some distance from the primaries that decided it all, it’s time to consider the lessons. Otherwise, poor memories, shaky analysis and self-serving spin will combine to congeal a conventional “wisdom” that is anything but. As someone who obsessively chronicled every twist and turn of this very odd nomination contest for TNR, here are my five top takeaways: 1.      Mitt Romney is a very lucky man.

Romney Has a New Michigan Problem: His Own Party
May 30, 2012

You have to feel sorry for leaders of the Michigan Republican Party: They have a tough job this year. They want to promote Rick Snyder, the Republican governor. The obvious, easy way to do that is to highlight the state’s economic record. Since Snyder took over as governor in 2010, Michigan’s unemployment rate has fallen steadily to 8.3 percent, which is only slightly higher than the national average. (See graph below.) That’s pretty remarkable, given the state’s well-chronicled troubles. But nobody seriously believes Snyder’s policies have a lot to do with the Michigan's recovery.

On Health Care, Romney Goes Retro
May 23, 2012

Editor's Note: After looking at the economic platform of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, this installment of our series on his policy plans examines the details of his health care agenda. The gist: Repeal the Affordable Care Act; end Medicare and Medicaid as we know it, by turning the former into a voucher program and the latter into a block grant scheme; unravel private insurance, by changing the tax treatment of benefits and undermining state regulation. The good. Not much. Once in a while he talks up worthwhile reforms designed to improve the quality of care.

Soaking The Poor
May 17, 2012

I've written a lot about the push by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other conservatives to raise taxes on the poor for the express purpose of lowering taxes on the rich. Writing in the Nation, Barbara Ehrenreich points out that local governments have been soaking the poor for years. In some jurisdictions you can get charged for occupying a jail cell; in 2009 one homeless woman in Michigan was incarcerated for falling behind on her $104 monthly payment for her 16 year-old's incarceration and was thereafter required to pay jail fees for her son and herself.

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