Midterm Elections

Is There Any Reason to Be Optimistic About Economic Policy in a GOP Congress?
November 01, 2010

This is the sixth and final installment in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) Many political scientists believe the economy is the single biggest factor in determining election outcomes. It will likely cause Democrats to lose big on Tuesday. And, if conditions don’t improve, it could cause Democrats to lose big again in two years.

Blue Phase
November 01, 2010

BRISTOL, Pa.—It was just four years ago that the Democratic Party began its comeback in what now seems like another country. The economic collapse was not in anyone's imagination, but the nation's political mood was sour. A substantial majority was fed up with George W. Bush, weary of the Iraq War and ready to vote for Democratic congressional candidates who pledged themselves to "a new direction," a nebulous but useful slogan. Democratic constituencies were united as never before.

Forget About Boehner. Try Republican Governors
October 29, 2010

This is the fifth in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) Supporters of health reform are asking how President Obama might find common ground with House Republicans should Tuesday's elections go badly. Count me as a pessimist on this front. House Republicans have perceived little reason to compromise on health reform or much else.

Why John Boehner’s Life Is About To Become a Living Hell
October 29, 2010

Three surveys released in the past week—Pew, Bloomberg, and CBS/New York Times—illuminate what the American people want from the new Congress that convenes next January.

Four Myths About the Tea Parties
October 28, 2010

On the eve of the November elections, we are suddenly awash in books, articles, and monographs about the Tea Parties. Some of these—I would single out Sean Wilentz’s historical piece in The New Yorker—deepen our understanding, but most of them don’t get it right. They are too quick either to dismiss or to stigmatize the Tea Parties.

Does Education Policy Stand a Chance in a Republican Congress?
October 27, 2010

This is the fourth in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) Could education be the one policy area where Republicans and Democrats find common ground in a new conservative Congress? Many people, including officials in the White House, think so.

Fired Up?
October 26, 2010

California's ballot-initiative system has a way of touching off culture wars that dwarf the buzz surrounding mere state and congressional elections. (Think of Proposition 8 or Proposition 187.) But even by California standards, this year’s Proposition 19 is becoming something of a legend. In case you haven’t heard, Proposition 19 would legalize the possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana, while enabling the state and/or local governments (in theory, at least) to license and tax larger commercial pot-growing enterprises.

Is The Environment Doomed Once Republicans Take Congress?
October 25, 2010

This is the third in an occasional series examining how Republican control of Congress might affect policy debates in the next two years. (Part 1, Part 2) First, a question: Have the last two years, with Obama in the White House and Democrats running Congress, really been that great for environmental policy? It depends how you look at it. There was that debacle in the Gulf, which obviously wasn't handled well. Then the Senate failed to pass a climate bill, and the Copenhagen talks dragged along without much resolution.

So You're Planning To Get Killed On Election Day
October 25, 2010

Benjy Sarlin has the how-to guide: Party officials love brushing off comparisons with blowouts past, telling reporters that they’ve since learned a thing or two about gritty campaigning—not like those screwups who used to run things (cough, 1994, cough). ”It’s no shock that this is going to be a hard cycle,” Jon Vogel, executive director of the DCCC, told The New York Times last spring.

Blanche Lincoln In Autumn
October 25, 2010

A last minute ad acknowledges that she's an underdog but chalks it up to principle: A couple thoughts. First of all, have you noticed that whenever a politician attributes some sentiment to "the experts" -- in this case, that Lincoln is going to lose -- that sentiment is either a straw man that experts don't believe, or is in fact utterly correct?

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