So Goes Poland, So Goes America
July 30, 2012
After months defending traditionally red states like North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Ohio, Romney has finally decided to launch an offensive. Where? Poland: The predictably undefended flank of Obama’s route to 270 electoral votes. Poland is the ancestral homeland of about 3 percent of the American population, but a higher share of a few traditionally Democratic but potentially competitive states, like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where Polish-Americans constitute between 7 and 10 percent of the population.
The Case of Pennsylvania's Missing Ads
July 26, 2012
One of the early peculiarities of the advertising campaign is the half-hearted effort in Pennsylvania—a state which figured prominently in the electoral calculus of the last three presidential elections. Despite that place in recent electoral history, Romney hasn’t aired any ads in Pennsylvania since the general election began.
Is Minnesota the Newest Swing State?
July 23, 2012
Why isn’t Minnesota a swing state?
Guns and the Candidates: In Their Own Words
July 20, 2012
We will shortly be hearing from both President Obama and Mitt Romney about the fatal shootings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Here, by way of context and without commentary, are some of the candidates’ more memorable past remarks on the subject of firearms in America. “I’m not a big-game hunter. I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will.
Is Obama Alienating Rich Voters?
July 19, 2012
Affluent voters were an important element of Obama’s coalition in 2008. Will that change this year? Some observers believe that Obama might alienate former supporters with attacks on Bain Capital and renewed calls to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Every four years, political reporters flood western Pennsylvania searching for the latest clue to decipher the shifting allegiances of coveted “Reagan Democrats,” the socially conservative voters who abandoned the New Deal coalition over cultural issues in the '70's and '80's. When a candidate visits Pennsylvania, the accompanying news reports remind us that “Reagan Democrats” are the consummate swing voters who maintain a stranglehold over the outcome of critical races in large industrial Midwestern states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Will Voter ID Laws Cost Obama Reelection?
July 16, 2012
The possibility that new voter-ID laws could disenfranchise thousands of Democratic- voters in pivotal swing states has received considerable attention recently. After all, 9.2 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania lack photo identification, including 18 percent of registered voters in heavily Democratic Philadelphia. But these flashy numbers might be misleading. If voter-ID laws have consequences for voter turnout, they’re difficult to detect. Several studies conducted in the wake of the 2006 midterms showed a weak correlation between tougher voter-ID laws and reduced turnout.
Why Obama Shouldn't Be Taking the Black Vote for Granted
July 12, 2012
There’s no question that Hispanics are among the most coveted voting blocs for November’s election. Numerically, they’re the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. population. Major media regularly monitor their presidential preferences.
Everything had been planned just so for President Obama’s July 6 campaign speech on the front lawn of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. Obama’s Oxford blue dress shirt was crisply cuffed. His Pittsburgh Pirates references were timed expertly. The loopy, cursive lettering of the campaign’s “Betting on America” billboard got several seconds of air-time on the local news. But the speech was marred by sweltering, 100-degree heat, something that no amount of planning could prevent.
New Data on Obama's Massive Demographic Advantage
July 09, 2012
It’s widely acknowledged by political observers that the country’s demographic change in the last four years—particularly the increase in minority voters and decline of white non-college voters—favors President Obama’s re-election bid. What’s less obvious is exactly how much these changes favor Obama—especially in the swing states that loom so large in this coming election. These data can be hard to come by.