January 30, 2008
Jeffrey Rosen’s 2008 debut as a campaign correspondent.
My Little Phony
Jonathan Chait defends Mitt Romney.
Beneath Arkansas’s red surface (it went for Bush in 2000 and 2004) lies a blue underbelly: Five of six congressional seats are held by Democrats, as are many state and local offices. According to Janine Parry, a political science professor at the University of Arkansas, 35 to 39 percent of voters are self-identified Democrats, while only about 25 percent are Republicans. She expects that the Democratic primary turnout will be at least four times the Republican.
What's Your Problem?
Do Conservatives really like Obama? Peter Beinart is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg
TNR's Super Tuesday Primer
Super Tuesday has arrived, and TNR is here to help you make sense of all the states that are holding primaries or caucuses today. With 52 percent of all pledged Democratic Party delegates and 41 percent of the total Republican Party delegates at stake, Super Tuesday's results will be crucial for both party's candidates in securing the presidential nomination. Alabama"Sick of the meaninglessness of its traditional June primary, Alabama was one of the first states to move its 2008 primary forward to February 5.
Georgia, the empire state of the South, is once again a Super Tuesday state and one of the biggest prizes at stake on February 5. In 1992, it provided Bill Clinton's first win in a primary and backed him in the general election, but has since become solidly Republican at both the state and federal levels. Georgia is the third-largest Southern state (behind Texas and Florida), and is widely considered a must-win state for Barack Obama.
Aside from being John McCain's home state, Arizona is one of America’s fastest growing states, increasing its delegate count and importance over the past 15 years. The state is one of the few to house more registered Republicans than Democrats, but because both parties’ primaries are closed, this shouldn’t make a difference on February 5. Delegates: Democrats: 67; Republicans: 53. Format: The Democrats distribute their delegates proportionally via a closed primary; the Republican winner receives all of the state’s delegates via a closed primary.
The home state of Larry Craig, Napoleon Dynamite, and the undefeated 2006 Boise State Broncos may not be the top prize at stake on February 5. But given that Idaho is one of the reddest states in the country, it should provide a test of how well the Democratic candidates can compete in normally hostile territory. (The Republicans will select their delegates in a June primary.) Delegates: 23 (18 at stake in caucuses; 5 superdelegates). Format: Idaho does not register voters by party, so the caucuses are open--any registered voter in the state may participate.
For most of the folks with “1.20.09” bumper stickers on their cars, the date of the next inauguration represents the day they can stop obsessing over the depredations of George W. Bush. The 43rd president can head back to Prairie Chapel Ranch and a life of endless mountain-biking opportunities. His detractors can move on to new political battles, presumably featuring less calamitous results. It should be a great day all around.
Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus are to be commended for challenging the conventional environmental policy paradigm and provoking a necessary dialogue on the future of environmental protection. As I have written elsewhere, Break Through is an important book. Their critique of contemporary environmentalism is important and insightful. They decry its overreliance on a "doomsday discourse" and lament the movement's mutation into yet another interest group within the Democratic Party's political coalition.