March 07, 2012
Latinos to the GOP: No Thanks
Are the Republican presidential candidates alienating Latino voters with their strident talk on immigration -- and, in the process, seriously jeopardizing their chances at winning the White House? It would appear so. In a new poll of Latino voters from Fox News, President Obama beat Mitt Romney in a hypothetical matchup by 70 percent to 14 percent. Yes, that's a 56 point gap. The other GOP contenders fared about the same. None did better than Romney's showing. No, Republicans don't usually do well among Latinos. But they don't usually do this bad.
The Great Illusion
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
March 06, 2012
Ohio: Romney's Unimpressive Win
It looks like Mitt Romney may have escaped Ohio with the narrowest of victories. Just before midnight on Tuesday, with most precincts around the state reporting, he was ahead by 6,000 votes. But does such a slim win really count as a victory? Even before Tuesday, we knew that Romney would get more delegates from Ohio, because Santorum’s campaign organization hadn’t gotten enough signatures in all of the state’s congressional districts. The state mattered because it was a bellwether. In particular, it was a chance for Romney to show he could vanquish Santorum once and for all.
I'll leave it to others to make the general pronouncements about how Mitt Romney's middling performance Tuesday night against deeply flawed and overmatched opponents showed yet again what an astonishingly weak frontrunner he is. Instead, I want to focus in on a geographic irony that emerged more clearly Tuesday night than it has in the earlier primaries. Namely, that Romney does well in the places where Barack Obama does well, and he does poorly in the places where Obama does poorly.
Rick Santorum’s Catholic faith is an obvious centerpiece of his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, and it is rare for him to speak without referencing his religious beliefs. It is also rare, however, to hear him speak about his particular church, St. Catherine of Siena, which he and his family have belonged to for at least a decade. Even his 2005 manifesto on his personal faith and politics, It Takes a Family, did not mention the church. I was curious to learn more about it, so last Friday morning, I attended a 9 a.m. Mass there. St.
Regardless of whether Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum comes out ahead in Ohio later today, Super Tuesday already promises to make at least one growing segment of America’s political class gleeful: caucus skeptics. Of the ten events scheduled for today, only those in North Dakota, Idaho, and Alaska will tally votes by means of a caucus rather than a primary election, and most attention will be elsewhere. But, even if it’s temporarily pacified, the anti-caucus sentiment that has been burgeoning in the wake of the various vote-counting follies in Iowa, Nevada, and Maine is sure to crop up again.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum aren’t the only ones facing voters this Super Tuesday. Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich is one of eleven incumbents in Congress who will be fighting to keep their seats as a result of redistricting. Current polls suggest that Kucinich will lose to fellow Democratic Congressman Marcy Kaptur. But if today marks the end of Kucinich’s political career, no one can claim it was a boring ride.
March 05, 2012
After a year of bloodshed, the crisis in Syria has reached a decisive moment. It is estimated that more than 7,500 lives have been lost. The United Nations has declared that Syrian security forces are guilty of crimes against humanity, including the indiscriminate shelling of civilians, the execution of defectors, and the widespread torture of prisoners. Bashar Al-Assad is now doing to Homs what his father did to Hama. Aerial photographs procured by Human Rights Watch show a city that has been laid to waste by Assad’s tanks and artillery.
How good is Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski? How lame are the opposition researchers for Mitt Romney's Republican rivals? We now know that the answer to both questions is "very." Kaczynski has turned up a televised interview and an an op-ed, both from 2009, in which Romney clearly suggests that the federal government ought to adopt an individual mandate for health care. Yes, Romney's support for such a mandate in Masscahusetts is old news: It was a key feature of the health care reform bill he signed there.
This year’s Super Tuesday will be “super” in the most obvious way: Ten states with a total of 437 delegates will make their decisions on the same day. What will be the upshot of all these contests? Below, a guide to what is likely to happen and how to interpret the results: Super Tuesday won’t prove decisive. This is true for two reasons. First, all ten states are using some variant of a proportional system to award delegates. Some are looking to statewide vote totals, while others focus on the results within congressional districts.