Sean Trende

The Republican Party's Plan to Retake the Senate Is Falling Apart
April 21, 2014

It could lead to a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in 2017.

There Aren't As Many Missing Voters As It Seems
November 08, 2012

Millions of voters remain to be counted.

Obamacare, Good for the Economy
June 13, 2012

Over here on stage left, we have been debating whether Obama’s pursuit of health care reform prevented him from getting a second stimulus in late 2009 or early 2010, the kind that would have prevented or at least mitigated the economic backslide took place afterwards. The main proponent of this claim is my colleague Noam Scheiber. To get a detailed version, you’ll have to read his book,The Escape Artists (which, by the way, you should do anyway). To get a more abbreviated version, you can read his latest entry at TNR.COM.

*Of Course* Doing Health Care Slowed the Recovery
June 12, 2012

Last week Mitt Romney inadvertently kicked up a debate in the blogosphere over whether health care reform had hurt the recovery. Since he did it by citing my recent book, I felt compelled to explain how he hacked up my argument: My point was that the time and resources spent on health care reform made it harder to get more stimulus, not, as Romney suggested, that the health care bill directly hurt the economy.

Handicapping Obama In 2012
February 15, 2011

What are the odds that President Obama wins reelection? Generally incumbents running for their party's second presidential term fare pretty well, as Alan Abramowitz notes. If the economy continues to recover, Obama would be a prohibitive favorite. But Sean Trende at the right-leaning Real Clear Politics paints a darker picture of Obama's reelection chances. Trende's basic thesis, culled from a very few data points, is that Obama is a kind of post-partisan figure whose popularity runs ahead of his electoral success. It could be true, I suppose.

Is the Republican Comeback Just a Flash in the Pan?
November 26, 2010

Did the 2010 election demonstrate that the electorate is moving to the right? I thought the answer was obvious, but my colleagues Ed Kilgore and Ruy Teixeira have argued that it did not, or did so only marginally. Jay Cost, who along with Sean Trende, dispenses political wisdom for Real Clear Politics, takes issue with Kilgore and Teixeira. Who is right? I think to understand the dispute, you have to distinguish between two very different questions. First, did the election demonstrate movement to the right? On that question, I agree with Cost and not with Kilgore and Teixeira.

Mysticism As Analysis
July 01, 2010

Brendan Nyhan has a good post on Peggy Noonan, who is sort of an extreme caricature of the media's tendency to create non-falsifiable narratives to explain political events that can easily be explained by data. Sean Trende objects: Non-quantitative punditry has a huge place in our discourse for many reasons, including one that is directly applicable here... [T]he most applicable problem here is that there is always a large portion of the data that have to be explained qualitatively. For example, take the Presidential Approval models.

The Coming GOP Wave
May 03, 2010

Steve Lombardo at pollster.com surveys the good political news for Republicans. There's a lot of it: We are in one of the longest sustained periods of voter dissatisfaction in modern history. Except for a few weeks in the spring of 2009, perceptions of the direction of the country have been strongly "wrong track" since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. That is seven years. The only comparable period is 1973-1983. This helps explain why we are in the middle of a third successive "change" election. Moreover, trust in government to do what is right is at an all-time low.

How Many Seats Will The Democrats Lose?
April 14, 2010

While he's smuggling in a lot of conservative talking points I disagree with into his political analysis, I do agree with Sean Trende's overall contention that an 80 or 90 seat GOP pickup this November is well within the realm of possibility. (Trende also concedes that an economic recovery and a bump for Obama could result in a mere 20-25 seat loss.) Trende also makes a point that's gotten too little attention: the apportionment of the House gives Republicans an inherent structural advantage: The President's weakness in these states reveals another problem for his party.