PRIMARY CONCERNS:

McCain, Obama have some base building to do

For the first time in 40 years, the Democrats and Republicans are each on the verge of nominating a candidate who failed to attract even half of their party's primary vote. Counting fully sanctioned, half sanctioned, and non-binding primaries, Barack Obama took 47 percent of this year's Democratic vote and...

THE “CONTROVERSIAL” CAUCUSES:

An Outsized Influence in 2008

Maybe one of the most intriguing - and nefarious - aspects of this long-running Democratic presidential campaign is that the legitimacy of the system itself has come into question. Doubts, to be sure, have been raised about the role of the unelected "superdelegates". But the campaign of Hillary Clinton has...

OBAMA’S NEXT CHALLENGE:

Turning Primary Losses Into Electoral Votes

As Barack Obama prepares to move from the primary to the general election phase of the 2008 presidential election, he faces a new challenge which combines both - to bring many of the states where he suffered primary losses this winter and spring into the Democratic column this fall. Obama...

OBAMA AND SMALL-TOWN AMERICA

Many important votes lie outside cities and suburbs

Barack Obama caused quite a stir a fortnight ago when he told a suburban San Francisco fund raiser that small-town Pennsylvania voters were "bitter" about their economic plight. As a consequence, he added, "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them..." As political comments...

THE DEMOCRATIC END GAME:

Who has the right credentials?

One of the basic themes of the long-running Democratic nominating campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speaks to the need for a new era in American politics. But increasingly it seems as though their race could be decided by a method quite old--a decision by the convention credentials committee...

A VIRTUAL TIE:

Clinton, Obama divide the Democratic primary vote

As the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama approach the ides of March, they are virtually tied in the Democratic primary vote count. Include results from the unsanctioned contests in Florida and Michigan and Clinton leads by less than 80,000 votes out of almost 30 million Democratic primary...

DEMOCRATS AND THE POPULAR VOTE

It's in the eye of the beholder

As the closely fought Democratic presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama moves deeper and deeper into the primary season, there is a growing sentiment that the nomination should go to the candidate that ultimately wins the popular vote. Fair enough. Ever since the current primary-dominated era of nominations...

SUPER TUESDAY

A vast and varied test

Ready or not, here it comes... Super-Duper Tuesday, Tsunami Tuesday, Monster Tuesday, or whatever name one chooses to call it. The huge, historic nationwide vote Feb. 5 is at last at hand. Two dozen states from Massachusetts to California will vote next Tuesday, electing more than 40 percent of all...

THE PRIMARY TURNOUT BOOM

Where might it lead?

One of the basic facts of American politics is that citizens will turn out to vote when they feel they have something to vote for. That was the case in 2004, when a record 122 million ballots were cast in an election that was essentially a referendum on the presidency...

ROOTED IN “HOPE”

Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee

It may not be that unusual for a large state to produce a pair of major presidential candidates within a generation, but for a small town to do so is astounding. That is the case with Hope, Arkansas, which is the birthplace of two modern-day White House aspirants--Bill Clinton and...

PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS: NOT ALWAYS EASIER THE SECOND TIME

"It's always easier the second time around," goes the lyrics of the old song. But while that may be true in love and romance, it is certainly not the case in presidential politics. And that is not good news for Republican John McCain and Democrat John Edwards (or for that...

ANOTHER PART OF THE BUSH LEGACY IN QUESTION?

Party-building success through the lens of history

During his first term, George W. Bush was arguably the most successful party-building president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Like FDR, who fashioned a Democratic coalition that dominated American politics for a generation, Bush during his first four years in office helped the Republicans post gains in Congress and around the...

HILLARY’S 2006 SENATE RUN: A HARBINGER OF ELECTABILITY?

Much of the growing sense of inevitability about Hillary Clinton's bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination revolves around the issue of electability. Polls show her running well these days against prospective Republican opponents, which she buttresses with references to the breadth of her own landslide Senate reelection victory last...

THE LATEST CALIFORNIA TREND

Changing the Electoral Vote?

It would not be surprising if the most important single primary in 2008 takes place in California. But don't look for it to be the presidential primary on Super-Duper Tuesday Feb. 5. Look instead to the state primary on June 3, up to now a low-profile event that could become...

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON?

The Romneys Run for President

America has known successful political dynasties in the last generation or two--the Bushes, the Clintons, the Kennedys. Not quite on the same level are the Romneys. George Romney made an unsuccessful run for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. His son, Mitt, is currently seeking the same goal. Like his father,...