NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

Exit Bachmann Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R, MN-6) decision not to seek a fifth term in the U.S. House makes it likelier that Republicans will hold her heavily Republican district. So we’re switching the rating in MN-6 from “leans Republican” to “likely Republican.” Yes, it’s odd to argue that a party...

Notes on the State of Politics

2016 Presidential Update: The newest shiny object Last week, intense speculation centered on freshman Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) possible presidential aspirations. The revelation has prompted all sorts of reactions, including a positive one from the unlikeliest of sources. While some have asked questions about his constitutional eligibility to run for...

Notes on the State of Politics

The Little Things Matter Many politicians may not want to admit it, but much of political success is built on timing and luck. In what is probably going to be a close election on Nov. 6, every small turn of fortune for each candidate could serve as the little push...

Notes on the State of Politics: Recapping Wisconsin

Walker’s Wisconsin win not necessarily a harbinger As soon as the recall of Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was finalized in mid-March, the Crystal Ball made Walker a favorite, giving the race a rating of leans Republican. We upgraded his chances roughly two weeks ago to likely Republican, and he ended...

NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

How Santorum can win by losing April 3 was a one-two punch in favor of Mitt Romney. Wisconsin was Rick Santorum’s last, best chance to slow Romney’s inevitability train. And the Tuesday engine pulling the Romney train, oddly enough, was driven by Barack Obama. In front of America’s newspaper editors, he...

Notes on the State of Politics

So much for that anti-incumbent wave Last week’s primary loss by Rep. Jean Schmidt, a southwest Ohio Republican, ginned up curiosity in Tuesday night’s congressional primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, where several House incumbents were supposedly in danger of losing their primaries. That list included powerful House Financial Services Committee...

NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

Crystal Ball flashback: What fuels presidential approval? With increasing gas prices again dominating the national news -- stories about prices at the pump led network news broadcasts on Tuesday night -- we wanted to remind readers of a piece we published last year about gas prices and their effect on...

Notes on the State of Politics

Modern Cabinets: No "Team of Rivals" With Mitt Romney leading in the Republican nomination battle, there has been talk of what kind of roles the other GOP candidates might occupy in a hypothetical Romney administration. Naturally, the first position discussed is vice president, but there has also been talk of...

Notes on the State of Politics

Ben Nelson and the Senate calculus Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) decision to retire makes a Republican takeover of the Senate a little more likely, but just a little more. It does not dramatically change the Senate landscape. Why? Because Nelson could easily have lost if he ran again. Still, out...

Notes on the state of politics

Primary date musical chairs With all of the uncertainty surrounding the Republican presidential primary battle as we approach Iowa, at least the schedule for primaries and caucuses is set in stone, right? Guess again. It turns out that even the calendar is keeping us on our toes this campaign cycle....

Notes on the State of Politics

Gingrich grabs lead in Hawkeye State Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also a former college history professor, has written a number of alternate history novels. But the plots of his re-imaginations of World War II and the Civil War would pale in comparison to the potentially very real...

NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

Tomblin survives in West Virginia Give West Virginia’s acting governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, some credit: He fought off a spirited effort from a stronger-than expected challenger and the powerful Republican Governors Association to win the right to remove "acting" from his title. Tomblin, a career Mountain State Democratic legislator, defeated...

NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

Too Late for Christie, Palin? While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has denied that he will enter the Republican presidential primary field, many political insiders continue to buzz over this possibility -- especially after his Tuesday night speech at the Reagan Presidential Library. Those close to him -- including his own...