Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Where does the Republican presidential race stand?

Featured image Here, via FiveThirtyEight, are the new betting market odds on the GOP race: Trump 43 Rubio 20 Bush 17 Cruz 16 Kasich 3 Christie 1 In my opinion, the Bush number is way too high and the Cruz number way too low. But then, Bush has been overestimated and Cruz underestimated ever since the race began. Almost everyone’s two takeaways from the New Hampshire primary are (1) Trump is now »

Where does the Democratic presidential race stand?

Featured image Everyone has known for a good while that Hillary Clinton would lose to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. But it was far from clear that she would lose (as apparently she will) by 20 points. Where does this leave Clinton and Sanders? It leaves Clinton behind her Southern firewall. Her theory, widely shared, is that whatever happens in Iowa and New Hampshire, she will begin to win decisively once states »

Trump wins and probably wins big [updated continuously]

Featured image The networks have called Donald Trump the winner on the Republican side, and it looks like the margin of victory will be large. Currently, John Kasich, who is in second place, has only half of Trump’s vote total. It’s a good win for Trump, but how good? Around the time of the Iowa primary, I speculated that Trump needs at least one-third of the vote in the early contests to »

A “good” night for Kasich?

Featured image Henry Enten at FiveThirtyEight writes: If you’re trying to read the tea leaves in the early results, you can already see how tonight could be a good one for John Kasich. He’s doing about as well as Jon Huntsman did in Lebanon in the western part of the state. If he can match Huntsman’s numbers in other places, it will probably be good enough for 17 percent statewide and second »

A tough night for Hillary [updated continuously]

Featured image As I write this, we’re about half an hour away from getting real election returns from New Hampshire. In the meantime, Fox News has put out some tantalizing exit poll results on the Democratic side. Almost one-third of voters in the Democratic primary told Fox that honesty/trustworthiness is the most important quality they’re looking for. Sanders won this group with more than 90 percent support. “Young” voters (I assume Fox »

Today’s sports post: Canton

Featured image The NFL announced its latest Hall of Fame class last week. The new members are Brett Favre, Kenny Stabler, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace, Dick Stanfel, Eddie DeBartolo Jr, and Tony Dungy. The first five seem obviously to belong. Favre retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in completions, yards, and touchdowns. He’s a three-time MVP. Stabler led his Raiders to the AFC title game each season from 1973-77 and »

How will Jeb do tomorrow? (and why it matters)

Featured image New Hampshire voters will answer several potentially consequential questions tomorrow: How badly will Sanders beat Clinton; what will Trump’s margin of victory be; what price (if any) will Rubio pay for repetition in debating? For me, though, the biggest question is: How well will Jeb Bush do? Here’s why. There has been much speculation about the degree of winnowing the Republican field will undergo after New Hampshire. In particular, how »

Today’s sports post: Super Bowl (don’t call me) L [UPDATED]

Featured image I’m no football historian, but I have seen nearly all L of the Super Bowls. I don’t recall ever witnessing defense being played as well by two competing Super Bowl teams as it was yesterday. Denver’s defense must be among the best of all time. A few weeks ago it made Tom Brady, surely one of the best five quarterbacks ever in my opinion, look ordinary at best. Yesterday, they »

Pop culture and the GOP field

Featured image Tevi Troy has two excellent posts about the Republican presidential field’s pop culture interests. This one focuses on music. It finds that Donald Trump has “broken the GOP’s music curse.” This one focuses on pop culture in general. It finds that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have displayed a “facility to invoke images and references that go beyond politics.” Unlike Barack Obama, Cruz eschews upper-middle-brow references (e.g. to shows like »

Would Rubio sign an amnesty bill?

Featured image As conservatives sort through the wreckage from Marco Rubio’s close encounter with Chris Christie the other night, some are debating the question of what Rubio would do as president about illegal immigration. It’s a vitally important question and a fair one, given that Rubio has been all over the place on this issue. Kevin Williamson at NR says that anti-amnesty conservatives have nothing to fear from a President Rubio. But »

Art for politics’ sake at the Washington Post

Featured image If you think (as I do) that the Washington Post’s news section too often manifests liberal bias, you should probably steer clear of the arts, entertainment, and letters portions of the paper. The news section’s high profile produces limits as to how far reporters typically go to express such bias. Those who write in non-news sections are less constrained. That’s why I refer to these pages as the Washington Post’s »

Tell me why

Featured image Tell me why no one attacked John Kasich last night. He’s leading the governors/former governors in New Hampshire, and conventional wisdom holds that only one (or at most two) governors will survive the New Hampshire primary. He’s a bona threat to finish ahead of Marco Rubio (and this was true even before last night) and Ted Cruz. If he finishes a close second, he could even hurt Trump going forward. »

Chris Christie’s suicide mission may make this a good night for Trump and Kasich [With Comment by John]

Featured image The first portion of tonight’s GOP debate, as well as the post-debate coverage, was dominated by the clash between Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. Christie assailed Rubio for not having governing experience and compared him to Barack Obama, who was also a first-term Senator when he ran for president. In addition, Christie criticized Rubio for allegedly relying on 25-second sound bites. Rubio responded by saying, in effect, that Obama’s problem »

Hail, the Coen brothers!

Featured image The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, have written and directed some of the best films of the past 31 years (“Miller’s Crossing” is probably my favorite). They have also written and directed several (such as “No Country for Old Men”) that I didn’t like at all. Their latest film is “Hail, Caesar!” Apparently, it’s an affectionate send up of the “Golden Age of Hollywood” that resolves around the kidnapping of »

Can Hillary be bought? Elizabeth Warren thinks so

Featured image Hillary Clinton responds to criticism over the speaking fees she has received from corporate America, and Wall Street in particular, by challenging critics to cite one vote in which, as a Senator, she bowed to these interests. When she used this response last night, Bernie Sanders failed to cite any such vote. But Elizabeth Warren has cited one. America Rising calls attention to the following exchange between Warren and Bill »

Washington Post airbrushes Obama’s mosque visit

Featured image Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post provides a near-worshipful account of President Obama’s Wednesday visit to a Baltimore mosque. Jaffe’s third paragraph is representative: The president often sounded like a concerned parent, worried for the country he leads as it prepares to replace him in a presidential election marked by inflammatory and anti-Islamic rhetoric. Jaffe describes the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque as “a simple house of worship.” Post readers »

Polls show Rubio surging in New Hampshire [UPDATED: the Romney factor] [UPDATED AGAIN]

Featured image Marco Rubio has been criticized, perhaps with some justification, for acting on Monday night almost as if he won the Iowa caucuses, rather than finishing third. But polling in New Hampshire (and at least one national poll) suggests that Rubio is getting the biggest bounce of any GOP candidate out of Iowa. The New Hampshire polls tell conflicting stories, however, on the crucial question of how close Rubio (and Ted »