Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Rubio takes lead in the endorsement sweepstakes

Featured image I wrote here about the endorsement sweepstakes in the GOP nomination battle. I relied on FiveThirtyEight’s endorsement scorecard, which awards 10 points for endorsements by governors, 5 points for endorsements by U.S. senators, and 1 point for endorsements by U.S. representatives. At the time of my post, January 25, Jeb Bush was in the lead with 51 points. He was followed by Marco Rubio (43), Chris Christie (26), Mike Huckabee »

The social science behind Ted Cruz’s notice of “voter violation”

Featured image I wrote here about the use by Ted Cruz’s campaign in Iowa of a mailer to potential caucus-goers that was labeled: “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” It told recipients: You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them »

Clinton’s unpopularity with young voters offers GOP an opening [With Comment by John]

Featured image Hillary Clinton has a major problem with young voters. According to the Washington Post, Sanders won handily over Clinton in Iowa with voters under the age of 45. And voters under the age of 30 supported Sanders to the tune of 84 percent. We can’t assume that young Sanders voters will support the Republican nominee over Clinton, but some of them might stay home. Moreover, it’s fair to suppose that »

About Rubio, my take

Featured image In his “About Rubio” post, Steve correctly says that I’m skeptical about Marco Rubio because of his dubious dealings with Democrats on immigration and the egregiously bad “Gang of Eight” bill. I’m also not convinced that Rubio is fully ready to be president, but the same reservation applies to Ted Cruz and Donald Trump (who I don’t think will ever be ready). In defense of Rubio, Steve states that Rubio »

What happened to John Cornyn?

Featured image Thanks in no small part to the efforts of Sen. Tom Cotton, the bipartisan congressional effort to reduce the mandatory minimum sentences for certain federal drug felonies, and to release many drug felons from jail, is on hold in the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for what Politico calls “a breather of sorts on the bill,” so that Republican Senators can examine the issue more closely. Sen. John »

When Cheryl Mills clammed up

Featured image In December 2012, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act request pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s email accounts. The request was for records showing the “number of email accounts of or associated with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.” CREW made the request in the wake of a scandal involving Environmental Protection Agency official Lisa Jackson, who emailed under the pseudonym “Richard Windsor.” »

Scott Brown set to join Sarah Palin on Team Trump

Featured image I wasn’t a bit surprised when Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump. I am surprised that Scott Brown reportedly will endorse Trump tonight. Brown struck me as too sensible and responsible to jump on Trump’s bandwagon. Palin and Brown can be viewed as occupying opposite ends of the GOP spectrum. The former is a rebellious, fire-breathing Western conservative; the latter, a moderate Northeastern Republican (though not without a blue-collar persona). They »

How badly is Bernie burned?

Featured image Going into tonight, I thought that Bernie Sanders needed to win the Iowa caucus to sustain his long shot campaign against Hillary Clinton (absent FBI/DOJ action against Hillary). After all, Iowa is tailor-made for a Sanders-style insurgent. If Sanders couldn’t win there, where (other than in his home territory) could he win? Thus, even a five point defeat, say, would be huge blow, however heroically it could be portrayed given »

Three tickets out of Iowa

Featured image “Three tickets out of Iowa.” It sounds like a movie starring, say, Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda (or Peter in the remake), and Van Heflin. Actually, it’s the conventional wisdom regarding Iowa caucuses. When there’s a large field, Iowa punches three candidates’ ticket to New Hampshire and beyond, or so they say. The conventional wisdom happens to hold up well this year. As John says, after Iowa it looks like a »

The Iowa caucuses: Who’s winning? [UPDATED (continuously)]

Featured image Hillary Clinton is slightly ahead in the Democratic caucuses. She’s up 51.5 percent to 48 percent with 36 percent of the precincts reporting. Earlier in the evening, her margin was bigger. On the Republican side, Cruz and Trump are just about even in the raw vote, with Rubio well back in third place. However, David Wasserman of FiveThirtyEight thinks that the early returns “are most likely tiny, more rural caucus »

The Iowa caucuses: How’s the turnout? [UPDATED]

Featured image For the last few days, I’ve been reading that there hasn’t been a large amount of new registration in Iowa and that, therefore, turnout for the caucuses might not be massive. It’s too early to dispute this view, but reports are that at two sites anyway, turnout is exceeding expectations. Tim Alberta of NRO says that in Waukee, a Des Moines suburb, turnout is “WAY higher than organizers expected” and »

Clinton’s email defenses continue to erode

Featured image Hillary Clinton has relied on two main defenses when questioned about her use of a private email server and the potential damage it posed to our national security. First, her mantra is that she never sent or received material that was marked classified when she sent or received it. Second, she says that there is a dispute between the State Department and the intelligence community as to whether the information »

Is Martin O’Malley the most important man in the Democratic race?

Featured image That’s what Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post says. His assessment is based on the way Iowa’s Democratic caucuses work. The Democrats use a “viability threshold.” If a candidate doesn’t reach it at a particular caucus, his supporters are offered the opportunity to re-caucus on behalf of a candidate who is viable. (I don’t believe the Republicans use this procedure these days.) O’Malley, who is at around 3 percent in »

Des Moines Register poll shows Trump and Clinton leading

Featured image The final Des Moines Register poll, released over the weekend, shows Donald Trump leading the Republican field in Iowa. He has 28 percent support compared to 23 percent for Ted Cruz and 15 percent for Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by a narrow 45-42 tally. If this poll accurately predicts the outcome, it won’t be a happy night for me. I’m rooting for Sanders and either »

The Trump-Fox feud as seen by the left

Featured image Let’s take one last look back at the controversy surrounding the Fox News debate, and consider the left’s reaction to it. The reaction can best be described as gleeful. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple relished the spectacle, celebrating it with over-the-top imagry: The right-wing penchant for nonstop media criticism is swerving across the median, zigzagging around the road, about to wrap itself around that oak tree around the curve. Like »

Flag thrown on Ted Cruz’s Iowa ground game

Featured image Sarah Rumpf reports that Ted Cruz’s campaign has sent certain Iowa voters a large card printed to look like a manila envelope on one side and labeled: “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” The text of the mailing stated: You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. »

Highlights from the latest batch of Clinton emails

Featured image The big news associated with today’s release of more Hillary Clinton emails isn’t the content of any email released. The biggest news is the fact, noted by Scott, that 22 of the emails found on her personal email server are classified as “Top Secret” and can’t be released because even with redaction they would be too damaging to national security. The second biggest news may be the State Department’s announcement »