Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

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 »

Fourth quarter growth was anemic

Featured image Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at only a 0.7% seasonally adjusted annualized rate in the fourth quarter of last year, the Commerce Department reported today. That’s quite weak. 2015 as a whole wasn’t so good either. GDP expanded at only 2.4%, the same as in 2014. That’s called limping along. For as James Pethokoukis points out, from the end of World War II through 2005, the economy grew at an »

How electable is Donald Trump?

Featured image I strongly recommend Sean Trende’s three-part series about the rise of Donald Trump. The series has graced the “picks” section of our main-page this week. It represents the most incisive analysis of the Trump phenomenon I’ve read. Here are the links to Part I, Part II, and Part III. I’m going to focus on Part II — “Cruz, Trump and the Missing White Voters.” In this article, Trende makes the »

Jeb Bush’s strange defense of his immigration flip-flop

Featured image Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio weren’t the only candidates exposed in last night’s debate as having changed their position on immigration reform. Rubio pointed out that Jeb Bush has also changed his. Bush’s current position, and the one set forth in a book he wrote (with an eye, surely, towards a presidential run) is that illegal immigrants should have a path to legalization but not to citizenship. But when Sen. »

Iowa loses

Featured image Tonight, the University of Maryland defeated Iowa’s third ranked men’s college basketball team 74-68. Maryland forwards Jake Layman and Robert Carter held Iowa all-American Jarrod Uthoff to 9 points on 2-13 shooting. Carter had 17 points on 7-11 shooting. In other Iowa news, there was a Republican presidential debate. As expected, Donald Trump boycotted it. I still don’t know whether this was a good decision, but it’s not looking too »

Is the Clinton Foundation hurting Hillary’s campaign?

Featured image Politico reports that supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign increasing see The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation as a “distraction.” Accordingly, says reporter Kenneth Vogel, the Foundation is considering dialing back its activity during the campaign. In response to what Vogel calls “donor wariness,” the Clinton Foundation commissioned a study from the powerhouse Boston Consulting Group on how to improve its showcase endeavor, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). In »

William McKinley’s triumph in Karl Rove’s words

Featured image Yesterday, in recommending Karl Rove’s book The Triumph of William McKinley, Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters, I mentioned Rove’s discussion of the book at AEI. As a devotee of C-SPAN’s Booknotes, I’ve heard countless authors discuss their babies (I mean books). I can’t recall a better such presentation than Rove’s. Scott found the event on YouTube and you can watch it below. The question about the role of »

Karl Rove: the master strategist as master story teller

Featured image I normally don’t recommend books on Power Line unless I’ve read them from beginning to end. However, I’m making an exception for Karl Rove’s The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters. Why? First, because I’m in the early-middle of a long history of Austria and probably won’t make any headway on Rove’s book (beyond the first chapter, which I have read) for some time. Second, »