Is the GOP Going to the Doves?

Featured image In the New York Times, Ross Douthat argues that the United States and Europe seem to be reversing their roles with respect to defense policy. The adage that Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus, he suggests, no longer holds true. Europeans have gotten more serious about security: Nationalism is returning, border fences are going up. The center is weakening, the far right is gaining power. The Mediterranean »

Trump less dominant in recent polls

Featured image The pattern has been the same throughout this campaign season. After each big primary, I look at the polling for the next major contest — e.g., Florida, South Carolina, or Michigan — and see Donald Trump leading by around 15 points. As the primary approaches, there is talk that the gap might be narrowing, and on election day we hear that the late voters have broken in favor of a »

Observations about last night

Featured image Last night’s GOP primary/caucuses results represent a split decision. Donald Trump won in Arizona; Ted Cruz won in neighboring Utah. And in far away American Samoa, the nine delegates apparently are not committed to any candidate. Last night continued a familiar pattern. Trump won in a primary state; Cruz won in a caucus state. However, Trump’s Arizona victory occurred in a closed primary — only Republicans voted. This was atypical »

Today is the first day of the rest of the GOP race

Featured image Ready or not, the battle for the Republican presidential nomination heats up again today with contests in Utah and Arizona. Ted Cruz is expected to win the vast majority, if not all, of Utah’s 44 delegates. Donald Trump is likely to capture all 58 of Arizona’s. American Samoa will also dole out nine delegates. I have no idea how they will be divided. Meanwhile, the crew at FiveThirtyEight surveyed political »

November and Beyond: My Crystal Ball [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Predictions are difficult, especially about the future, as Yogi Berra reputedly said. (The quote is also attributed, perhaps more reliably, to Niels Bohr.) But when has that ever stopped anyone? A few months ago a Norwegian newspaper columnist named Frank Rossavik interviewed me for a book he is writing about American politics. As a follow-up, he emailed me some questions about Donald Trump and the current election, which I answered »

Parties, the convention, and the consequences

Featured image I agree with John that no rule or moral imperative says a candidate coming to a convention with a plurality, rather than a majority, of delegates, must be his Party’s nominee. If Trump, or any other Republican, so arrives in Cleveland, he must find a way to reach a majority. Failing that, he will have no valid complaint when the GOP selects someone else. There is, however, a distinction between »

Is there any honor in winning the D.C. GOP primary?

Featured image The District of Columbia held its primary today. It wasn’t held in a phone booth, exactly, but it did take place at a single location — the Loews Madison Hotel. Formerly known as the Madison, this luxury hotel made its name as a favorite hangout of lobbyists. Make of that what you will. Marco Rubio won the primary, narrowly edging out John Kasich. The tally was 1,059 to 1,009. Donald »

After last night

Featured image A few notes and queries after last night’s primary results, as always in the spirit of inquiry that has animated my occasional reflections on the morning after the debates and primaries of this campaign season. 1. Donald Trump won impressive victories in Michigan and Mississippi. In Michigan, however, Trump won 25 delegates while Ted Cruz and John Kasich split 34. In Mississippi, Trump approached 50 percent of the vote; he »

Tonight’s GOP primaries and caucus [updated periodically]

Featured image Remember the night that Donald Trump won both Alabama and Massachusetts? It was an impressive feat given the difference between the two states when it comes to politics (and much else). Tonight, Trump seeks another impressive double: Mississippi and Michigan. He’s heavily favored in Mississippi and is off to a good start in Michigan — leading John Kasich 37-30 with about 7 percent of the precincts reporting. The focus tonight »

Cruz surges; Trump may be stalling

Featured image Ted Cruz and Donald Trump split the four states that voted today, with Trump winning the only primary. Trump was victorious in Louisiana (primary) and Kentucky (caucus). Cruz won caucuses in Maine and Kentucky. Cruz’s victories were resounding. He defeated Trump 48-23 in Kansas, picking up 24 delegates compared to 9 for Trump, 6 for Marco Rubio, and 1 for John Kasich. In Maine, where apparently fewer than 20,000 people »

Have I become too pessimistic about stopping Trump?

Featured image Maybe. Consider some math, brought to us by Rich Lowry (via NBC’s first read): The delegate math: How a contested convention could happen: Want to see how the Republican Party is likely to wind up with either 1) Donald Trump as the clear favorite to win the GOP presidential nomination, or 2) a contested convention? Well, here’s the delegate math: Trump holds an 88-delegate lead over his closest competitor, Ted »

A good night for Ted Cruz; a good enough night for Donald Trump

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate was not a game-changer. In fact, I’m not sure it will have any impact on the race. Obviously, this is a bad outcome for those of us who are anti-Trump, so I wish I could report otherwise. But I just didn’t see anything that seems likely to (1) cause Trump to lose support or even (2) cause the considerable anti-Trump sentiment in the party to deepen. »

One Man’s Experience on Caucus Night

Featured image This year, I was asked to be the convener of (i.e., to preside over) my precinct’s Republican caucus, which took place tonight. I agreed, largely in hopes of making the caucus shorter. My wife served as the caucus’s secretary. Republican turnout in our area was overwhelming, as it has been around the country. GOP caucuses are usually held in one high school; this year, there were overflow crowds at two »

What is Telemundo running for?

Featured image There were five official presidential candidates in tonight’s GOP debate, but six debaters. The sixth was a female reporter from Telemundo. She was running a single-issue campaign. Her issue was relief for illegal immigrants. Her performance was nauseating. The Telemundo woman, María Celeste Arrarás, asked the candidates this question: “Do you [or your fellow candidates] get it?” By “it,” as she made clear in a speech masquerading as a question, »

Trump battered, but is he bruised?

Featured image Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, their campaigns in danger of extinction within a month, came out swinging at Donald Trump tonight. Many of their lines of attack have not been used in previous debates, as far as I can recall. Here is a list of tonight’s attacks, new and old, that I compiled: Trump has hired illegal workers and was fined $1 million for doing so. Trump ran a “fake »

After last night

Featured image Donald Trump prevailed by an impressive margin over his remaining opponents in the Nevada caucuses last night. Although only a few delegates have been chosen so far, Trump’s substantial win in advance of the Super Tuesday primaries next week gives his campaign the appearance of a juggernaut in the making. RealClearPolitics gives Trump the lead in 9 of 13 Super Tuesday states. Trump’s candidacy is a byproduct of the Obama »

Report: Not much discussion, some cheating in Nevada caucuses [UPDATED] [TRUMP WINS]

Featured image The GOP is holding its presidential caucuses in Nevada tonight. The Las Vegas Sun is live-blogging the caucuses. The Sun says that caucus-goers are encountering long lines and little discussion at caucus sites. It also reports that double-voting has occurred at one caucus: The Republican National Committee says it is concerned about reports of double voting at a troubled caucus site in Las Vegas. RNC spokesman Fred Brown acknowledges there »