Friday, February 03, 2023

Today in Bloomberg Opinion: Biden's Had Success with Congress, But He's No LBJ

Some Democrats, justifiably happy with the legislative productivity of the 2021–2022 session of Congress, have gotten a little carried away lately when describing its supposed transformational importance. In today's column for Bloomberg Opinion, I draw on data showing that the last Congress was not historically exceptional in its lawmaking acoomplishments, and suggest that Biden's perceived achievements were made possible by the previous success of Barack Obama in enacting major health care reform in 2010. The piece is also available on the Washington Post site.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Today in Bloomberg Opinion: Why Are Democrats More United? The Voters Did It

The Democratic Party is more unified these days than it was in the past—and is certainly less openly divided than the Republicans, who just took five days to select a Speaker of the House. The main reason for this newfound internal harmony is the evolving behavior of the American electorate: the moderate/conservative dissident bloc of Democrats representing rural constituencies has mostly disappeared from office, replaced by more ideologically orthodox Democrats from the suburbs. This change has made party leaders' job easier and has eased the chronic factionalism that is now more evident on the Republican side of the aisle, as I explain further in my latest column for Bloomberg Opinion.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Today in Bloomberg Opinion: What the Freedom Caucus Gets Right About the GOP

The extended process of electing a House speaker last week put Republicans' internal divisions on public display. Democrats and leadership-aligned Republicans had ample opportunity to attack or mock the band of holdouts, many affiliated with the House Freedom Caucus, who prevented Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker until the 15th round of balloting. But for all their grandstanding, the holdouts have a point about how Republicans fail to deliver on their government-cutting promises—which portends more conflict ahead, as I explain in today's column for Bloomberg Opinion.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Today in Bloomberg Opinion: Most Voters Are Partisans, But Independents Were Decisive in 2022

Sifting through the evidence from the 2022 election reveals that Democrats' better-than-expected performance didn't reflect a turnout advantage over Republicans, but instead resulted from a historically unusual success among independent voters. Although it's fashionable to view the American public as divided into two implacable partisan sides, the remaining slice of persuadable voters can easily prove decisive in a highly competitive electoral environment, as I discuss further in today's piece for Bloomberg Opinion.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Today in Blooomberg Opinion: Let's Stop Messing with the Voting Rules

 Georgia's Senate runoff was resolved much earlier this year than it was last time, when it wasn't held until January. But this change reflected how often the rules that govern our elections are changed and changed again as the party in charge seeks a crude strategic advantage. And in this case, it didn't even gain that advantage—the Georgia Republicans who moved up the runoff date to cut down on early voting lost on Tuesday, just as they did in the 2021 runoff. In my latest piece for Bloomberg Opinion, I pine for the day when both parties accept a stable set of rules and focus on the much nobler task of persuading and mobilizing voters.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Today in Bloomberg Opinion: Voter Turnout Was High Again in 2022

Voter turnout in the 2018 midterms reached 50 percent of eligible citizens, a modern record. This year, it stayed nearly as high (47 percent), indicating that the voter surge last time was more than simply a "Trump effect." I consider what the rise in turnout says about today's American politics in my latest piece for Bloomberg Opinion

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Today in Bloomberg Opinion: Trump's Critics Call Him Unelectable. Will Voters Listen?

The disappointing results of the 2022 midterms have awakened concerns among some Republicans about their party's occasional tendency to nominate weak candidates in key races. Some of these party leaders now fear that another Trump nomination in 2024 will drag down their party once again—but as I observe in Bloomberg Opinion today, Republican voters aren't nearly as accustomed as Democrats to accept that a tradeoff exists between electability and other party goals.