Earlier today, Donald Trump traveled to Mexico City to meet with the Mexican president. This meeting was pretty spontaneous, as it was only announced yesterday, and it took many observers by surprise. It was a risky move for Trump, with plenty of opportunities for it to turn out badly. But Trump exceeded expectations, as he appeared afterwards and read a prepared statement, then took a few questions from the press.
Archive of Articles for August, 2016
Senator John McCain is, as I type this, awaiting the results of today's Arizona primary election. The outcome will likely be that he will once again obtain the Republican Party's nomination for his Senate seat. But the results will probably be a lot closer than any of McCain's other primary races, because he is facing a Tea Party (or perhaps "Trumpesque") challenger who actually has a chance to unseat McCain. Discontent with McCain (and Establishment Republicans in general) from the Republican base voters is palpable -- so much so that McCain has been forced to support Donald Trump's campaign, even after Trump personally insulted him (and all American prisoners of war, for good measure) in a very public manner. But even if McCain, as expected, wins tonight, he'll then go on to face a Democratic challenger in what could also be a very tight race for him.
Republicans have now, by my count, missed two rather large opportunities to improve their general standing with Latino voters. Donald Trump's speech Wednesday (unless it is further postponed or even cancelled outright, of course) might just become the third big missed opportunity. This is a problem entirely of the Republicans' making, since they are caught in a spiral of trying to prove (to each other) how pure their opposition to immigration truly is. They keep redefining the ugly term they toss around (at each other) to describe apostates on the subject, and now will label anything short of deporting 11 million people as "amnesty." This is the trap Trump found himself in, all last week.
It's still only August, but already the predictions that this would be an exceedingly banal presidential election campaign look like they've already come true. This week's campaign news might be summed up as an elementary school playground shouting match: "You're a bigot!" "No, you're a bigot!" Sigh. We've still got over two months of this to get through, folks. And nobody sane expects things are going to get any better any time soon -- quite the opposite, in fact.
Today, we wish a very happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service. A century ago, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation creating the National Park Service (although, as Ken Burns will readily tell you, some National Parks actually predate the federal department). But on this auspicious birthday, one sore subject must be addressed, because the National Park Service is currently considering an idea which would be abhorrent to millions of their visitors. Since they're seeking new ideas in this area, I thought I'd share a few of my own.
That headline is Hillary Clinton's biggest current problem. At this point, it has become akin to how Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign used to be described: "a noun, a verb, 9/11." Clinton has entered similar linguistic territory, because any headline using the word "Clinton" and the word "emails" now triggers a consistent reaction from the public. Details, even fresh new ones, don't even really matter all that much at this point -- all people are really hearing now is: "Clinton, a verb, emails."
That question might not be immediately apparent or totally accurate, so please allow me to explain. The literal answer will probably be "somewhere in between," if the yardstick used is total percentage of presidential votes cast. But what I'm really asking is whether this year will follow the model of third-party support collapsing [...]
Welcome back to the Electoral Math series, where we try to predict the outcome of the presidential race using the smartest metric: Electoral Votes (EV) charted over time. The first of this year's column series ran two weeks ago, and we've seen a lot of polling data since. A whopping 14 states moved around within the categories, but this much volatility is normal this early in the process.
Some weeks, it's tough coming up with a subtitle for these columns. Some weeks, not so much. This is one of the latter, because the juxtaposition of a colorful (to say the least) description of Donald Trump with a soap opera's title just naturally presented itself.
It is time to consider the future of the Big Blue Wall. The Big Blue Wall, for those who haven't heard the term before, is the list of states that have voted consistently Democratic in the past six elections. They voted for Bill Clinton twice, against George W. Bush twice, and then were part of Barack Obama's winning coalition twice as well. I've written about the Big Blue Wall previously in more detail, I should mention, for anyone interested.