Archive of Articles for February, 2020

Program Note

[ Posted Saturday, February 29th, 2020 – 16:28 UTC ]

I thought it'd be worthwhile to have a separate thread here for anyone who wants to comment on the incoming South Carolina primary results. Polls still won't close for another half-hour, but wanted to provide a separate comment thread for when we start to get results. One reader in particular may be interested [...]

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Friday Talking Points -- Tax Cuts Will Save Us All!

[ Posted Friday, February 28th, 2020 – 17:55 UTC ]

File this one under: "If I doesn't laugh, I thinks I'm gonna cry!"

President Donald Trump, that noted stable genius, apparently has the answer to the coronavirus. Here's how an article in today's Washington Post began:

Trump administration officials are holding preliminary conversations about economic responses to the coronavirus, as the stock market fell sharply again on Friday amid international fears about the outbreak, according to five people with knowledge of the planning.

Among the options being considered are pursuing a targeted tax cut package, these people said.

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My (Early) Picks For South Carolina

[ Posted Thursday, February 27th, 2020 – 17:25 UTC ]

Since my election forecast dominated last Friday's column, I've decided to post my picks for South Carolina early this week, to free up the format for tomorrow. Also, I sincerely doubt that one more day of polling is going to change my mind about any of these picks, so I feel it's pretty safe to put them out there a day early.

South Carolina will be the final of the first four states to vote, and Super Tuesday will follow almost immediately thereafter. Which brings up a technical note. Up until now, due to the breadth of the field, I've been posting my picks for the top five slots. But by now, I think that fourth- and fifth-place finishes are going to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, so I'm only going to pick the top three for South Carolina, and then only try to pick the winner of each state from Super Tuesday forward. Squabbling about who came in second versus third is going to become all but meaningless as we move deeper into the primary calendar, mostly because people will be much more focused on the total delegate count.

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Trump Tries To Reassure The Markets

[ Posted Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 – 18:15 UTC ]

Donald Trump is known to be a germophobe, but his fear of COVID-19 has nothing to do with any personal fear of actually contracting the virus. No, he's scared for a bigger reason -- because he knows that if the virus causes a sickness in the American economy writ large, then this will undercut his biggest campaign theme heading into the 2020 election. He's made this argument many times, essentially telling voters that they may not like him personally or appreciate his tweets, but the economy is so darn good that they have to vote for him so he can continue the good times.

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Reactions To The Democratic Debates, Round Ten

[ Posted Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 – 22:08 UTC ]

Welcome back again to another of our post-debate snap-reactions columns. Tonight was the tenth in the continuing series of Democratic presidential debates, moderated this time by CBS. When they woke up and remembered to, I should say, because at several extended times during the night I thought the moderators had completely left the room for a coffee break. It certainly seemed that way, since the candidates just engaged in a free-for-all shouting match where it was impossible to hear what any one of them had to say. This wasn't an isolated incident, it happened over and over again. And the moderators either were too timid to even try to, you know, moderate the discussion, or they were just flat-out incapable of doing so. Or, as I said, perhaps they had all ducked out for a few moments in the hallway.

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Who Will Quit, And When?

[ Posted Monday, February 24th, 2020 – 18:18 UTC ]

Bernie Sanders emerged from the Nevada caucuses as the man to beat in the Democratic presidential nomination race. He is now the lone frontrunner, having outpaced Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden by significant margins. In fact, he is now positioned to become almost unstoppable, should he do well in South Carolina and, more importantly, on Super Tuesday. The question for those who would stop Bernie is now a very stark one, because it basically boils down to which candidates will quit, and how soon they'll bow out.

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Friday Talking Points -- Predicting Nevada's Outcome

[ Posted Friday, February 21st, 2020 – 17:45 UTC ]

We are hereby totally throwing in the towel on our usual "weekly news wrap-up" segment here, because the Democratic primary race is ever so much nicer to focus on. In place of it, we offer up what we wrote back in Friday Talking Points Volume 523, from last April -- a "Generic Weekly News Roundup" with Mad-Lib-style fill-in-the-blanks. Two paragraphs even caught our eye as being not all that far removed from the current week, to wit:

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Democratic Race Shifts Dramatically

[ Posted Thursday, February 20th, 2020 – 17:39 UTC ]

Normally, after a presidential debate, I'd wait a few days or even a week before taking a look at the state of the race nationally, but we're in the crunch phase of things so I'm just going to leap right in without the benefit of seeing how the post-debate poll numbers shift. The numbers were already shifting before the debate, though, so there's still plenty to analyze and very little time to do so. Nevada caucuses this Saturday, we've got another debate next week, and then South Carolina votes next Saturday. Three days after that is Super Tuesday, when one-third of the total delegates will be decided. So we really don't have the luxury of waiting, at this point.

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A Las Vegas Boxing Match Of A Debate

[ Posted Thursday, February 20th, 2020 – 00:43 UTC ]

There's an old switcheroo-at-the-end joke that goes: "I went to see the fights, but a hockey game broke out instead." After tonight, this can now be updated to: "I went to see the fights, but a Democratic presidential debate broke out instead." In fact, the best word I can think of to describe what we all just saw is "brutal." Maybe for the next debate, we should have a metal detector installed so that nobody can bring any brass knuckles to the podium? Just a thought.

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Bloomberg Debate Will Be Pivotal

[ Posted Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 – 17:03 UTC ]

Today, Michael Bloomberg placed in double-digit support in his fourth national poll, just before the deadline. As a result, he will be on tomorrow's debate stage. This could be a pivotal moment for the entire Democratic presidential race, no matter what the outcome.

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