Category: Mark’s Hill Column

Public crimes

President Trump seems to believe that only crimes committed in secret are really crimes. He “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody”—that’s in public. By contrast, the crime he keeps denying — “collusion” — invokes secrecy in its very definition. Publicly asking Russia to steal and release Hillary Clinton’s emails isn’t secret, so

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Whither the economy

Last week, I argued here that voters’ evaluations of economic “realities” are heavily conditioned by their partisan identities. When asked about the economy, many use their response as an opportunity for partisan cheerleading rather than for “objective” reporting. However, the polls seem to be telling us quite different things about the economy. To take just

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Economic realities and partisan feelings

I’ve noted many times that partisanship is a powerful drug. But you would think people would be able to shake off their partisan stupor long enough to report accurately on an objective reality in which they live each day — the economy. Many can’t. Recent Pew polling found more a nearly 40-point gap between Democrats

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The coming revolution in sports gambling

Sports fans love to bet. Each year Americans wager over $150 billion on sporting events. Our research for the American Gaming Association found more than a quarter of those who planned to watch the Super Bowl in 2016 had, or intended to, place a bet on the game. An even larger 41 percent had placed

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Who’s hurting GOP Senate prospects?

Who do you think is the most unpopular politician in Washington? President Trump might be your first guess. After all, the least popular president at this point in his tenure, Trump’s an incredibly divisive figure who voters think is both dishonest and incompetent. It’s a hard combination to beat. But Trump is not D.C.’s most unpopular

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Memories may be beautiful, yet…

Pollsters often assume respondents can remember basic political behavior. It’s not a wise assumption. Professionals are often asking people whether they voted last year, who they voted for, whether they got a piece of mail or saw a particular ad. We’ve got lots of good evidence that many people have difficulty remembering such things. And

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Did Cambridge have anything to sell?

There’s little doubt Cambridge Analytica’s behavior was scandalous, but was it a scam? If any of what is alleged is true, the firm and its leadership behaved unethically, and possibly illegally. But prominent journalists, academics and political practitioners have gone further, pronouncing Cambridge Analytica’s work itself to be a fraud. Of course, neither they, nor

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Will Trump lose the GOP nomination?

Reporters love writing about the persistence of the Trump coalition. I sense it’s partly out of surprise and wonder. Like most college educated Americans, reporters have trouble believing there are people who still stand by this president, despite all the lies, all the chaos, all the broken promises, all the racism, all the stupidity. Okay,

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Evangelicals meet partisanship

Twenty years ago, evangelical leaders could hardly have been more appalled. Arguing that character counts, Rev. Franklin Graham asserted that if a president “will lie to, or mislead, his wife … what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public?” The late Billy Graham’s son was referring to President Bill Clinton. Evangelical leader

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The next war

It’s natural for people to fight the last war. And sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. Understanding how to limit the penetration and impact of fake news is critical. Preventing hacking into American political assets by Russia or other nefarious actors is vital. But we can’t let the last war blind us to the new and different

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