Category: Mark’s Hill Column

In her first month, Pelosi surges

Not long ago, Republicans chortled and Democrats ran scared when her name was mentioned. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the GOP’s not-so-secret weapon—or so they thought. In relative terms, she was never as unpopular as they believed. More often than not, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were no better liked. Nonetheless, Republicans had invested tens of millions of dollars in

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Trump, the Andrew Johnson of our time

With the possible exception of Andrew Johnson, no president in American history has suffered as many self-inflicted wounds as Donald Trump — and he’s only just passed the two-year mark of his presidency. A drunken white supremacist with no formal schooling, Johnson appeared at his vice-presidential inauguration so inebriated he could not fulfill his duties. After Lincoln’s

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Lynching and defective representation

It seems axiomatic that a democracy should respond to the will of its people. Yet, ours often seems to fail this test. American government seems impervious to large majorities who want background checks for gun purchasers, an increased minimum wage, action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming and an end to this government

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Why does the GOP persist?

Why do they persist? The evidence is clear: voters oppose a wall, oppose the shutdown, and favor reopening the government without funding the wall, seeing far better ways to protect the border. A CNN poll pegged support for a border wall at just 39 percent, with 56 percent opposed. Quinnipiac recorded a slightly lower, but

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Asymmetric loyalists

Politicians, pollsters and pundits spend a great deal of time thinking about demographic groups. But demography is rarely political destiny. Group members often don’t see eye to eye and rarely vote in a truly united fashion. Of course, the way one segment or another leans can have profound electoral consequences, without members having to be

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If only you couldn’t vote

A favorite meme in Trump World argues that if it weren’t for California, Hillary Clinton would have lost the national popular vote for president, which she won by almost 3 million ballots. Last month, after Democrats won the statewide vote for U.S. Senate, governor, Congress and State Assembly in his state, Wisconsin’s leading enemy of democracy, Assembly Speaker

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Enemies of democracy

Republicans probably don’t think of themselves as enemies of democracy. And many aren’t. But notwithstanding their self-perception, the actions of some GOPers put our democracy at grave risk. Robert Dahl, the preeminent theorist of democracy, identified “voting equality” as  one of its central criteria — “each member must be ensured an equal opportunity to express a

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Dems’ presidential pick will be chosen in a flash

Knowing the 2020 nomination is well worth having, some two dozen Democrats are contemplating entering the primary process. They may want to hurry. While candidates always stay in the primaries beyond the point they’ve lost, the race will likely be effectively over after March 3, 2020. It will all go by in a flash —

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The triumph of partisanship

Two forces triumphed on Election Day — Democrats and partisanship. Tuesday brought a broad and deep victory for Democrats, as well as a repudiation of President Trump and his Republican Congress. When all the votes are counted, Democrats will have picked up 35 or more House seats, gained a net of at least seven governorships, taken control

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Can voters tell us whether they’ll turn out?

It’s that point in the cycle when everyone lowers their voice, along with their head, and knowingly suggests, “It’s all about turnout.” Leaving aside the veracity of the statement itself, it certainly puts pressure on pollsters to correctly predict the likely electorate. Many employ straightforward questions to ascertain whether an individual is likely to turn

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