Category: Mark’s Hill Column

Protections & threats

Here’s the good news: Thousands of state and local officials — attorneys general, secretaries of state, governors, state and county boards of elections, and state and local law enforcement — are working assiduously to protect your right to vote, to have that vote counted and to ensure that vote counts in deciding our nation’s future.

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Battle of the suburbs

We tend to think about voters as individuals whose personal characteristics determine their candidate choices. We focus on attributes like race, gender, education and age. Such individual distinctions are clearly important, but too often we give short shrift to social characteristics. For example, there’s no question that population density drives voting patterns. The more densely

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The Democratic deficits

American leaders often speak as if our country is the world’s prime exemplar, and prime proponent, of democracy. The public differs. Today, in the minds of our citizens (ignoring, for the moment, our government’s actions), America suffers from a democratic deficit. We can see and measure that deficit in multiple ways: • The number of

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What happened after Ginsburg?

Twenty-seven years ago, the late, great, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed to her seat on the Supreme Court by a 96-3 Senate vote. Whichever president ends up appointing her, it’s inconceivable that Ginsburg’s successor will elicit anything close to that level of bipartisan support. That speaks volumes about the changes convulsing American politics. Let me recount some

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Do debates matter?

You’ve already witnessed Tuesday night’s debate. Writing during the day Tuesday, I haven’t. But I’ll bet you’ve also been showered with commentary suggesting it could “rattle the race,” “shake up the standings,” or change the course of the election, and of history. We love the illusion that the skills on display in debates somehow map

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The folly in questions people can’t answer

I’ve been privileged to work with many campaign managers over the years, nearly all of whom have been wonderful. Most of them taught me important lessons. At least once a cycle though, I have some variant of the following conversation: Campaign Manager: I really need our poll to find out XYZ. Me: I understand why

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The likely voter sham

New York Times data journalist extraordinaire, Nate Cohn, used Twitter last week to announce the Times was “switching to likely voters.” That is, their polls would now reflect the opinions of voters likely to turnout in November. The Times is hardly alone, so it’s a propitious moment to trot out one of my favorite polling

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The 2016 and 2020 races: What’s different?

We’re just past the traditional Labor Day start of a presidential campaign that feels like it’s been engaged for four years, so it’s finally reasonable to ask how it’s looking. The answer’s simple: good for Joe Biden. He’s ahead in the national polls and in states worth more than 315 electoral votes, with 270 needed to

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Is it Trump or the virus?

While only a fool would take November for granted, in recent days, the commentariat’s consensus has moved in the direction I’ve been arguing for months — concluding former Vice President Joe Biden occupies a very strong position. Which raises an important question: is it the virus or is it President Trump?  Most analysts suggest it’s the coronavirus killing

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The next American revolution

Revolutions are rarely made by the powerless. Sometimes they’re made in the name of the powerless; sometimes the formerly powerless seize power during later stages of revolutions. But most often, the very condition of powerlessness means they lack the resources to make a revolution. Much academic ink has been spilled attempting to elucidate the causes

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