Category: Mark’s Hill Column

Islamophobia in America

In the wake of the horrific massacre of Muslim worshippers in New Zealand, we would do well to check in on America’s own level of Islamophobia. Several years ago here, I criticized a poll Donald Trump used to stoke anti-Muslim fervor — a poll done by Kellyanne Conway, who, at least then, readily acknowledged the president’s

Read more

What’s socialism anyway?

Suddenly we seem preoccupied with socialism. It’s understandable. For the first time in decades, serious people like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) willingly subscribe to that label. The last well-known U.S. socialist was Michael Harrington, whose 1962 book, “The Other America,” was credited with stimulating John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty (hardly

Read more

When you see a big change, doubt it

Faced with a big change in responses to a particular question, some announce a major shift in public opinion and scour the world in search of a cause. By contrast, when I see a big jump in the numbers, as my staff will attest, I respond by saying, “Let’s figure out what’s wrong with our poll.”

Read more

Where are good faith and integrity?

When presidents “solemnly swear” to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and … preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” we more or less take them at their word. We have to. We invest presidents and other elected officials with enormous power. The moment they are sworn into

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

Whether winning for you means getting more votes than your opponent, selling more product, changing public policy, raising more money or generating more activism, The Mellman Group transforms data into winning strategies.