Category: Mark’s Hill Column

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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What I learned from The New York Times

When The New York Times’s Upshot announced it was “live polling” this year’s hottest races, I wasn’t a fan. But my worst fears weren’t realized and I learned some things watching the interviews roll in. For example, in 41 of the 54 completed polls, the early interviews leaned Democratic. Now you might say, “well, they

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When questions don’t mean what they say

Polling is seductive. (Polling, not pollsters.) You ask questions, get answers and turn those answers into numbers. Some people put decimal points next to those numbers to make you think they’re dealing with physics.  Everyone just assumes that the answers are meaningful. Often, they aren’t. During the run up to last year’s Alabama special Senate

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Why Kavanaugh should withdraw

From Sens. John Glenn (D-Ohio), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) in years past, to Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Jared Golden and Ken Harbaugh today, I’ve been privileged to work for combat veterans who not only put country over party, but were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the nation they loved. Unfortunately, Brett Kavanaugh seems not

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When attack ads cross the line

There ought to be a line. I’ve defended negative ads here in the past and I do believe they can provide legitimate information that is actually useful to voters. But there ought to be a line we don’t cross between truth and fiction, between legitimate debate and simple demagoguery. We can debate whether tax cuts

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Two forces collide

Nov. 6 will witness the collision of two powerful political forces. Antipathy to President Trump will slam headlong into America’s current political geography. What emerges from that crash will determine not only control of Congress, but also the course of our national politics. Americans’ disdain for Trump is clear. Since 1945, only one president, Harry Truman, has

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Two worlds — Online and off

Social listening — monitoring social media for comments, in this case, about your candidate and opponent — is one of the new techniques making its way into political campaigns and lots of screws are being pounded into lots of boards as folks learn how to use the tool.  Such analyses can be quite useful in

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Are Democrats losing or winning?

Two months ago, we were deluged with seemingly dismal news for Democrats. Newsweek’s headline asked, “Are Democrats Losing Their 2018 Midterm Advantage?” If the question itself left anyone in doubt, the headline went on to offer an answer: “A New Poll Says Yes.” CNN claimed “Democrats’ 2018 advantage is nearly gone,” while Slate inquired “Are Democrats losing the

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