Politics in Stereo

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Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards for 2014

Stuart Rothenberg December 3, 2014 · 3:29 PM EST

Well, we’ve made it through another strange political year — and let’s face it, they are all strange — so it’s time for me to devote another column to picking the best, the worst and the weirdest candidates, campaigns and outcomes of the year.

As always, I will select a few nominees and offer…

How to Handle a Broken Campaign Promise

Nathan L. Gonzales December 2, 2014 · 10:20 AM EST

Broken campaign promises complicate a politician’s re-election effort, but they don’t have to be fatal.

This cycle, when faced with their own words from a previous campaign, two incumbents utilized different strategies in their quest for another term.

One of the most famous examples of a…

Don’t Call 2014 An Anti-Incumbent Election

Nathan L. Gonzales December 1, 2014 · 10:20 AM EST

Before the holiday, I had a piece on FiveThirtyEight.com talking about so-called "anti-incumbent elections." A couple of excerpts are below but feel free to read the whole piece. 

Despite a stunningly low congressional approval rating and many calls to “throw all the bums out,” we don’t have…

What Did — and Didn’t — Surprise Me This Cycle

Stuart Rothenberg November 29, 2014 · 8:30 AM EST

Every election cycle is filled with twists and turns, upsets and surprises. And every cycle is filled with goofy arguments, warnings about things that never happen and unsurprising outcomes that surprise only the politically uneducated.

For me, the biggest surprises included Dave Brat’s primary…

Freshman Class Filled With Losers

Nathan L. Gonzales November 25, 2014 · 10:06 AM EST

Congress is filled with a bunch of losers, but not exactly in the way you’re thinking.

In the wake of the elections, it’s easy to second-guess losing candidates and their campaigns, and to discount their chances of ever winning a seat in Congress. But at least 27 incoming House members have…

The 2014 Elections: How’d We Do?

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November 21, 2014 · 2:31 PM EST

It seems like historic elections are the norm lately. As many Americans continue to feel uncertain about the economy and jaded about politicians, the electoral environment continues to be volatile. In this month’s midterm elections, much of the frustration was taken out on President Barack Obama…

Louisiana Races Go Into Overtime

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Nathan L. Gonzales November 21, 2014 · 2:30 PM EST

Not so long ago, it looked as if the entire political world would descend on Louisiana for the state’s December 6 runoff because the Senate majority hinged on the outcome of that contest. But that scenario was washed away by strong Republican gains earlier this month. Still, the trio of runoff…

Some Lessons for Democratic Strategists and Other Observers

Stuart Rothenberg November 19, 2014 · 12:38 PM EST

You could feel it from Day One of this cycle. Senate Democratic strategists knew they were smarter than their Republican adversaries. They’d out-think them and out-work them.

Incumbent Democratic senators who run good campaigns rarely lose, I was reminded. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who had…

The Stunningly Static White Evangelical Vote

Nathan L. Gonzales November 18, 2014 · 10:04 AM EST

There’s plenty of discussion about the difference between midterm and presidential electorates, but there is one emerging constant: the white evangelical vote.

At least one interest group, Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, claimed that conservative Christians played a “decisive role” in…

Unsuccessful House Candidate Already ‘In’ for 2016

Nathan L. Gonzales November 17, 2014 · 10:09 AM EST

The ink is barely dry on the 2014 election results, but one unsuccessful candidate is making it clear that he is running again.

Republican Paul Chabot came up short in California’s 31st District but told the Rothenberg Political Report and Roll Call Thursday he wants a re-match.

“It’s now or…