Today’s Counterfactual: Tea Party Incumbent Loses to Establishment Republican in House Primary

David Trott’s victory in Michigan’s District 11 Republican House primary marks the first time this year a Republican Establishment candidate has upset a Tea Party Incumbent.

John Lewis’s Ridiculous Arguments Against Reasonable Voting Regulations

Ensuring the integrity of the voting process is a worthy goal, not evidence of discrimination.

It’s Santos v. Mockus in Round 2

As expected, the result from today’s elections in Colombia is a run-off next month.  What was not expected is that Santos came very close to winning outright in the first round and that he had roughly twice the votes of Mockus.  From the National Registry: Trying to find an additional 3.5% for Santos will be […]

Know Your Colombian Presidential Candidates: The Rest

The last in the series (which is a good thing, since the polls close in less than twenty minutes from the time of posting). Really, unless the polling has been radically wrong by all the pollsters for weeks, none of the rest of the field (i.e., another other than Santos or Mockus) has any chance […]

Know Your Colombian Presidential Candidates: Antanas Mockus

Colombians are currently participating in the process to elect their next president (until 5pm local time this afternoon).  One of the front-runners in the process, and a likely candidate in the second round, is Green Party (Partido Verde) candidate, Antanas Mockus.  Mockus is the son of Lithuanian immigrants and is a former mathematics professor  and […]

Know Your Colombian Presidential Candidates: Juan Manuel Santos

This post is the first in a series leading up to Sunday’s presidential elections in Colombia (Cross-post to PoliBlog).  The ballot can be viewed here. Juan Manuel Santos is one of the two front-runners in this weekend’s Colombian presidential elections.  He is the former Defense Minister from the Uribe administration and is the nominee of […]

Mockus Interview

NPR has a nice little piece (both audio and in text) regarding presidential candidate Antanas Mockus:  click. I will be doing a series of posts on the election, the first round of which is this Sunday, shortly.

Yesterday’s Primaries: The Half-Written Electoral Story

There is no doubt that the results of yesterday’s primaries (Specter’s loss, Paul’s win, and Lincoln’s run-off) are all dramatic outcomes that fit the basic narrative about this year’s elections:  that we are in an anti-Washington, anti-incumbent mode as a country at the moment.  This, of course, is not surprising given the state of the […]

Specter Loses, Paul Wins, Lincoln in Run-Off: What Does it Mean?

In yesterday’s much ballyhooed Super Duper Tuesday Primaries, we got the results most of us were expecting based on an analysis of the polls and the trendlines. Arlen Specter’s bid to save his career, which was going to end in the Republican primaries, by switching parties ended instead in the Democratic primaries, losing 47 to […]

Speaking of Political Reform…

Rob Prather has put the question of political reform on the table, notably changes to the Electoral College. Here’s another one to consider:  fixing the representativeness problem in the US House of Representatives by adopting what has been called the Wyoming Rule. First, what’s the problem?  As I wrote back in 2005: Ok, so why […]

Politics Down South

And I mean way down south… I am keeping my Colombia-blogging mostly contained to PoliBlog, but I thought I would bring attention to the following NYT piece on the presidential elections:  A Maverick Upends Colombian Politics. Given that the US spends a rather remarkable amount of money in Colombia (because of the drug war), it […]

The UK’s Problematic Electoral System

The preliminary results from the elections in the UK underscore the need for electoral reform in that country.  Now, the UK uses the same system as the United States to elect the House of Commons, i.e., single-member districts with plurality winners.  However, because of the presence of a number of third parties (as Chris Lawrence […]

A (Re-) Introduction

Greetings to the readers of OTB.  My name is Steven Taylor and I will be joining the regular stable of bloggers here at the site.  I have been blogging at my own site, PoliBlog, for seven years starting a few weeks after James started this site—indeed, his foray into the then new world of blogging […]

2010 Bigger Than 1994?

Patrick Ruffini goes all in with this one: I might be setting myself for a healthy serving of crow on November 3rd, but I get a distinct feeling that the GOP may be headed toward to a seat gain in the House of epic proportions — somewhere over 50 seats and well above the historical […]

Republicans Could Win Back the House in November

Emory political scientist Alan Abramowitz projects the Republicans will project 37 House seats in November, or three short of the number needed to retake the majority they lost in 2006. The model uses four independent variables to predict Republican seat change in congressional elections: the president’s net approval rating in the Gallup Poll, the results […]

Health Care Reform and the State of the Republic

While not at all pleased by the outcome of the year-long sausage making extravaganza that gave us a health care reform bill that virtually no one likes, I’m much closer in agreement Steven Taylor than with Megan McArdle over what it all means for the system. Do we, as Megan suggested at the apex of […]

Voting in America: Too Much Democracy?

Jonathan Bernstein reflects on his getting to vote for 52 separate ballot lines yesterday in Texas, with contests ranging from governor to dog catcher. I love elections, and I do believe that one mark of a strong democracy is keeping the politicians, and not bureaucracies, in charge of lots of things. But this is ridiculous. […]

Campaign Contributions as Free Speech

A recent Gallup poll shows that the American public agrees with the Supreme Court that campaign contributions are free speech but that most nonetheless want to limit said speech. Fifty-seven percent of Americans consider campaign donations to be a protected form of free speech, and 55% say corporate and union donations should be treated the […]

Scott Brown Win a Nihilist Moment?

The special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by the passing of Teddy Kennedy is ongoing, with most expecting a win by Republican Scott Brown.  Andrew Sullivan sees this as the death knell of American politics. I can see no alternative scenario but a huge – staggeringly huge – victory for the FNC/RNC […]

Is America Ungovernable?

Progressives are increasingly frustrated that, despite having won the presidency by a comfortable margin and having solid majorities in the House and Senate — where they have a “filibuster-proof” 60 votes — they still can’t enact the policies they want.   Matt Yglesias says “smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the […]

OTB Radio — Tonight at 5:30 Eastern

The next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live from 5:30-6:30 Eastern. Dave Schuler and I will be joined by Zenpundit‘s Mark Safranksi to talk about the “elections” in Afghanistan, today’s off-off-year elections in the USA, and the state of opportunity in America.  We’ll also be taking calls at (646) […]

Obama’s Europe Neglect Could Bring Bush Nostalgia

My first piece for, “Europe’s Obama Fatigue,” is online. Despite George W. Bush’s defiant “you’re with us or you’re against us” public stance, he actively solicited advice and input from his NATO partners. Obama, by contrast, is saying all the right things in public about transatlantic relations and NATO but adopting a high-handed policy and […]

Peter Galbraith Afghanistan Elections Podcast

My colleague Sarwar Kashmeri, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s International Security Program, has inaugurated the New Atlanticist Podcast series with an interview with Ambassador Peter Galbraith on the Afghanistan election crisis. Galbraith believes Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been permanently tainted by the fraud in the initial contest and argues that the […]

Greece’s Socialists Win

Greece’s Socialist Party has defeated the New Democracy Party in the country’s national elections with enough seats to form a government: ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s Socialists, who campaigned on a promise to inject a 3 billion euro ($4.36 billion) stimulus package into the economy, have won Sunday’s national election with enough seats to form a […]

European Left Down But Not Dead

The magnitude of the win of Angela Merkel’s coalition, coming on the heels of a center-right romp in the recent European Parliament elections and the ouster of several conservative governments in recent months, has spawned much hand-wringing about the decline of Europe’s Left. I round up and analyze some of this commentary in my New […]

Peter Galbraith Fired for Speaking Out on Afghan Election Fraud

The UN’s number two official in Afghanistan, Peter Galbraith, has been fired after a clash with head of mission Kai Eide over how to handle fraud in the recent presidential elections.  Galbraith alleges that Eide is covering up massive corruption for reasons of expediency. My New Atlanticist essay, “Galbraith Fired, Refused to Hide Afghanistan Election […]

Republican Party Needs More Votes if it is to Win

Bruce Bartlett explains why he’s not a Republican anymore using a time-honored refrain:  He didn’t leave his party; his party left him.  While he now considers himself an “independent,” he’s more than non-partisan; he’s “anti-Republican.”  Why? I still consider myself to be a Reaganite. But I don’t see any others anywhere in the GOP these […]

Elections Don’t End Debate

While I share Michael Tomasky’s disdain for people carrying signs about “the blood of tyrants” while protesting democratically elected leaders, he goes too far here: There was an election. One guy one, another guy lost. It wasn’t disputed. It wasn’t decided by an ideologically divided Supreme Court, which gave the win to the guy who […]

Al Franken Won: Minnesota Supreme Court – Coleman Concedes

In a 5-0 decision, the state’s highest court ordered that Al Franken be declared the winner. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that Democrat Al Franken won the U.S. Senate election and said he was entitled to an election certificate that would lead to him being seated in the Senate. “Affirmed,” wrote the Supreme Court, […]

Iran Elections: What Happened? What Now?

Over at New Atlanticist, I’ve published my thoughts on this weekend’s Iranian election mess in two separate posts: Iran’s Elections: What We Know (And What We Don’t) and Iran’s Elections: What Now? The short answers:  “Not a whole hell of a lot” and “The same thing we do every day, Pinky.” I’m reasonably sure that […]

Iranian Mullahs Order Election Probe

I’m going to write up a longish piece trying to make sense of the Iranian elections for New Atlanticist later today.  Since comparisons to happenings in America seem to be the blogospheric rage de jour, however, I will just note that I have received the news that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the […]

Europe’s Fringe

The press had a field day with the election of various racist and oddball parties to the European Parliament over the weekend. A quick scan of the headlines: “European election results Battered and bruised” (The Economist); “European elections 2009: far-Right and fringe parties make gains across Europe amid low turnout” (The Telegraph); “European elections: extremist […]

EU Elections: Good Night for the Right

I begin my New Atlanticist roundup essay “European Parliament Moves Right” with, “The weekend’s European Parliament produced good news for the center-right parties, bad news for the center-left, and good news for radical parties of all stripes.” I plan other posts today on the implications for the major governments and smaller states in Europe.  This […]

Gordon Brown’s Last Days

Despite an embarrassing drubbing of his Labour Party at the polls and the resignation of several key ministers, the UK’s Gordon Brown vows “I will not waver, I will not walk away, I will finish the work.” As I explain in my New Atlanticist post “Britain’s Brown on Borrowed Time,” that’s unlikely to happen.  Nor […]

Republican Party of Whites?

A Gallup poll released yesterday finds that, “More than 6 in 10 Republicans today are white conservatives, while most of the rest are whites with other ideological leanings; only 11% of Republicans are Hispanics, or are blacks or members of other races. By contrast, only 12% of Democrats are white conservatives, while about half are […]

Mitt Romney Moving to New Hampshire

Mitt Romney is busy selling off a few of many his mansions and plans to move to his family vacation home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Hotline reports.  He has also registered his PAC there.  This has some people guessing that Romney is contemplating another run for the presidency. “No doubt in my mind that they […]

Tom Ridge Maryland Resident, Pennsylvanian?

Taegan Goddard passes on word that Tom Ridge, once Pennsylvania’s governor and putatively contemplating running for Arlen Specter’s seat representing that state in the Senate, is a resident of Maryland for the purposes of federal tax and lobbying filings. Do these sort of things matter in statewide elections?   Is anyone otherwise disposed to vote for […]

Ending the Vice Presidency

Sunday’s WaPo put together a collection of half-baked ideas by smart folks, designed to generate controversy and discussion more so than shed serious light on policy ideas.  Thomas Ricks’ suggestion to close the service academies and war colleges got the most attention, overshadowing the abject silliness of Jeremy Lott’s column advocating doing away with the […]

Webb Won’t Support Card Check

Ezra Klein passes along word that “James Webb, it seems, will not be supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, and won’t even say if he’d support efforts to break a filibuster and let it get to the floor for a vote. That’s a significant blow to EFCA, and something of a surprise given Webb’s carefully […]

Endless Elections

The permanent campaign has now been joined by the endless election, thanks to a combination of more sophisticated campaigning and the normalization of legal challenges, Andy Barr writes for Politico.  He notes that the Minnesota Senate recount is now into its sixth month and that there have been an inordinate number of very close races […]

Obama’s Irreversible Agenda

Ross Douthat has discovered Barack Obama’s evil genius: What Obama does have, though, is an atmosphere of crisis and a massively-unpopular opposition party, which grants him an unparalleled political opportunity to pass whatever spending the Democratic Party likes, and damn the short-term cost. And what you see in his budgeting proposals, I think, is the […]

Netanyahu Loses, Right Wins

The incumbent Kadima Party did surprisingly well in yesterday’s Israeli elections, apparently winning more votes than favorite Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud. But, as I argue in my New Atlanticist piece, “Israeli Election: Netanyahu Loses, Right Wins,” that doesn’t mean that the forces of sanity won out. Ironically, given that Lieberman holds the whip hand here, the […]

Spanish Democracy

Matt Yglesias has returned from vacation in Spain where “they have this interesting political system (”democracy”) wherein if your party loses the election, the other party gets to make policy until they lose an election.” Well . . . it’s a wee bit more complicated than that.  Leaving aside that the country was run by […]

Just Five Republican States Left!

Taegan Goddard passes on a Gallup poll that he aptly summarizes thusly: ” there are only five states that now have a statistically significant majorities of Republicans. They are Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska and Nebraska. In contrast, there are now 35 states that are majority Democratic with 10 states up for grabs.” Shocking?  Wildly implausible? […]

No More Minnesotas

Patrick Ruffini is tired of seeing Democrats win close elections that were apparently won by Republicans on Election Day.  He contends, “we are inviting a crisis of confidence in our election system if it looks like the winner is dependent on the time we count ballots: usually a Republican on the day of the election […]

Minnesota Recount Follies

Both Al Franken and Norm Coleman got good news yesterday, as the courts continued to make up rules well after the election. The Hill: A state Supreme Court ruling, which may exclude hundreds of ballots that Al Franken (D) had sought to include in the recount, could help Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in Minnesota’s contested […]

Jefferson Defeated by 1st Vietnamese Congressman

William “The Freezer” Jefferson, who has been under federal indictment for three years, narrowly lost a hurricane-delayed election yesterday to Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao. Nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, who has been battling scandals and a federal indictment for the past three years, lost his bid for re-election on Saturday. Republican challenger Anh “Joseph” Cao, […]

More Votes Found – Franken Hurt

The bizarre saga of the Minnesota recount took another bizarre twist yesterday, this time costing Al Franken 36 votes. What Maplewood giveth, Minneapolis taketh away. Elections officials in Minnesota’s largest city today discovered that one precinct came up 133 ballots short of election day totals, resulting in a net loss for Democratic challenger Al Franken […]

More Franken Ballots Found!

Since the initial counting of ballots on Election Day, caches of new Al Franken ballots have been mysteriously discovered on a regular basis.  Yesterday, a few more turned up. The U.S. Senate recount took two abrupt turns Tuesday, both boosting the prospects of DFLer Al Franken. Franken unexpectedly picked up 37 votes due to a […]

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