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In the wake of Election 2018, analysts have delved deeply into a seemingly limitless supply of data points to explain the details of what happened. What role did suburban women play? Or the health care issue? Was there a Kavanaugh effect? The obsession with details may be causing us to miss the bigger picture of what’s going on. President Trump became the fourth consecutive president to win the presidency with his party in control of Congress and then lose control. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all been there before. This swapping back and forth

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It was almost unsettling to wake up the morning after the election and realize it turned out pretty much as we expected. There were, of course, some individual surprises, but nothing on the seismic shock scale of 2016.For months, it had been expected that Democrats would win a modest House majority, and they did. The popular vote margin for the Democrats was just about right where the ScottRasmussen.com Generic Ballot poll projected it to be (and also about the same as the RealClearPolitics average of all polls).In the Senate, it had long been recognized that the Republicans were likely

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As Election Day approaches, expectations are pretty much where they’ve been for the past six months. In the Senate, Republicans are more likely to gain seats than lose the majority. In the House, Democrats are favored to win control, but it may not be much of a Big Blue Wave. These general expectations have remained fairly stable because the broad contours of every election are shaped by geography and history. Republicans are expected to do well in the Senate because Democrats must defend many seats in states that are generally GOP turf. Democrats are expected to do



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971811-15-2018ELECTION 2018 IN CONTEXT: A Political System Out of Sync with The Nation It Is Supposed to Serve
In the wake of Election 2018, analysts have delved deeply into a seemingly limitless supply of data points to explain the details of what happened. What role did suburban women play? Or the health care issue? Was there a Kavanaugh effect? The obsession with details may be causing us to miss the bigger picture of what’s going on. President Trump became the fourth consecutive president to win the presidency with his party in control of Congress and then lose control. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all been there before. This swapping back and forth

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964011-08-2018THE ELECTION’S OVER, NOW WHAT?
It was almost unsettling to wake up the morning after the election and realize it turned out pretty much as we expected. There were, of course, some individual surprises, but nothing on the seismic shock scale of 2016.For months, it had been expected that Democrats would win a modest House majority, and they did. The popular vote margin for the Democrats was just about right where the ScottRasmussen.com Generic Ballot poll projected it to be (and also about the same as the RealClearPolitics average of all polls).In the Senate, it had long been recognized that the Republicans were likely

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954911-01-2018The Midterms Are All About Turnout
As Election Day approaches, expectations are pretty much where they’ve been for the past six months. In the Senate, Republicans are more likely to gain seats than lose the majority. In the House, Democrats are favored to win control, but it may not be much of a Big Blue Wave. These general expectations have remained fairly stable because the broad contours of every election are shaped by geography and history. Republicans are expected to do well in the Senate because Democrats must defend many seats in states that are generally GOP turf. Democrats are expected to do

read more
946510-25-2018Which Team Will Be The Lesser of Two Evils on Election Day?
For the past two years, many Democrats thought that victory in 2018 would simply be a matter of running against Donald Trump. The only question in the minds of some activists was how big the Blue Wave would be.For those in the party, opposing the president seemed to be enough. Two thirds of Democrats (64%) believe that Hillary Clinton would have won the election without any Russian interference. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Democrats believe President Trump should be impeached and removed from office.While those positions make sense to partisan Democrats, the fact remains that most other voters disagree. As a result, running against

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936010-18-2018The Culture is Powerful Enough to Fix Our Broken Political System
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years reminding everyone who would listen that the culture leads and politics lag behind. For me, that’s an encouraging perspective. It would be beyond depressing if our nation’s fate was determined by the agendas of our political leaders.I’m with the 91% who believe that volunteering for community activities has a more positive impact than engagement in political campaigns. It’s exciting when Americans use their freedom to work together in community and help create a better world.It’s also thrilling to see what new technologies are doing that will improve our health care

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928710-11-2018Fortunately, Our Society Is Not As Polarized As Our Politics
In the wake of the politically toxic dialogue of recent weeks, it’s refreshing to note that 63% of voters recognize that American society is not as polarized as American politics. Most understand that who we are as individuals and communities is much more than our political affiliation or ideology. Still, the impact of our broken political system spills over into society-at-large and creates a variety of social challenges. Four-out-of-five voters have a close friend or a family member from the other side of the political aisle. How do they navigate Thanksgiving dinners, football games, and happy hours?

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922310-04-2018On Health Care, Voters Want More Choice and Less Politics
Polls consistently show that health care is one of the top issues on voters’ minds heading into the midterm elections. It’s a powerful issue because it so personally impacts everyone and can have enormous consequences. At first glance, the opportunity for political action seems clear. Just 34% of voters rate our health care system as good or excellent. Despite being a perennial campaign issue, public satisfaction with our health care system has remained low for more than a decade. It was broken before Obamacare was implemented and it remains broken today. Consider the depressing fact

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915209-27-2018Will the Booming Economy Save Republicans in the Midterms?
Democrats need to win a net 23 seats in November to gain majority control in the House of Representatives. History suggests that they have a good chance of doing so because the party out of power almost always gains seats in the midterm. Even an average midterm gain would be enough to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. Beyond that, many Democrats are dreaming of a Big Blue Wave that could rival the smashing Republican victory in the Tea Party year of 2010. However, ScottRasmussen.com polling shows that 77% of Republicans expect the GOP

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908809-20-2018Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh Fail to Move Public Opinion
Despite enormous media coverage and intense discussions in official Washington, the allegations leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have had little impact on public opinion (so far).Before his confirmation hearings, a ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 48% of voters wanted their Senator to confirm Kavanaugh. After the hearings, but before the accusations, 52% favored confirmation. Now, after the accusations, that number is 49%.  Keep in mind that the poll has a 3-point margin of error.Today, 23% have a Very Favorable opinion of the Judge while 21% have a Very Unfavorable view. Prior to the allegations, those figures were 22% and 18%.Confirming this sense

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901209-13-2018Not Every Problem Needs a Federal Solution
Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters believe that Facebook has too much power. Forty-seven percent (47%) believe the same about Twitter. For those in the political world, such numbers represent an obvious call for government action. But voters disagree. Just 21% want the federal government to regulate social media giants. Partly that gap is due to generic skepticism about the government. Only 18% trust the gang in DC to do the right thing most of the time. Most (55%) believe government regulators would be even more biased than the social media companies they’re supposed

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893109-06-2018Protesting the National Anthem, Freedom of Speech, and Justice
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters nationwide believe freedom of speech is Absolutely Essential. Another 23% believe it is Very Important. In a deeply polarized political era, it’s encouraging—and amazing--to find that nine-out-of-ten Americans recognize this basic freedom is so important. However, agreeing that free speech is important doesn’t mean agreeing with the way others use that freedom. A prime example of this in today’s world has been the intense debate about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. It’s become a hot button issue because playing the national anthem is a deeply embedded

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872208-30-201883% Recognize That Tech Titans Have Bigger Impact Than Presidents
Following the national news about the upcoming midterm elections, it’s easy to believe that the future of the United States is on the line. The nation’s political junkies get so caught up in the game that they forget there is much more to governing society than government.The reality is that culture and technology lead the nation forward, politics and politicians lag behind. Fortunately, most Americans recognize this reality and have a much healthier perspective on the nation’s future.For example, 83% of Registered Voters nationwide recognize that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had a bigger impact on the world we

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866208-29-2018The Disconnect Between the Politically Obsessed and Most Americans
For many obsessed with politics, the upcoming midterm elections are perceived as a fight between good and evil that will determine the fate of the nation. In the narrative framed by true believers and much media coverage, it’s a fight between those who are convinced President Trump can make America great and those who dream of a socialist future.Most Americans (54%) don’t fit into that narrative. Just 27% Strongly Disapprove of the president and  believe things would be better if Hillary Clinton had been elected. On the other side, 19% Strongly Approve of the president and believe things would be worse if Hillary Clinton

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856507-19-2018The Senate Protects Our Freedoms
Based upon census bureau projections, 69% of all Americans are projected to live in the 16 largest states. Given the uncertainties of predicting how people will live in an era of self-driving cars and other cultural changes, the precise numbers may be a bit off. But, it is certainly true that a handful of large states will hold the bulk of the population. That’s the way it’s always been and probably always will be. These states will dominate the House of Representatives. If they have 69% of the population, they will have roughly 69% of the seats

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856207-12-2018The Culture Leads, Not the Supreme Court
Just about every American election year is peppered with quotes from seemingly very serious people claiming that, for some reason, this is the most important election of our lifetime. This year, we’re also being told that the political battle to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy may be the most important confirmation vote of all time. News stories are littered with references to how it will change the direction of the court and the country for a generation or more. Such rhetoric misses the important reality that we live in a land where the culture leads

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856007-05-2018Is Populism a Blessing or Curse?
As we celebrate our nation’s 242nd birthday, America is caught up in a populist moment. Whether this is a good thing or not depends largely upon how you define populism. For some, populism is nothing more than a belief that, in America, the people are supposed to be in charge. It’s reminding government officials of the timeless principles eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence: governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed. All of us are created equal with an unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If that’s

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852906-28-2018The Immigration Mess
Problems with U.S. immigration policy played a big role in the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so in election after election until significant changes are made. It’s a serious issue worthy of substantial public debate. However, what passes for a public dialogue on the issue is anything but serious. It is, for example, heartbreaking to hear about and see pictures of young children separated from their parents at the U.S. border. According to a CBS poll, only 4% of Americans support that approach for dealing with families who enter the country illegally. But, beyond

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848006-14-2018Politicians Learn How Governments Are Held Accountable
Political leaders often talk as if the right to vote is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable. Voting is important, but its impact is limited by an electoral process that protects incumbents and offers voters’ few meaningful options.Fortunately, as the Seattle City Council learned recently, there are other ways to hold politicians and governments accountable.The Seattle politicians passed a law requiring big companies to pay a special tax for every person on the payroll. This “head tax” was the brainchild of a socialist council member Kshama Sawant. She apparently reasoned that big companies like Amazon had enough money

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834006-07-2018Let’s End Official White House Visits for Sports Champions
One of this week’s silliest news “controversies” swirled around the Philadelphia Eagles’ cancelled visit to the White House. Pundits on the right were offended that many players refused the honor of a White House invitation just because they don’t like the president. On the left, CNN’s Chris Cillizza was deeply offended by President Trump’s decision to rescind the invite and his “appalling” statement about it. In other words, the entire episode was simply a Rorschach test that provided a platform for partisans on both sides to voice entirely predictable opinions. If the president said his favorite color

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832205-31-2018Republicans Poised to Gain Senate Seats in 2018
Last December, Democrat Doug Jones won a Senate race in Alabama by defeating a horribly flawed Republican candidate Roy Moore. For the first time, it appeared that the Democrats had a plausible path to winning control of the U.S. Senate in 2018. The Republican advantage was trimmed to a 51-49 margin and a net change of two seats would make New York Senator Chuck Schumer the new Senate Majority leader. To win the Senate, all the Democrats had to do was win GOP seats in Arizona and Nevada and successfully defend all of their incumbents. At the

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828805-24-2018The Fundamental Reason President Trump Will Not Be Impeached
President Trump is in no danger of being impeached and removed from office. I say this with confidence despite having no knowledge of what Special Counsel Mueller and his team may find.That’s because impeachment is a political process rather than a legal process. As a result, things that happen outside the world of government matter far more than the things official Washington obsesses about.Politically, the most important outside factor governing any president’s fate is the U.S. economy. This truth is confirmed by the two modern efforts to impeach a president. In 1974, President Nixon was forced to resign from office.

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822305-17-2018STATE OF THE MIDTERMS
Last December, the midterm outlook looked bleak for Republicans. With the Democrats enjoying a 13-point lead on the Generic Ballot, pundits talked of a “big blue wave.” The question was not whether the Democrats would win the two dozen seats needed to gain control of the House, but whether they might win 40-50 seats in a landslide approaching the Republican gains in 2010.Since then, Republicans passed a tax cut, eliminated the Obamacare mandate, and took other steps to reduce the regulatory burden. The economy took off, people are feeling better about how things are going in the nation, and recent

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822005-10-2018Was The Blankenship “Momentum” Real?
In the final days before the West Virginia primary, breathless media coverage suggested that businessman Don Blankenship was gaining ground rapidly and had a real shot at winning the Republican Senate nomination. ABC News quoted a “national Republican operative” who said it’s “down to the wire” and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the controversial candidate won.All this concern even prompted President Trump to tweet that Blankenship “can't win the General Election” and encouraging West Virginia voters to cast their ballots for someone else.But Blankenship didn’t win or even come close. Instead, he finished a distant third with just 19%

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820905-03-2018The Primary Season Has Arrived
After months of speculation and shifting expectations, the midterm elections will start to really take shape in the coming two months. A dozen states will host primaries in May; a dozen-and-a-half more in June. In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, we currently know both party’s nominees in three of the GOP’s best pick-up opportunities: Republican Governor Rick Scott is challenging Democratic Senator Bill Nelson in Florida; Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley is taking on Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in Missouri; and, Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer is challenging Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

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818404-26-2018Microtrends, Not Politics, Lead the Nation
If you want to understand where America is heading, a good place to start is with Mark Penn’s new book, Microtrends Squared. Penn came to fame in the 1990s as a pollster in the Clinton White House, later served as Chief Strategy Officer for Microsoft, and is now Chairman of the Harris Poll. One of the most valuable parts of the book is its implicit recognition of the reality that the culture leads and politicians lag behind. Of the 50 microtrends identified by Penn, only 7 deal with politics. That ratio seems about right. The other 43 highlight trends

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817404-19-2018Politics Polarizes, Community Unites
News outlets are routinely filled with commentary and analysis suggesting that 21st century America is a deeply polarized nation. Countless stories are presented as a battle between conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, private sector and public.Political activists fan the flames with talking points “proving” that they hold the moral and rational high ground. They convey a sense that anybody who disagrees with them is either stupid or corrupt.Watching all this makes many people fighting mad and fills them with a burning desire to beat the other team. Far too many nice and reasonable people get so riled up by

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813604-12-2018An Epic Power Struggle: Government Fights The Tech Industry
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill is merely the latest round in an ongoing power struggle between official Washington and the tech industry.It’s a struggle that stems from a core reality identified years ago by Harvard’s Nicco Mele. “The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented power in the hands of every individual.” Empowering individuals is great for everyone except for those elite officials who used to wield more power over the rest of us. “Radical connectivity is toxic to traditional power structures.”As Mele describes it, smartphones and other tech innovation have led to “a

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808204-05-2018Iowa Leads the Way on Obamacare Reform
Lawmakers and bureaucrats in official Washington often act as if their decisions lead the nation forward. News from Iowa this week, however, shows once again that the culture leads and politicians lag behind. Kim Reynolds became Iowa’s Governor last May when her predecessor (Terry Branstad) resigned to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. Reynolds is now running for her own full term in a state where the average Obamacare premiums jumped 57%. "Many Iowans faced a choice of going broke or going without insurance,” according to Reynolds.  “And that's really not a real choice." Seizing the opportunity

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797203-22-201868 Republican House Seats Potentially At Risk
Democrats must pick up 23 seats to win a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives this November. They have plenty of openings since 68 seats currently held by Republicans are at varying levels of risk. A race-by-race analysis at ScottRasmussen.com shows that 28 of these Republican seats are at a high level of risk (Democrat favored, Toss-Up, Tilt Republican). Fourteen more are modestly competitive while leaning in the GOP direction. Finally, 26 others might be at risk depending upon the political environment this fall. Seven (7) Republican seats are already tilting or leaning to the

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791903-15-2018Dems Get Good News from PA, But There’s a Long Way to Go
Just over a week ago, turnout in the Texas primary raised serious questions about how big the Democratic wave could grow by November. This week, however, Connor Lamb won a narrow special victory in a Pennsylvania district that President Trump had carried by 20 points. Democratic spirits soared and some began dreaming that 100 or more Republican House seats could be at risk. It’s natural for political types to overstate the importance of the most recent election or the one that’s coming up next. After all, convincing voters that the fate of the world hinges on the

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770003-08-2018The Most Important Demographic for Election 2018
The election season got started this past Tuesday in Texas and the primary results are being analyzed for clues about what they mean for November. The results confirmed that the Democratic enthusiasm is real, but it’s probably not strong enough to turn Texas blue. The number of votes cast in Democratic primaries nearly doubled from four years ago. However, the 1,037,779 Democratic voters fell half a million short of the GOP’s 1,543,674 votes. Primary votes don’t translate directly into General Election results, but there’s nothing in the data to suggest a big blue wave sweeping over Texas.

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736303-01-2018Cultural Nuances of the Gun Debate
A recent Politico headline shouted a message that liberal Democrats were longing to hear: “Gun control support surges in polls.” Given the fact that Republicans are generally opposed to strict gun controls, that seems like it should be a boost for the Democrats in the midterm election. Despite that, many Democratic strategists worry that the gun control issue could backfire. Part of this concern stems from the fact that many Senate races are being held this year in GOP friendly states like West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota. Democrats talking gun control in those states could

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720602-22-2018TIME TO CHANGE THE ELECTION GAME
For political junkies, Monday’s release of a new map for Pennsylvania’s Congressional Districts was one of the biggest news events of the 2018 midterm elections. The State Supreme Court imposed new District boundaries for every single district in the state and created more opportunities for Democrats. The impact of this ruling has national implications. Prior to the new Pennsylvania map, the projections at ScottRasmussen.com showed that even with a decent midterm turnout for the Democrats, the GOP might cling to a narrow 219-216 majority in the House of Representatives. With the new map, the same projections show

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544502-15-2018The Constitution Is Not The Problem
Writing for The Week, Ryan Cooper made his case that “America's Constitution is terrible. Let's throw it out and start over.”While most Americans revere the document that created our government, Cooper is not alone in his disdain for it. Law professors Adrian Vermeule and Eric Posner expressed their opposition in a book that dreamed of doing away with checks and balances and Constitutional limits on the president. The opposition even includes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who has stated that the U.S. Constitution is not a good model for other nations to follow.Why do they oppose the Constitution? Cooper says “the major

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543902-08-2018One Major Difference Between 2010 and 2018
Republicans are understandably nervous about the parallels between the 2010 midterm elections that brought them to power and the 2018 midterms where Democrats envision a return to power. Eight years ago, a polarizing new president was facing his first midterm election. Progressives and conservatives offered wildly different interpretations of his every word. Despite polls showing his major legislative dream was unpopular, that president relentlessly pursued it. His efforts inspired a resistance known as the Tea Party. On top of that, unnerving interim elections rattled the president’s party. A Republican won the Governorship in New Jersey which

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543302-01-2018The President Presses His Advantage on Immigration
Last week, I noted that President Trump won the shutdown because he instinctively understood the strategic situation far better than Senate Democrats, establishment Republicans, and his other beltway critics. He knew he had a stronger position than the Democrats and used that understanding to his advantage. This week, in his State-of-the-Union Address, the president showed that he intends to press that advantage in ways that will help Republicans on Election Day. That was especially clear in his most memorable line, “Americans are Dreamers, too.” In just four words, a president not known for his eloquence turned years

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542401-25-2018The Art Of The Shutdown
President Trump didn’t respond to the so-called shutdown of the federal government in the way that the political class thought he should. He didn’t get personally involved in detailed negotiations to end the impasse and didn’t convey a sense of crisis to the American people. When all was said and done, this skirmish showed the dangers of underestimating President Trump and his ability to connect with voters on issues the political elites ignore.  His approach worked because he instinctively understood the strategic situation far better than Senate Democrats, establishment Republicans, and his other beltway critics. First,

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541901-18-2018WHERE TO LOOK FOR THE WAVE
It’s normal for the party out of power to gain ground in a midterm election. The big question in 2018 is whether the Democrats will gain enough ground to win a majority in the House of Representatives. While the political winds currently favor the Democrats, 390 of the 435 House races are pretty well locked in for one party or the other. Only 45 races are even somewhat competitive. Still, a race by race analysis on ScottRasmussen.com suggests that a normal midterm gain would get the Democrats very close to their goal. The starting

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541501-11-2018Election 2018 Scoreboards: Who's Up and Who's Down?
Looking ahead to Election 2018, the numbers are close enough for either party to end up in control of the House, the Senate or both. The final outcome will be determined by a combination of the races in play, the fundamentals in each race, and the strength of the political winds in November.To track all of this, I’ve rolled out a new service at ScottRasmussen.com  that will provide constantly updated Scoreboards for the Senate, House, and Governor’s races. In addition to the overall scoreboards, we

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538701-04-2018THE GROUND IS SHIFTING UNDER OBAMACARE
President Trump has perfected the art of antagonizing his opponents with provocative tweets. He demonstrated this skill recently in declaring that the tax reform act, by repealing the Obamacare mandate, had effectively repealed Obamacare.This generated a number of stories from left leaning pundits pointing out that there’s a lot more to Obamacare than the mandate. Sarah Kliff, writing for Vox.com, noted that many Republican voters believed the president and hoped that would bring an end to efforts to undo the rest of Obamacare.But, many Republicans in Congress seem intent on continuing to fight for repeal of the controversial law. A

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538212-31-2017A Viewers Guide to the Midterm Elections
Forget the Super Bowl! For millions of Americans the biggest spectator sport of 2018 will be the midterm elections. The political winds currently favor the Democrats, but it’s impossible to know how strong they’ll be blowing come November. Five key races can give casual fans a good sense of what to expect. In the Senate, the races to watch will be held in Nevada, Indiana, and Missouri. Nevada’s Dean Heller is the only Republican seeking re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton. Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill are Democrats fighting to keep their job in states

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501412-21-2017Politics of Tax Reform Depends Upon Salesmanship of President Trump
Many Democratic political leaders have convinced themselves that the Republican tax reform bill will be a great boost for the Democrats in next year’s midterm elections. They could be right, but the outcome is far from certain. Instead, the political implications will be determined by how the economy performs and President Trump’s salesmanship.The economy matters most of all. If it sputters or tanks in 2018, nothing will save the Republican majorities in Congress. But if the economy keeps improving, President Trump will have a chance to turn tax reform into a political windfall for his party.Presidential salesmanship has always had

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491312-15-2017Republican Civil War Could Hand Senate to Democrats
With Doug Jones' victory in Alabama, Democrats now have at least a plausible path to winning control of the U.S. Senate in the 2018 elections. It's a difficult path to be sure, but it could happen.The first step will be for Democrats to successfully defend all of their Senate incumbents next November. That's not going to be easy because the list includes 10 running in states that voted for Donald Trump. But, the results from Alabama suggest that it could happen. If it does, all Democrats would need to win the Senate is to pick up a pair of GOP

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486712-07-201776 Years Ago, It Was A Woman Who First Addressed the Nation About Pearl Harbor
There are events in history that no one alive will ever forget. But time moves on and those who will never forget eventually leave this earth. The rest of us know it only from the history books.One of those events was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Only a handful of Americans alive today actually remember the day President Franklin Roosevelt said would forever live in infamy. Even fewer remember that the first Administration spokesperson to address the nation that day was not the president, but First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.In those days, radio was the hot communications technology and just

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274011-23-2017What if Roy Moore Wins?
When Donald Trump appointed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General, it was widely assumed that his permanent replacement would be a Republican. But the scandals and allegations surrounding Republican nominee Roy Moore have challenged that assumption.It would be a stunning turn of events for a Democrat to win in a state Donald Trump won by 28 percentage points. If that happens, as I noted last week, Democrats might win control of the Senate in 2018.But what would it mean if Roy Moore wins?A few things are pretty obvious. First, it would indicate that the Democrats have no

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52511-16-2017Democrats Have a Clear Path to Senate Majority in 2018
Until recently, it looked like Republicans were almost certain to retain control of the U.S. Senate following the 2018 mid-term elections. Many commentators noted that Nancy Pelosi’s team might have a shot at winning control of the House. But the Senate was different. Only a third of the Senators stand for election each cycle and the GOP was protected by a very favorable electoral map.Only one GOP Senator (Nevada’s Dean Heller) is running for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton. The only other soft spot in the GOP lineup is Arizona, where Senator Jeff Flake’s fights with President

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52411-09-2017WILL TRUMP BECOME 4th STRAIGHT PRESIDENT TO LOSE CONGRESS?
Tuesday’s election results suggest that Democrats have a reasonable chance of winning control of the House in 2018. If that happens, Donald Trump would become the fourth consecutive president to enter the White House with his party in control of Congress and then lose Congress during his tenure.In some ways, this seems to be the new normal. After all, it’s a pattern that has existed for a full generation since a young Bill Clinton won the White House in 1992. But, it’s truly extraordinary in the longer arc of American history. In fact, prior to 1992, it had never even

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52311-02-2017America’s Founding Ideals Are Worth Fighting For
These are tough times to be optimistic about America. Terror attacks in New York City, mass shootings in Las Vegas, and campus violence against targeted speakers fill the news. Rather than addressing the problems, partisan politicos act as if each tragedy is merely a platform for their own talking points.Despite this, I am optimistic about America’s future. Pessimistic about our politics, to be sure, but optimistic about our nation.There are two core reasons for this optimism. The first is that politicians don’t lead the nation. There are countless more effective ways that we can work together in community and create

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52210-25-2017Freedom of Speech Does Not Guarantee Understanding
Daily Beast columnist Jay Michaelson is unhappy with America’s football fans.In a thoughtful column, he argues that “kneeling for the anthem is a sign of respect, not disrespect, for our country and the values it stands for.” He adds that “To protest—for whatever cause, left or right wing—is to make real the best ideals of America: freedom of speech, democracy, the rule of law. Protesting brings those ideals into reality.”But as players kneel in protest, America’s football fans have not been pleased. Ratings and attendance are down while public perceptions of the NFL have fallen dramatically.There are many reasons for

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52110-19-2017Trump Proving Politicians Not As Important As They Think They Are
Shortly after World War II, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to assume responsibility for managing the economy. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy claimed that government stewardship was responsible for the post-War economic boom. In those heady days, there was even talk about how economists had learned to fine-tune the economy.Looking back, the hubris of the 1960s governing elite seems laughable. Studies have shown that the best economic models of that era failed to predict most of what actually happened. We know today that the post-War boom had more to do with pent-up demand and America’s global

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52010-12-2017The Gun Control Debate is Not About Guns
Every time a horrific event like the Las Vegas massacre takes place, it is followed by a frustrating and futile debate about the merits of gun control. People on both sides of the debate trot out talking points and talk right past each other without listening.Much of the frustration comes from the fact that everybody would like to do something to prevent such disasters from every happening again.  But, the overwhelming desire to do something is matched by the pragmatic reality that no new law, policy initiative, or government program could have prevented the gruesome events of Las Vegas. As

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51910-05-2017That Helpless, Hopeless Feeling
Horrific, sickening, tragic, are among the words I’ve heard used to describe the news from Las Vegas. But none of them really capture the reality that such acts are utterly beyond comprehension. As I write this, official sources are still looking for a motive, but no rational motive can possibly exist. Whatever made the killer take 58 lives made sense only in some delusional world most humans can’t come close to understanding.After the words and the images sink in, it still doesn’t seem real. But we want to know why! Who or what can we blame? What can we do

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51809-21-2017There is No Proper Mix of Government, Community, and Business
I grew up in suburbia, and have spent various parts of my life in small towns, a Southern city, and in rural Indiana. Moving may be a hassle, but new experiences in new locations provide wonderful opportunities to learn and explore. That’s certainly true as I adjust to life in New York City, a vastly different environment than anything I’ve tried before.Living in the city, my wife and I have encountered government as never before. We rely on the subway to get around, enjoy strolls through Central Park, routinely see police officers and traffic cops, and have heard about city

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51709-14-2017There’s More to Governing Than Government
There is a mistaken notion, deeply embedded in our national political dialogue, that society is naturally divided into public and private sectors. The public sector is thought of as the vehicle for governing society and looking out for the common good. The private sector is where people merely look out for themselves.Not surprisingly, this view is promoted aggressively by those in the public sector. In this false view of the world, governing is the responsibility of government alone. The vast majority of Americans who work and live in the private sector are told they should study the issues, get involved

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49609-12-2017The Freedom To Walk Away Holds Politicians Accountable
Moving to a new home is an all-American activity. Roughly one out of nine people do it every year. Many stay within the same state, but we’ll be among the nearly 5 million Americans who move across state lines to establish a new home.Some of our friends have been puzzled by the move. One noted that we managed to pick the only place that has a higher tax burden than our current home state of New Jersey. That’s true, of course, but there are offsetting benefits in terms of career, entertainment, and lifestyle opportunities. It may not be

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49708-31-2017The Deeper Currents of American Politics
Back when I was a pollster, I would explain that following the daily polls was like watching a heavy rain fall on the surface of a river. There’s a lot of action and noise and splashing around but nothing that gives you a real sense of where the river is going. For that, you must look beneath the surface where the current keeps moving steadily onward and the storm is barely noticed.The same logic applies to the state of American politics today. It’s easy to get caught up in the sound and fury of the daily news cycle, but that

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48908-24-2017By Obsessing About Extremes, Media Loses Touch With America
The America portrayed on the evening news is unrecognizable to most Americans.Rather than reflecting the realities of a complex and dynamic nation, the national news media seems to treat real events as little more than a Rorschach test for measuring what the political activists think is going on. Then, in solemn tones, the television presenters pass on the absurd interpretations that become a national narrative.In TV-Newsland, America is presented as a hopelessly divided nation where hate-filled people battle over how they can get the government to give them what they want. Extremists of all political persuasions are presented as reflecting

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49008-17-2017To Move Our Nation Forward, Lift Up America’s Founding Ideals
In the decade leading up to America’s War for Independence, much of the drama took place in and around Boston. Sam Adams was the ring-leader on the colonial side and public enemy number one to the British. He had been thinking about liberty and independence since he attended Harvard decades before. He was motivated partly because what we would now call the Regulatory State targeted his family because of their political views.Eventually, British troops were sent to occupy Boston and keep things from getting out of hand. Naturally, the occupying force was hated and the tension between colonists and Redcoats

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49108-14-2017White Supremacists, America Was Never Yours
The White Supremacists who marched in Charlottesville seemed to think that their movement is committed to taking America back. They are mistaken. They cannot take America back because it was never theirs in the first place.It’s true that the legacies of slavery and centuries of legalized racism have long tarnished our nation’s history. That reality has always stood in conflict with our nation’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance. For too many years, white Americans simply ignored the contradiction that they didn’t want to see.That failure to confront evil did allow racists and White Supremacists to continue their hateful

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49208-10-2017Regionalization of Democratic Party Benefits GOP in Midterm Elections
The Democratic Party has, for the moment, become a regional party.Only 449 counties across the nation are reliably Democratic. Five times that many—2,226—are reliably Republican. The Democratic counties are generally found along the coasts and in large urban areas.Nowhere is the party’s abandonment of rural America more apparent than in West Virginia. For most of the twentieth century, this was a solidly Democratic state. In the first presidential election of the 21st century, however, George W. Bush carried the state and it’s voted Republican at the presidential level ever since. Last year, Donald Trump won the state with a crushing

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48807-27-2017Will Trump’s Low Approval Ratings Doom GOP in 2018?
In normal political times, a president with a 40% Job Approval rating would be a tremendous drag on his party in the midterm elections. But these are not normal times. A look back at what happened on Election Day last November suggests that President Trump’s low ratings will not necessarily doom his party in 2018.To begin with, just 38% of voters had a favorable opinion of Donald Trump on the day he was elected. And, only 40% said they would be optimistic if he won the presidency. Yet, despite that distinct lack of enthusiasm, 46% of all voters cast their

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49307-20-2017Remembering Apollo 1
On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong famously took “one small step for a man” and “one giant leap for mankind.” He and Buzz Aldrin stepped into the history books that day as the living embodiment of an amazing technological achievement. We’ll hear a lot more about that trip in the coming years as we approach the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.The story will be told of the U.S. responding to the Sputnik satellite and the fear that gripped many when Yuri Gagaran became the first human to orbit the earth. Our nation caught up when John Glenn took

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49407-13-2017The Netflix Revolution
While the nation’s political elites obsess over daily controversies of official Washington, a far more significant development is taking place on television screens across America. After years of steady growth, the number of subscribers to streaming video services like Netflix has topped the number of cable subscribers.ComScore reports that 51 million households now receive their television programming through what the industry calls Over-The-Top (OTT) television. They watch an average of 49 hours of streaming content per month. About a third of these households have dropped cable and satellite programming completely. Looking ahead, the streaming services are expected to continue growing

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51006-22-2017It's Not About Trump, It's About His Voters
In Election 2016, Democrats seemed to assume that the unpopularity of Donald Trump would be enough to keep him out of the White House. It’s true that most Americans viewed him unfavorably, but the same was also true of Hillary Clinton. Given such an unappealing choice, millions of voters decided that Trump was the lesser of two evils.In a series of 2017 special elections, Democrats have continued to make the same mistake. They look at the president’s low Job Approval ratings and assume that simply opposing President Trump should be sufficient to win elections. That was the theory behind Tuesday’s

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51106-08-2017Ending the Federal Monopoly on Regulation
Such hypocrisy is, of course, bi-partisan. Republicans who lauded state resistance to Obamacare are deeply troubled by state and local resistance to the Trump Administration on immigration and other issues.The blatant hypocrisy is one of many factors contributing to a toxic political dialogue. The only way to reduce both the hypocrisy and the political tension is to do something that neither party wants to do when their team is in charge—disperse power more broadly.No matter how much the political class wishes it were true, one-size fits all solutions simply can’t work in a wonderfully diverse society like the United States.

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51206-01-2017Two Ways of Looking At America
There are two ways of looking at America.One approach offers hope for a bright future, focuses on common ground shared by most Americans, and is grounded in pragmatism and reality. The other offers a depressing outlook, encourages polarization, and is grounded in ideology and fantasy.The positive approach is built upon America’s founding ideals of freedom, self-governance, and equality. At its core is a belief that the people are in charge and that the culture leads society. It acknowledges a role for government, but not the lead role. It recognizes that change begins outside the political process when people use their

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51305-10-2017Pessimistic About Politics, Optimistic About America
It’s not fashionable to say these days, but I am very optimistic about America’s future. I believe that our nation’s best days are still to come and that our children and grandchildren will have much better lives than we have enjoyed.I am optimistic despite believing that our nation’s political system is badly broken.My personal journey from pessimism about politics to optimism about America took more than a decade. Figuring out how to explain it took an additional two years of writing and the end result is my new book, Politics Has Failed: America Will Not. Fox News analyst Juan Williams

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51404-27-2017Lessons In Democracy Learned By Juror Number 2
Like most Americans, I groaned when the mail included a summons to jury duty. Having been there before, I envisioned three days of wasted time in a bland room with lousy internet service. Instead, I served on a jury and came away with a renewed confidence in America’s tradition of self-governance.My service as Juror Number 2 took place in Freehold, New Jersey near a Battle of Monmouth monument. At first, I inwardly chuckled when the judge cited the history of the place to convince us of the importance of the jury system. Being a history buff, I knew the battle

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51504-13-2017Thank You Jackie Robinson
Seventy years ago this Saturday, Jackie Robinson made history by breaking the Major League color barrier. MVP awards, All-Star selections, and championships recognized his skills as a player. His very presence dramatically changed the world of baseball. Within a few months, other teams began adding black ballplayers. Over the following 12 seasons, eight of the National League MVP awards were won by black men.Facing enormous hostility from fans and other teams, Robinson and his wife consistently demonstrated the power of nonviolent resistance years before the world ever heard of Martin Luther King Jr.Major League Baseball appropriately honored his larger legacy

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51604-06-2017Free Local Communities to Set Their Own Minimum Wage
Last week, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill preventing local governments from raising the minimum wage above the statewide level of $7.25 per hour. The bill was a response to four counties passing local laws boosting the minimum to $10.10 per hour or higher. Ballotpedia.org reports that similar battles between state and local authorities to set wage and employment guidelines have taken place around the country.Rather than blocking local governments from setting their own minimum wage standards, state governments should encourage them to do so.At the most basic level, that’s a recognition that no two communities are identical. Of

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49503-30-2017In 2016, Clinton Democrats Rejected Clinton
Last week, I suggested that the 206 Pivot Counties that voted twice for Barack Obama and then voted for Donald Trump are a good place to study the changing political landscape. Data developed by Ballotpedia, the Encyclopedia of American Politics, shows that these counties consistently voted more Democratic than the nation at large from 1996 to 2012.For example, in 2012, when President Obama won the national popular vote by four percentage points, he won the Pivot County popular vote by eight percentage points. In 2004, when President Bush won the national popular vote by three percentage points,

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49903-23-2017206 Pivot Counties Voted Twice for Obama Then Switched to Trump
There are 3,088 counties in America and only 206 of them voted for the winner in each of the last three presidential elections. In other words, these Pivot Counties voted twice for President Obama before switching sides to vote for President Trump in 2016.The Pivot Counties had an outsized impact on the election results. Despite casting only 5 percent of the national vote total in 2016, they accounted for 51 percent of the popular vote shift toward Republicans.Not surprisingly, just over half of the Pivot Counties are found in the Midwest. That includes 31 counties in Iowa, 22 in Wisconsin,

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50003-16-2017To See Future of Auto Industry, Look Away From Washington
One fact consistently forgotten by political activists is that politicians don’t lead the nation, they lag behind. The culture and technology lead us forward.A great example is the automobile industry. While regulations have a big impact in the short term, reality is ultimately driven by other factors. For example, when the price of gas falls, people buy bigger cars. That overwhelms the regulatory desire to put people in smaller cars that get better mileage.Looking ahead, ride-sharing services and the imminent reality of self-driving cars will bring about an even larger transformation.Today, the typical car is actually in use only about

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49803-09-2017Three Steps to Fixing the Health Care Mess
Most Americans believe that no matter how bad something is, Congress can always make it worse. With their new health care bill, Republican Congressional leaders seem intent on proving that point. Even those with a passionate hatred of Obamacare can find something to hate in the GOP replacement plan.The plan fails because is based upon the mistaken belief that only official Washington can fix what ails our nation’s health care system. In truth, the solutions we need will come from outside the world of politics.Amazing new technologies can provide better health, lower costs, and more personal control. Resistance to these

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50103-02-2017President Trump Finds Common Ground With Official Washington
President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress was remarkable partly because it was so unremarkable. What I mean is that it was very much like speeches to Congress given by countless presidents before him.There was the now-familiar build-up of chatter on cable television describing what to look for in the speech and what the White House hoped to accomplish. There was the grand entry and hand-shaking and introduction by the Sargent at Arms. When the president delivered his lines, members of his party stood up and applauded while the opposition party stayed in their seats. When

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50202-23-2017How Did America Get Stuck With a Regulatory State?
Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump have proven the ability to disrupt millions of lives with the stroke of a pen. Last week, I wrote of how the EPA arbitrarily changed the rules simply because it didn’t like the results of Election 2016. The week before I noted that by placing its faith in unaccountable bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, the Regulatory State is a rejection of the core American values of freedom, equality and self-governance.How did this hostile takeover of America's government come about? There have always been people who preferred rule by elites, even in the earliest

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50302-16-2017Abuse of the Regulatory Process Is a Threat to America’s Founding Ideals
America’s founding ideals are threatened by a regulatory regime that often operates outside the Constitutional system of checks and balances. Recently, for example, the EPA ignored proper procedures to issue an arbitrary ruling just before President Obama left office.The ruling had its roots in the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973-74 which sent the price of gas skyrocketing. Suddenly, everyone was concerned about conserving energy and Congress passed a 1975 law requiring improved fuel efficiency over time. The law was implemented under the guidance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).Since then, the auto industry and NHTSA have periodically squabbled

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50402-09-2017Do We Have a Legitimate Government?
Prior to last year’s election, supporters of Hillary Clinton worried that Donald Trump and his supporters might not accept Hillary Clinton’s victory as legitimate. It never occurred to them that the shoe might soon be on the other foot. Shortly after it became apparent that there would be no Clinton victory party, many of her supporters instantly switched gears and began to question the legitimacy of Trump’s victory.No matter how much it angers some people, though, Donald Trump is the duly elected President of the United States. Still, there is a much more fundamental question about the legitimacy of the

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50602-03-2017Beginning of the End for the Regulatory State?
The shorthand description of Neil Gorsuch is that he’s a younger version of the man he’s likely to replace on the Supreme Court—Justice Antonin Scalia. Therefore, his nomination is seen by many as merely restoring the balance that existed on the Court for most of the past decade—4 conservative justices, 4 liberal justices, and Justice Kennedy as a key swing vote.The idea that Gorsuch is a young Scalia is as accurate as such shorthand comments can be, but SCOTUS blog reports that there is one significant exception. Last year, “Gorsuch criticized a doctrine of administrative law (called Chevron deference) that

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50501-26-2017Trump, Mexico, and Jobs
President Trump’s commitment to fight for American workers is a big reason he’s president. To deliver on that commitment, he should consider a lesson from the Gemini space program.Back in the 1960s, NASA engineers were learning how spaceships could rendezvous and dock. It looks easy in the movies, but reality is much more complex. For example, if one of the spacecraft is far behind the other, how does it catch up? The obvious answer would be to step on the gas. But that answer would be wrong.Why?When a spaceship speeds up, the laws of gravity push it into a higher

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50701-19-2017Martin Luther King, Jr: A Great American
Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded today as one of America’s greatest presidents. But, that wasn’t always the case. It took more than half-a-century after his death before the memorial erected in his honor could be built. The bitterness of the Civil War he waged to preserve the Union lingered long after an assassin’s bullet ended Lincoln’s life.It took time to bring the perspective needed for Lincoln’s greatness to shine. We are now experiencing the same process in the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.The legacies of Lincoln and King were publicly intertwined when King delivered his “I Have a Dream”

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50801-12-2017The Regulatory State vs. The American Dream
In the midst of the Great Depression, James Truslow Adams coined the phrase “The American Dream.” He described it as “a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable.” Everyone should “be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."Adams believed that this concept is the “greatest contribution we have made to the thought and welfare of the world.”It’s a dream of a profoundly moral and just society. The land of opportunity is

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50901-05-2017Trump’s Transition from Rhetoric to Policy
Eight years ago, as Barack Obama prepared to move into the White House, he continued to offer the rhetoric of hope and change. Though many Republicans mocked it, that message was exactly what the American people wanted to hear.Candidate Obama promised to change the way Washington worked and talked of bi-partisan cooperation. But, within weeks of taking office, President Obama rammed a so-called “economic stimulus” package through Congress that was so partisan it failed to win a single vote from House Republicans. He took the same polarizing approach to pass Obamacare.The disconnect between the promises of candidate Obama and the

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