Huntsman Mulls Run for Utah Governor
Bloomberg Promises $500 Million to Help End Coal
Marianne Williamson Moves to Iowa
Biden Reverses Course on Hyde Amendment
House Backs Off Holding Barr in Contempt
Inside Nadler’s Push for Impeachment
• Biden and Sanders Leading Trump by Double Digits in Michigan
• Majority of Americans Think Trump Will Win in 2020
• Neal Doesn't Want Trump's New York State Tax Returns
• Trump Will Address the Nation from the Lincoln Memorial on July 4th
• Russian Interference in 2016 Was Much Greater than We Thought
• Election Software Vendors May Have Made it Easier for the Russians in 2016
• Democrats Begin Sniping at One Another
• Greg Gianforte to Announce a Run for Governor of Montana
• Thursday Q&A
Joe Biden apparently thinks the Democratic nomination is in the bag, so rather than address primary voters, he is going full-blown general election and attacking Donald Trump on trade. He is claiming that Trump is erratic and impulsive and his policies are causing economic pain to ordinary Americans. He is also calling Trump's tariffs a "Trump tax." Biden's strategy is primarily aimed at voters in the Midwest who have already started feeling the effects of Trump's trade war(s) and aren't happy. By hitting Trump on pocketbook issues, Biden may well peel off many Trump voters who agree with the President on immigration, but don't like how Trump's foreign policy is affecting them personally.
Trump knows that Biden is going to hit him on trade, so he is already starting to counter his attacks. He is calling Biden a "globalist," a term the far right often uses as a slur against Jews, even though Biden isn't Jewish (he's a Catholic who often attends Mass). Trump, of course, will deny there's any dog whistling going on, and will say that he merely wants to make clear that the battle lines are globalist (Biden) vs. nationalist (Trump). However, name calling is not likely to have much effect on people already feeling the pain of Trump's tariffs.
Polls indicate that Biden may be onto a good thing. A Detroit News poll shows that 47% of the voters say that Trump's China policies are bad for Michigan while only 26% say they are good. Among union households, 55% dislike Trump's China policies, not a good sign since many of the Obama-Trump voters are union members. If Biden's attacks on Trump's trade policies catch on, sooner or later all the Democratic candidates will be saying the same thing. (V)
The poll linked to in the item above contained some additional bad news for Donald Trump, reiterating the notion that he's in big trouble in the Wolverine State. In a hypothetical matchup Joe Biden leads Trump 53% to 41%, with only 4% undecided. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has exactly the same 12-point lead over Trump. Pete Buttigieg leads Trump by 6 points. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-CA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) also lead, by 4 and 3 points respectively.
It is not surprising that Sanders is doing well in Michigan. He won the 2016 primary there, and does especially well with blue-collar men. His pitch that the system is rigged is essentially the same as Trump's, only he probably comes across as more authentic.
The Democrats' problem is that collectively they appeal to far more than half the voters, but individually they don't. While Sanders is strong with blue-collar men, he is extremely weak with blacks. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) does great with blacks, but very poorly with blue-collar men. Elizabeth Warren does well with college-educated suburban women, but is nowhere with blue-collar men or blacks. Pete Buttigieg is the choice of many millennials, but is not so hot with Latinos. The only candidate who seems to do reasonably well with all Democratic constituencies (and who is hated by none) is Biden. In the end, this may make him the most acceptable compromise candidate. But keep in mind, it is still very early in the cycle. At this point in 2015, the polls and pundits couldn't decide if the Republican nominee would be Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), but all were sure it would be one of them (unless Chris Christie suddenly broke through). (V)
This early in the election cycle, we see a lot of contradictory polling. The above item has Donald Trump in deep trouble in Michigan (and by inference, in other Midwest states). We also had an item yesterday about how he's not doing well in North Carolina. These are two states he badly needs in 2020. On the other hand, a new CNN/SSRS poll shows that 54% of the voters think Trump will win re-election in 2020, vs. 41% who think he will lose. Of course, asking "who do you expect to win," is a different question than "who will you vote for," and the poll may be capturing a fair bit of unwarranted fatalism from Democrats and/or optimism from Trump's base, but the gap is unusually large.
In the CNN poll, 70% say the economy is in good shape, which is key to Trump's reelection. Amazingly, Trump also does (relatively) well, or at least not terribly, on the question of helping the middle class, with 44% saying he is doing a good job and 49% saying he is not. On trade, 41% approve of Trump's policies, with 47% disapproving. Finally on immigration, he has a 41% approval rating vs. 54% disapproval. (V)
New York State has now passed a law allowing the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, currently Richard Neal (D-MA), to see the state tax returns of any New Yorker, which includes Donald Trump. Neal has said he is not going to ask for them, even though he would probably get them immediately.
Neal's thinking is that asking for them would bolster Trump's argument that the House is just on a fishing expedition and wants them for political gain. He contends that he needs the returns to see if federal tax laws, especially laws relating to the auditing of the president's tax returns, need updating. Neal has no authority over state taxes, so that argument doesn't hold for state taxes. He is trying to get Trump's federal returns for the past 6 years.
If Trump continues to stonewall and the courts allow him to drag out the fight indefinitely, eventually Neal could change his mind and take what he can get, but for the moment, he is not interested in Trump's state tax returns, even though the New York state legislature has put them on a golden platter and has a butler standing by to deliver them. (V)
Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, has confirmed that Donald Trump will address the country from the Lincoln Memorial on Independence Day. Traditionally, the holiday has been nonpartisan and not used for politicking. Perhaps Trump will rise to the occasion and keep politics out of it, but if so, it would be the first time.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has opposed Trump's efforts to inject himself into the celebration. She is worried about security, but also his expected divisive rhetoric. No president has made a public appearance on July Fourth in decades. The last one to do so was Harry Truman in 1951; he made a speech at the Washington Monument to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. After all, the day commemorates the date the Continental Congress voted to ditch the king and become an independent nation. It wasn't about partisan politics. (V)
Special counsel Robert Mueller's report made it clear that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump. Now it appears that the interference was bigger and bolder than anyone had thought so far. That is the conclusion of a report from the cybersecurity firm Symantec.
The company studied 3,900 Russian Twitter accounts and 10 million tweets. One conclusion was that the average time between an account being opened and the first tweet was 177 days. This means the Russians planned their attacks very carefully, months in advance. It wasn't a matter of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg hiring a bunch of kids off the street and telling them: "Start tweeting right now."
The most retweeted account got 6 million retweets and fewer than 2,000 of those came from Russian accounts. In other words, once the Russians planted the seed with a tweet, it was the Americans who helped it grow into a giant tree. The technical term for an American who unwittingly does the Kremlin's work is "useful idiot."
Most of the accounts were automated, but there was still a fair amount of manual intervention—for example, to change the wording of tweets to avoid having Twitter flag them as bots.
Despite being former communists, some of the Russians tried to make money while they were at it. They did this by using link shorteners. The way that works is that the original tweeter uses a short link like link4.me/12345. Every time someone clicks on the short link, they are shown an ad for a few seconds, then they are sent to the original content. The (Russian) poster gets paid a few pennies each time the short link is clicked. One Russian account may have made over $1 million this way.
The Symantec research concluded that the scale and impact of the disinformation campaign indicates a highly professional, well-coordinated, and well-funded effort. Something like that must have been run by someone in, or with experience in, the Russian intelligence services. Amateurs could never have pulled off something like this. (V)
While the Russian hackers were definitely pros who didn't need much help, on those occasions where Americans made it easier for them to achieve their goal of electing Donald Trump, the Russkies probably weren't shy about taking the help. Politico is now reporting that a Florida company, VR Systems, used remote-access software to get into the Durham, NC, election system to help fix problems just before the election. Security experts uniformly condemn the very possibility of election-related computers having remote access software installed, because if the vendor can get in, there is also a chance an attacker (e.g., the Russians) can also get in. This is doubly worrisome if the only protection is a password. It is triply worrisome if the company uses the same password on all the systems it installs and monitors, since if it is ever compromised, all the machines on the network are compromised.
The Mueller Report said that the Russians successfully compromised a voting technology company and installed malware on its network. Mueller didn't name the company, but the description fits VR Systems. VR Systems' employees were also hit by a spearfishing attack believed to be linked to Russia. The company denied that it was successful, but they hired a security firm to investigate. The investigation turned up nothing, but it was done a year after the attack, so the attackers had plenty of time to cover their tracks. Three years later, the Dept. of Homeland Security is just now beginning to investigate the matter for itself.
There is no evidence that election totals were changed, but having an adversary get at the voter registration lists is almost as bad. A hacker could easily remove a large number of voters from the list in precincts that are known to strongly favor one party. Removing one vote for your opponent is just as good as adding one vote for your candidate.
When asked about all this, VR Systems defended the concept of remote access as a way to fix problems quickly, certainly faster than sending someone to all of the locations that are using software in which a bug has just been discovered. The company has customers in California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was asked about this and said: "Remotely accessing voting systems the day before Election Day is serving up our democracy on a silver platter to foreign hackers."
Last year, voting machine maker Election Systems & Software conceded that it had installed remote-access software on its election management systems—after years of lying and denying it. Consequently, its systems may also have been penetrated, just like those of VR Systems.
The Politico article linked to above goes into more detail about the problems, but the bottom line is that the only way to ensure security is to have voter registration systems be offline, with no Internet access at all. Voter lists must then be hand transferred to each precinct just before Election Day on encrypted USB sticks. And it goes without saying that voting should be done on paper ballots that are optically scanned by machines that are also not connected to any network. We are a very long way from that situation. (V)
Ronald Reagan always maintained that the 11th commandment of politics was: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." This wasn't always honored by the Gipper, but at least he tried. Democrats, on the other hand, are more into circular firing squads. With 24 supposedly major candidates running for the presidential nomination, it was inevitable that the candidates would eventually begin going after one another. With just 3 weeks before the first debate, the sniping has started.
Case in point: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) almost singlehandedly drove Al Franken out of the Senate, despite his being a strong liberal presence and even a potential presidential candidate. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is now taking aim at her for that.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are now teeing off on frontrunner Joe Biden for attending high-dollar fundraisers attended by Wall Street bankers. Both senators have said they won't solicit large contributions and fault Biden for not doing the same.
John Hickenlooper and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) got into a tiff last weekend over values. Hickenlooper said that socialism isn't the way to go. Inslee shot back that he is proud of his progressive values.
The list goes on. It was inevitable. The problem of running a negative campaign is that if you win, people who support the defeated candidate(s) are likely to be angry. They are unlikely to actively campaign for you and may not vote at all or may vote for a third party candidate. The trouble is, it is hard to just campaign on the issues, since whatever a candidate wants, there are half a dozen other candidates who want the same thing. So they are starting to go negative. If, in the end, there is one progressive candidate and one moderate candidate left, it is going to be Bernie vs. Hillary all over again, even if the candidates are Elizabeth and Joe this time. (V)
Montana is not usually thought of as a purple state, but it is far less red in state races than in presidential races. The two-term current governor, Steve Bullock is a Democrat and he followed another Democrat, Brian Schweitzer, who also served two terms. Sen. Jon Tester is also a Democrat.
First-term Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), who is extremely wealthy, wants to end the Democrats' stranglehold on the Montana governor's mansion, and will announce his run very soon, probably tomorrow.
Despite his wealth and Montana's love of Donald Trump, who won the state by 22 points, Gianforte isn't a shoo-in. He may not even be the favorite. He ran in 2016 and lost to Bullock. However, Bullock is term-limited and can't run again in 2020. He is running for president, although Democrats are pleading with him to forget that pipe dream and challenge Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) in 2020.
The Democrats don't have a candidate yet, although Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D-MT) is the next in line. Schweitzer could also take another shot at it, since state law limits a governor to a maximum of two consecutive terms, but there is no lifetime limit. For the Democrats to win the governorship five times in a row in such a red state would be surprising, but by no means impossible. (V)
It's always interesting to see what themes emerge in the questions we get each week. This week, there's a lot of interest in the Speaker of the House. Wonder why?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently said that an impeachment and subsequent acquittal of Donald Trump could possibly cause prosecutors not to indict and prosecute Trump after he leaves office. I keep seeing editorials that say she is wrong to confuse the two, since one is a legislative process and the other is a criminal process. But these opinions miss her point. She is saying they might choose not to prosecute after a senate acquittal (not that they wouldn't be able to do so). I think she is right. Until a federal prosecutor says, "My office will pursue indictments and prosecution of Trump when he leaves office, regardless of whether he is impeached and subsequently convicted or acquitted," then impeachment should not go forward. Does this have merit? R.M., Oak Harbor, WA
At the moment, there is surely nobody more dialed in to the nuances and subtleties of impeachment—legal, political, ethical—than Pelosi. That said, we think this was probably a red herring to get some of the pressure off of her, and that she doesn't really believe what she said. We definitely don't think she should be waiting around for a commitment like this.
First of all, there is zero chance that a U.S. Attorney is going to publicly commit to such a thing. It would come off as a political maneuver, not a statement of that person's commitment to justice being done. Further, Trump would then promptly fire that person (or, more likely, have AG William Barr do it). And that firing would actually be somewhat reasonable. Can a President really trust that his orders are being carried out properly by a person who has already announced their intent to prosecute him?
Meanwhile, it is possible that a failed impeachment could persuade the feds not to prosecute Trump when he leaves office, but it's not likely. They understand full well the difference between an impeachment and an indictment, and that acquittal by a friendly Senate would tell us nothing about the President's criminal culpability (or lack thereof). Those folks are also particularly impervious to political considerations. On top of that, even if the feds do decline to prosecute, the folks in New York (especially NY AG Letitia James) are waiting for Trump with a gleam in their eyes. In short, assuming the President lives to the end of his term, it will take a near miracle for him not to end up as a defendant.
When it comes to impeachment, why can't Nancy Pelosi just say she doesn't have confidence the Senate will put the Constitution over party. To prove her point, she could reference statements from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that indicate they have made judgment without hearing evidence. Wouldn't it be to her benefit to let people know they need to pressure the Senate, not her? M.B., Melrose, MA
Actually, she has said that. Just one week ago, for example, she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's show and made that very point. Here's the video (she talks about Senate Republicans starting around 6:55):
According to Pelosi (and she reiterated this as recently as yesterday), most voters don't fully grasp what "impeachment" actually means. She says that most of the people she talks to think it results in automatic removal from office, as opposed to being just an indictment. If she is telling the truth, and it's likely she is, then it makes sense that "the Senate is the problem here" hasn't sunk in all that well.
With all of this said, it's clear that Pelosi & Co. are becoming more likely to impeach. Apparently, Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is warming up to the idea, and if he flips, then Pelosi may not be able to keep the floodgates closed. It's telling that she was saying things like "impeachment isn't the right course of action right now" and she's now saying things like "we have to make sure we have an ironclad case before we can move forward." Neither of those is a firm commitment, to be sure, but the latter is closer to "yes" than the former.
In regards to the question you answered about a challenger for Pelosi, Shahid Buttar has already launched his campaign against her. He came in 3rd in the 2018 primary, just behind the Republican, despite being the last progressive to declare. This time, he's way out front with his ground game, and should easily make the general election. Given that Pelosi hasn't faced an alternative Democrat in the general election in over a decade, and has barely campaigned in that time, can you see a path for the challenger to grab a surprise victory over the incumbent? D.C., San Francisco, CA
As we noted in last week's answer, there have been some high-profile upsets in the last few cycles in which high-ranking members of the House leadership got primaried. And there have been three sitting Speakers who were sent packing by the voters in their district: William Pennington (1860), Galusha Grow (1862), and Tom Foley (1994). You will note that you probably don't want to be the Speaker of the House whenever a civil war breaks out.
With that said, barring something very unexpected (Pelosi caught in bed with a live boy, and that boy is Donald Trump and he pays her $130,000 to keep her mouth shut), we really don't see a path to victory for Buttar or any other challenger. Pelosi's district, CA-12, is often described as one of the most liberal in the United States. That is because it has a PVI of D+37, and it's in San Francisco. However, it's very diverse; 33% of the residents are Asian, 15% are Latino, and 6% are black. As a general rule, these three groups tend to be Democrats, but pretty centrist Democrats. In other words, CA-12 isn't necessarily very liberal as much as it is very Democratic. Not quite the same thing.
This is borne out by the 2018 primary. There was no question Pelosi was going to advance, so the district's Democrats were free to vote for the candidate they liked best. Buttar got 8.5% of the vote, and the other two Democrats in the race (Stephen Jaffe and Ryan A. Khojasteh) got 5.9% and 4.6%. That means that the combined non-Pelosi Democratic vote was 19%. If we generously throw in the votes for the Green candidate (Barry Hermanson, 2.0%) and the "no party" candidate (Michael Goldstein, 1.4%) then that brings the total to 22.4%. Meanwhile, Pelosi got 68.5% of the votes in that round (and 86.8% in the general). In short, even if Buttar runs a proper campaign with a great ground game and raises lots of money, there just don't seem to be anywhere near enough votes available for him. When primary voters could pull the lever for anyone they wanted, including Buttar, 68.5% of them still went for Pelosi.
Oh, and here's a bonus fact for you: Because the population of California has grown so much, and the electoral map has been drawn and redrawn many times, CA-12 was also the home district of...Richard Nixon. That means that the exact same seat has been occupied by someone who did everything in their power to show the American people that the president was corrupt and worthy of impeachment, and also by Pelosi.
Taking current AG William Barr off the table, who is generally considered the most corrupt AG in history? Are there any historical lessons for dealing with an AG that is as obstinate in refusing to comply with the law? R.K., Denver, CO
There have been some pretty terrible ones, who ran roughshod over the law in one way or another. We'll limit ourselves to the last century; here are the worst of the worst, in our opinion:
- A. Mitchell Palmer (1919-21) was responsible for the notorious Palmer Raids,
in which left-wingers and immigrants were arrested and imprisoned without being charged with a crime,
or were deported. This was a part of America's first red scare (yes, there was one after World War I, as well).
There was some backlash against him (eventually), but he remained popular enough that he was a serious
contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1920.
- John Mitchell (1969-72) was the guy who did much of Nixon's dirty work,
including ordering illegal wiretaps, arranging IRS audits of the President's enemies, having hippies arrested,
and helping stack the courts with dubious judges. He even arranged for GOP money to be sent to the Nazi Party,
in hopes they would claim Nixon rival George Wallace as one of their own (it didn't work). Mitchell resigned
to manage Nixon's 1972 reelection campaign, and in that capacity was involved with the Watergate break-in,
which eventually led to his indictment and conviction. He spent 19 months in the hoosegow.
- Alberto Gonzales (2005-07) abused his powers in much the same way Mitchell did, and was particularly known for dubious wiretaps. Most notoriously, however, he served as hatchet man for George W. Bush, and canned nine U.S. Attorneys for, in effect, not following the party line. This does not jibe too well with the fact that the Dept. of Justice is supposed to be nonpartisan. Gonzales got hauled before Congress many times, and eventually resigned because he'd become too much of a black eye for the administration.
As you've probably noticed by now, the historical lessons here are pretty grim for fans of accountability. Only once has a Cabinet officer ever been impeached (Sec. of War William W. Belknap in 1876), and he resigned before he could be removed. And neither do the courts tend to get involved with punishing Cabinet-level malfeasance (unless you resign and then commit crimes, as Mitchell did). Public pressure forced Gonzales out, but the current president cares little about such things. Maybe Trump will eventually turn against Barr, as he did with Barr's predecessor, Jeff Sessions. Failing that, however, the House would have to break new ground in going after an AG, or else Barr will be on the job for as long as he wants.
There was a lot of criticism of James Comey for publicly speaking about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails. The criticism was that he violated Justice Dept. policy by talking about the investigation when a decision had been made not to charge her with a crime. My question is, did Robert Mueller do something similar when he spoke last week? G.W., Portland, OR
We can see why you might ask this. And we will note that it's become a talking point among right-wingers, as well as with Alan Dershowitz, who appears to have lost a few cards from the deck recently, if you know what we mean.
With that said, we think there are two pretty big differences here. The first is that Comey spoke up of his own volition, as director of the FBI. Mueller spoke up far less willingly. If he did not address the press on the day he resigned, it would have made him look secretive and untransparent, which would have undermined the integrity of his investigation. So, he had no real choice.
The second, and more significant, difference is that Comey's statement marked the end of the matter—she was never going to be charged with a crime based on the new evidence that came to light. That meant that Clinton would never have an opportunity to defend herself in open court, which is why the policy exists—it's not fair to effectively smear someone's reputation if they have no opportunity to pursue formal exoneration. On the other hand, what Mueller was actually communicating is that Trump isn't going to be charged with a crime right now. There's nothing that says he won't be impeached, or else charged in the future, when he leaves office. And so, he may very well still be afforded an opportunity to pursue formal exoneration, which means the Dept. of Justice policy doesn't apply.
I'm a liberal, progressive, pacifist, lifelong gun owner (which is not an uncommon combination in the Pacific NW), who has long wondered why the left only seems to pursue package deals on gun control that regularly fail due to "poison pills," when single-item efforts (such as national bump stock bans, or my state's universal background check law) actually succeed. Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) recently pushed for background checks (which almost everyone supports) combined with a magazine capacity limit (which has significant resistance due to the fact that they don't really work), an approach that likely means they will get neither. Is there some reason they keep trying this same tactic? N.D.O., Portland, OR
Well, let us first point out that sometimes it does work to try to kill multiple birds with one stone. Last year, for example, California adopted a bunch of new gun-control rules in one fell swoop.
With that said, it is the instinct of human beings in general, and of politicians in particular, to take "substantive" action, with their thought process shaped substantially by recency bias. It's true that most folks support more thorough background checks (95% or so, according to most polls), but that's not a very satisfying response to a mass shooting, because it's generally not easy to wrap one's mind around the notion that "this wouldn't have happened, if only we had better background checks." On the other hand, "this wouldn't have happened, if only high-capacity magazines weren't available" is much easier, cognitively. It may or may not be correct, but it's easier to grasp. So, the anti-gun politicians and activists are currently going after the high-capacity magazines. And when a guy in Las Vegas shoots hundreds of people aided by a bump stock, they go after the bump stocks. And when a guy in Florida shoots up a night club with ammunition he bought over the Internet, they go after Internet ammunition sales.
Note that this is not to take a position on any aspect of this issue, merely to argue that the pattern you point out is a byproduct of fairly predictable human cognitive processes.
Joe Biden is polling around 38% right now, far ahead of any of the other Democrats. How does this compare to past nominees with similar leads at this point? Does anyone else have a realistic chance at the nomination, or is Biden a foregone conclusion, barring a serious scandal or him dropping out for personal reasons? L.B., Savannah, GA
Not only is this not a foregone conclusion, but 38% isn't even a particularly strong showing, given that he has near-universal name recognition, while none of his opponents (outside of Bernie Sanders) do. Here's a few selected data points, in chronological order:
- In Nov. 1975, a survey of DNC delegates showed 50% backing Hubert Humphrey. The pollster didn't even bother to ask about Jimmy Carter.
- In Sept. 1987, a Time magazine poll put Jesse Jackson's support at 26%, Michael Dukakis' at 12%.
- In Oct. 2007, the Gallup Poll had Hillary Clinton at 50% and Barack Obama at 21%.
- The next month, a WNBC/Marist poll, had Rudy Giuliani at 30% to John McCain's 17%.
- In June 2015, an NBC News/WSJ poll said Jeb Bush was leading the pack with 22% of the vote. Tied for 10th, with 1%, was Donald Trump.
And we're not just cherry picking here. We could give you hundreds of polling results from the last 50 years that make clear that being the frontrunner a year before the election matters a little, but not a lot. In fact, if we remove incumbents from the equation, the person who is the frontrunner one year before the election is considerably less than even money to land his or her party's nomination.
If you have a question about politics, civics, history, etc. you would like us to answer, click here for submission instructions and previous Q & A's. If you spot any typos or other errors on the site that we should fix, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.Email a link to a friend or share:
---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun05 Trump vs. His Own Party, Part II: Ken Cuccinelli
Jun05 Trump vs. the Other Party, Part I: The Dreamers
Jun05 Trump vs. the Other Party, Part II: Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson
Jun05 Jared Kushner Is a Small Fish in a Big Pond
Jun05 Virginia Beach Shootings: A Tale of Two Parties
Jun05 Biden Unveils Someone Else's...er, His Climate Change Plan
Jun05 Team Trump Tries to Expand His 2020 Map
Jun05 Tar Heels Feeling Blue?
Jun04 Judge Gives Trump a Victory
Jun04 Trump Meets, Greets, and Tweets
Jun04 GOP Members of Congress Not Sure What to Do About Trade Wars
Jun04 House Democrats Prepare to Hold Barr in Contempt
Jun04 Is the Right Time to Impeach...November 2, 2020?
Jun04 Facebook, Google Get Some Bad News from the House
Jun04 Another Mueller Indictment Is Revealed
Jun03 Division Among Democrats Is Very Apparent in California
Jun03 California Democrats Elect a Union Leader as Party Chairman
Jun03 Labor and Progressives Are at Odds over the Green New Deal
Jun03 Deutsche Bank Appeal Will Be Fast Tracked
Jun03 Trump Will Launch His Campaign in Florida in 2 Weeks
Jun03 Iowa and New Hampshire Are No Longer the Only Games in Town
Jun03 Trump's Approval Holds Steady but Support for Impeachment Rises
Jun03 Hoyer Supports Statehood for D.C.
Jun03 Monday Q&A
May31 About That Citizenship Question...
May31 Trump Lashes Out, Part I: Mueller
May31 Trump Lashes Out, Part II: Mexico
May31 Moore Punches Back
May31 Kushner Peace Plan
May31 Democratic Presidential Candidate Update: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
May30 Mueller: Congress, the Ball is in Your Court
May30 How the Media Reported Mueller's Speech
May30 Fox News Legal Analyst: Mueller Wanted to Indict Trump but Couldn't
May30 Trump Is Restructuring His Legal Team
May30 Perez Raises the Bar for the Third Debate
May30 Poll: Americans Don't Believe China Is Paying the Tariffs
May30 National Journal Ranks the Most Competitive Senate Races
May30 Trump Warns Moore Not to Run for the Senate
May30 Democrat Jaime Harrison Will Challenge Lindsey Graham
May30 Not so Fast, Bibi
May30 Thursday Q&A
May29 To Impeach or Not to Impeach, That Is the Question
May29 SCOTUS Sends Mixed Messages on Abortion
May29 McConnell to Ginsburg: Don't Die
May29 Elaine Chao Turns Out to Be Kinda Swampy
May29 The States of the Democratic Field
May29 Roy Moore Plans to Run
May29 Texas Secretary of State Falls on His Sword
May28 Trump Sides With Kim Again