Is it time to ditch Maine’s presidential caucuses?

Last weekend Maine saw yuuuge turnout in the Republican and Democratic presidential caucuses — a yuuuge turnout for caucuses, that is. Sen. Ted Cruz scored a surprise win, as he beat Gov. Paul LePage’s preferred candidate, Donald Trump. With his very strong showing, Sen. Bernie Sanders added to his wins in mostly white states. This […]

Who do pundits think will win the Maine caucuses?

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Before anyone shows up to caucus this weekend in Maine, pundits will have made their predictions. There hasn’t been any recent public polling, so they’re using all sorts of evidence and their judgment. As always, it’s up to the people who show up who determine what really happens. But what do pundits think and why? […]

Why do Democrats have superdelegates? Short, medium and long explanations

George McGovern (D-SD) and 1972 Democratic Party nominee for president

As presidential primaries and caucuses have started up, people are again paying attention to the Democratic Party’s use of superdelegates, individuals not picked through a primary or caucus who will attend the national convention and vote for a nominee. Contrary to a number of press reports, those individuals haven’t been “assigned” after any particular primary […]

‘The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.’ Welcome to the 2016 election.

No two times or elections are identical. But American pasts loom large as the 2016 presidential election takes shape. On the Democratic side, the contrast between Progressives and Populists is on full display. The Republican side is combining the flavor of Dixiecrats and George Wallace with opposition to the policies of the most accomplished Democratic […]

The media narrative that Clinton garners less enthusiasm is wrong

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Since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders emerged as a candidate who could generate big crowds, the media narrative has been that his supporters are more enthusiastic than Hillary Clinton’s. Reading the recent polls suggests that’s not true. You can see this in three different sorts of polls: ones that ask about people’s commitment to their candidate, […]

How a British philosopher explained Clinton vs. Sanders in 1953

Forget the polls and pundits for awhile. If you’re following the Democratic nomination, you’re better off getting insight from a 20th-century British philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, who wrote that you can classify thinkers into two groups. One knows lots of little things and another knows one big thing. Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ voting records are […]

What’s wrong with Sanders’ single payer plan and health care politics?

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Like 2008, health care is now an important issue in the Democratic nomination fight. Back then Clinton and Obama both wanted Affordable Care Act-like policies, although they differed on whether there should be an individual mandate. This year, Senator Bernie Sanders is promoting a single payer plan and his campaign is criticizing Hillary Clinton for […]

LePage should note what Bill Clinton did with his impeachment time State of the Union Address

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Gov. Paul LePage told a radio station that he might not give a State of the State Address in person — and that’s because the Legislature might be in the middle of impeaching him. LePage said: I don’t know. It’s going to be some time but it’s probably going to go back to the 1800s […]

LePage’s racist remarks make it harder to solve Maine’s most pressing problem

When Gov. Paul LePage made comments last week that caused a national uproar, he was sincerely addressing Maine’s grave problems with heroin addiction and deaths. But sincerity is not enough. When combined with defensiveness, it’s counterproductive. The governor has a tendency to portray himself as the only one who cares and has the right answers. […]