President News & Analysis

Expect Record Turnout in 2020

by Nathan L. Gonzales December 13, 2018 · 2:53 PM EST

With the 2018 elections coming to an end, it’s clear that voters set a modern record for turnout in a midterm. And there’s no reason to believe voters won’t set another record two years from now.

According to the United States Election Project, turnout this year was nearly 50 percent…

The 2018 Midterms as the Buffet Election

by Nathan L. Gonzales December 3, 2018 · 8:55 AM EST

When I was a kid in small-town Oregon, my family would occasionally go to King’s Table, and my sister and I would get free rein at the buffet.

I became famous in my own family for my condiment salad — an impressive collection of bacon bits, croutons, shredded cheese, sunflower…

Goodbye Midterm Dynamic, Hello Presidential Politics

by Stuart Rothenberg November 29, 2018 · 9:15 AM EST

Midterm elections and presidential cycles have such different dynamics that the two should almost never be discussed together. That will not prevent people from doing so, but they should resist the temptation. 

Midterms tend to be referendums on the incumbent president, while each presidential election is a choice between nominees.

Republican Migraines and the Midterm Elections

by Nathan L. Gonzales October 14, 2018 · 8:45 AM EDT

Weather metaphors are often used (and overused) in election analysis, but there’s a better way to describe the Republicans’ challenge in 2018. The GOP is dealing with many headaches as it tries to preserve the Republican congressional majorities.

From tension to cluster to migraine, they can vary in frequency and…

Brett Kavanaugh and the Midterm Effect

by Stuart Rothenberg July 16, 2018 · 9:20 AM EDT

The selection of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court will have less of an impact on November’s midterms than you think. Sure, depending how the confirmation process develops, it’s possible the nomination could affect a handful of races, but the most likely scenario will not change the overall trajectory of…

The Wrong Fight at the Wrong Time for the GOP

by Stuart Rothenberg June 29, 2018 · 11:34 AM EDT

You need to hand it to President Donald Trump, his entire administration and his party. It takes more than a little chutzpah to act in a way that seems callous to the concerns of children. First, it was gun control. Now it is immigration in general, and separating children from…

Steve Bannon Is Right About the Midterms — Until He Isn’t

by Stuart Rothenberg June 14, 2018 · 8:10 AM EDT

Former Trump campaign chief executive and White House strategist Steve Bannon recently told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that the midterm elections will be “an up or down vote” on the president. He also asserted that it’s imperative that Donald Trump nationalize the midterm elections.

“Trump’s second presidential race will be on…

Trump Numbers Are Up. And Down. But Really Unchanged.

by Stuart Rothenberg April 23, 2018 · 12:44 PM EDT

New national polls show voters are more upbeat about President Donald Trump’s performance and more pessimistic about the Democrats’ chances of taking back the House. Or not.

An April 8-11 Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Trump’s job approval rating at 40 percent, while 56 percent disapproved of his performance.

An…

Can a President Preaching Change Lead a Party of Incumbents?

by Stuart Rothenberg April 13, 2018 · 10:24 AM EDT

I have long argued that on the most fundamental level, all elections are choices between continuity and change.

The “in” party needs voters to believe that things are going well — or at least improving — while the “out” party needs to sell its message of change.

On rare occasions,…

Why the Gun Issue Has Shifted (It’s Not What You Think)

by Stuart Rothenberg March 13, 2018 · 9:07 AM EDT

The gun debate has shifted dramatically. Suddenly, it looks as if the issue will benefit Democrats in November, not Republicans.

The reason for the shift doesn’t rest primarily on the intelligence and commitment of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, although many of them have…