GOP’s Troubles Just Beginning

Stuart Rothenberg April 29, 2016 · 10:28 AM EDT

Both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have glaring weaknesses as presidential nominees, but that’s only the beginning of the GOP's problems. Just as important, the current mix of top issues is simply terrible for Republicans in general and conservatives in particular.

The country moved noticeably to the right starting in the early 1980s with Ronald Reagan and continuing through the presidency of Bill Clinton (“The era of big government is over”) and even the first years of the George W. Bush administration.

That isn't to say that Republicans always got their way. But issues like taxes, welfare reform, crime, wasteful spending, and national security and foreign policy dominated the national debate. And that gave Republicans the upper hand with an electorate unhappy with President Jimmy Carter’s weak leadership, a Democratic Party held captive by organized labor, and a federal government that had been expanding since the Johnson administration.

Cultural issues also worked to the Republicans’ advantage as many Americans tired of the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s.

Even many Democrats demanded that their party become more pragmatic and responsive to the middle class, and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council aggressively criticized the party of George McGovern, Walter Mondale and…

Opposition Research Comes Out of the Shadows

Nathan L. Gonzales April 24, 2016 · 9:00 AM EDT

If Republican Barbara Comstock ever wonders what attacks are coming her way later this year, the Virginia congresswoman can read the entire 535-page opposition research book on her life, which Democrats posted online.

Strategists at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not publish…

House Overview: Playing Field Could Shift Rather than Expand

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Nathan L. Gonzales April 22, 2016 · 3:00 PM EDT

Democratic operatives are re-evaluating their strategy to win back the House - cutting emotional ties from some rural areas that made up their previous majority to focus on more suburban districts, where they believe changing demographics are moving seats into the Democratic column. While this…

2016 House Overview (April 22, 2016) Alabama - Illinois

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April 22, 2016 · 2:59 PM EDT

Arizona. June 1 filing deadline. Aug. 30 primary.
1st District (Open; Kirkpatrick, D). Ann Kirkpatrick’s Senate run leaves Democrats with a difficult open seat to defend. Her party has coalesced behind former GOP state Sen. Tom O’Halleran, who is running as a Democrat and had $330,000 on hand on…

2016 House Overview (April 22, 2106) Indiana - New Jersey

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April 22, 2016 · 2:58 PM EDT

Indiana. May 3 primary.
3rd District (Open; Stutzman, R). State Sen. Jim Banks, who also served in Afghanistan with the Navy Reserves, looks like the frontrunner in the final weeks before the Republican primary to replace Marlin Stutzman, who is running for the Senate. The Club for Growth is now on…