Does Scott Walker Have What It Takes to Win in 2016?

Stuart Rothenberg June 26, 2015 · 10:37 AM EDT

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is widely viewed as a top-tier hopeful for the GOP presidential nomination. But it’s less clear he has the right profile to knock off the likely Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Walker’s strength in the nomination race comes from his positioning in the Republican Party.

The governor’s proposal limiting public sector employees’ benefits and collective bargaining rights — and his eventual victory over their unions — gave him an important credential with Republican voters of all stripes, and the combination of a conservative agenda and a less militant style makes him one of the few GOP hopefuls with potentially broad appeal within the party.

Walker, who has said he will make his announcement after the state passes a budget, wouldn’t start off as the favorite of most tea party conservatives or libertarians or establishment types, but he may well be able to attract some support from each of those constituencies. More importantly, as candidates drop out along the way, he has the potential ability to reel in those Republicans looking for an acceptable (even appealing) second or third choice.

Since he has never run for president before, we don’t yet know how Walker will handle the media scrutiny or perform in debates.…

Yarmuth Retirement Rumor Offers Window Into Future

Nathan L. Gonzales June 25, 2015 · 10:02 AM EDT

Rumors that Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth was poised to retire or resign were hot and heavy right up until the moment the Democratic congressman announced his re-election bid on Monday. But the public uncertainty provided a brief glimpse into what the race to replace him might look like when he…

The Iowa Straw Poll: Put a Stake Through Its Heart

Stuart Rothenberg June 22, 2015 · 9:30 AM EDT

The Iowa Straw Poll is dead for 2015. Let’s hope it doesn’t resurrect its ugly head for the 2020 cycle and beyond.

Almost four years ago I wrote a column, “The Nothingness of the Iowa Straw Poll,” in which I disclosed that I had canceled my trip to cover the 2011 straw poll.

Given the decisions…

Roll Call at the Big 6-0

Stuart Rothenberg June 18, 2015 · 10:00 AM EDT

During my 23 years at Roll Call (my first column was published on June 11, 1992), I’ve seen many changes at the newspaper. It has been forced to evolve because journalism has changed more radically than any of us could have imagined.

Politics, too, has changed. In the summer of 1992, we still…

Michigan 7: Democrats Target Walberg (Again)

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Nathan L. Gonzales June 17, 2015 · 3:00 PM EDT

Democrats knocked off GOP Rep. Tim Walberg in one historic presidential election cycle and hope they can do it again in 2016. 

Walberg is one of those Republican incumbents that Democrats love to hate. They don’t like how he defeated a moderate Republican in a primary, how Walberg knocked off one…