President News & Analysis

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…

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…

Can Marco Rubio Save the GOP in 2016?

Stuart Rothenberg June 16, 2015 · 1:15 PM EDT

The Republican presidential field looks unusually diverse this cycle — an African-American (Ben Carson), an Indian-American (Bobby Jindal), a woman (Carly Fiorina) and a Hispanic, or, if you prefer, a Cuban (Marco Rubio). One candidate is married to a Hispanic originally from Mexico (Jeb Bush).

There is even a…

Party’s History of Establishment Picks Could Be Over

Stuart Rothenberg June 8, 2015 · 1:37 PM EDT

Battles for the Republican presidential nomination almost always come down to two alternatives — an establishment-backed candidate with pragmatic instincts and an insurgent (often significantly more conservative) who tries to appeal to constituencies that feel ignored.

And except for 1964, when an insurgent Barry Goldwater defeated a slew of…

How to Fix an Unfair Presidential Debate System

Stuart Rothenberg May 28, 2015 · 11:35 AM EDT

Fox News and CNN, which will broadcast the first two GOP presidential debates, have decided on a system for excluding candidates that could result in Donald Trump participating in those debates but current or former senators and governors being excluded.

Nice going, guys.

I certainly agree having a debate…

Path to GOP Nomination Starts by Dealing with Loss in Iowa

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Nathan L. Gonzales May 15, 2015 · 2:58 PM EDT

With nine months to go before the first caucuses and a throng of Republicans interested in the presidential nomination, only a one thing is certain: only one candidate will finish first in Iowa. And it’s unclear how another dozen or so established politicians will handle losing the Hawkeye State. 

Why It’s a Mistake to Dismiss Bobby Jindal

Stuart Rothenberg May 15, 2015 · 10:02 AM EDT

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is a bit of a conundrum.

He is a conservative who graduated from Brown University, a bastion of political correctness and the political left.

A Rhodes scholar who criticized those in his own party for expressing views he called “offensive and bizarre,” Jindal is…

Is John Kasich in the Top Tier in 2016?

Stuart Rothenberg May 4, 2015 · 10:49 AM EDT

“Perpetually in motion, Kasich is a whirlwind of restless energy and is sometimes criticized for being cocky,” reads the 1996 Politics in America profile of the then-Ohio congressman.

The 1992 edition of The Almanac of American Politics described John R. Kasich as “peppery and brash, spewing forth ideas, a…

Hillary Rodham Romney? Keep an Eye on O’Malley

Stuart Rothenberg April 30, 2015 · 2:27 PM EDT

For all her recent efforts to prove her progressive credentials to Democratic primary voters and caucus participants, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has not made those on her party’s left entirely comfortable with her. And she never will.

Because of that, a credible alternative would have the…

‘Big Money’ and the 2016 Elections

Stuart Rothenberg April 24, 2015 · 9:54 AM EDT

Reporters love to write about money in politics, so I shouldn’t have been at all surprised by an April 20 Washington Post article suggesting campaign finance is becoming an issue in the presidential contest.

But a front-page story above the fold that relied on a couple of anecdotes…