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Georgia’s Sixth: Democrats First Test for Sunbelt Strategy

April 2, 2017

On 18 April, the southern US state of Georgia sees a ‘special election’ to find a new congressman. The election could be a key indicator for the way forward for the Democrats. One of the key questions for the Democrats to face in the aftermath of its electoral defeats last November is its election strategy […]

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US primaries #11: Super Tuesday

February 28, 2016

Tuesday sees the biggest test for the Presidential hopefuls: Super Tuesday where a quarter of the delegates for both parties are up for grabs. So far, the Democrats have elected a total of 156 delegates, and the Republicans a total of 130, through the February primaries. Tuesday’s haul dwarfs those figures: in a single day, […]

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US primaries #8: the Nevada results

February 26, 2016

This week’s primaries in the Silver State cemented the lead positions for both the Democrats and Republicans Last Saturday, I posted on the Democrats’ primary caucus in Nevada. On Tuesday, it was the Republicans’ turn. So, how did it all pan out? 1. THE DEMOCRATS A month ago, Saturday’s Democratic caucus looked like an easy […]

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US primaries #5: South Carolina

February 20, 2016

Tomorrow, the paths of the two US parties in seeking their presidential candidates separate. The Democrats head out West to Nevada, whilst the Republicans slog it out in the Deep South, in South Carolina. This post looks at the Republican race in the Palmetto State. South Carolina differs from the first two states that have […]

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2016 US primaries: #4 – New Hampshire results

February 14, 2016

Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary election was the last thing that either of the party establishments wanted, not only because of the victories of somewhat maverick insurgent candidates but also the nature of those victories. For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders not only beat Hillary Clinton, he trounced her. On the Republican side, Donald Trump not only […]

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2016 USA primaries: #3 – New Hampshire

February 8, 2016

Tuesday sees the next contest in the US presidential primary season, and the first true primary election, as opposed to caucus. New Hampshire is very proud of this, and likes to boast that this is the first true primary. Outside the state capital in Concord, the pavement has a timeline showing the contests, their winners […]

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2016 USA primaries: #2 – Iowa results

February 7, 2016

You know the results: despite the polls, Trump did not win and Clinton only just did. So, why did the polls appear to get it wrong? First, it is worth remembering that caucuses are difficult to poll for: FiveThirtyEight said on the eve of the caucuses that they understated their real margin of error and […]

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2016 USA primaries: #1 – Iowa

January 31, 2016

Tomorrow sees the first test in the 2016 US presidential race: the Iowa caucuses. THE HAWKEYE STATE Of the 48 contiguous US states, the Hawkeye State is the one I’ve spent least time in: a train journey across the south of the state and a few hours in Council Bluffs. For many Americans, they will have […]

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2016 US Presidential Runners and Riders – Part 2: the Republicans

April 23, 2014

Earlier this year, I posted on the potential Democrat candidates for the 2016 US presidential elections. Clearly, that race currently looks as it is odds on for Hillary Clinton, but it is worth looking at the options in case health prevents her running. That is as true now as when I wrote the piece back […]

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Week 42: Prats – The Congressional Republicans

October 20, 2013

This Week’s Prats of the Week are the Congressional Republicans who shut down the US government and brought the US to the point of default on its debt, before backing down for precisely nothing in the game of political chicken they played with Barack Obama and the Democrats Sometimes there are few things scarier to […]

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Week 42: Hero – Barack Obama

October 20, 2013

This week’s hero of the week award goes to Barack Obama for refusing to back down against the Republicans over Obamacare, the shutdown and the debt ceiling. In doing so, the Republicans eventually conceded defeat, and the US Congress endorsed the last minute bipartisan legislation to end the budget crisis, pulling America away from the […]

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Republican Insanity: US Debt Default Goes Down To The Wire

October 16, 2013

I wrote a week ago today about the government shut down and how it raised serious questions about the governability of the United States.  At that point there were 10 days to go before the US government runs out of borrowing authority and potentially starts to default on its debts.  A week later, we have no […]

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Holding the Economy to Ransom: Are the Republicans Making the US Ungovernable?

October 8, 2013

It is now day 8 of the government shut down in Washington.   In a further 9 days the money will run out for the US government to meet its bills.   The implications of US debt default are not just potentially catastrophic for the US, but for the world as a whole – it is, after all, the world’s […]

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Fox News – Fear, Loathing and The Five

March 7, 2013

I have a confession to make – I watch Fox News. There, I feel better now. I would however like to point out that I watch it from behind the sofa – as it leaves me afraid, very very afraid. Fox News gives me the heebie-jeebies, but I just cannot stop feeding my dirty habit. […]

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US Elections Wash-Up #2: The House

November 11, 2012

I promised yesterday to pick up on the results of the House of Representatives elections.  As you know the Republicans, as predicted, held on with a fairly sizable majority. As I explained last week, this is in part because the Republicans got to draw up the district boundaries in many states.  These boundaries are now […]

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US elections: The Wash Up

November 10, 2012

President Today, the result of the presidential election in Florida was officially confirmed, bringing Obama’s total electoral college vote to 332, against Romney’s 206. If the four days it took to announce this seems a long time, it is worth remembering that it took eight days in 2008 to finalise the outcome in Missouri. Whilst […]

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Don’t Believe The Hype: The Republicans Will Win The House

November 3, 2012

This evening, I’ve received an excitable email from the Democrats (I signed up to something a few years ago) quoting a New York Times poll putting the Democrats 2% in the lead for the House of Representatives elections (48%-46%) and suggesting that this could give them a majority there in next Tuesday’s election. Don’t believe […]

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The one the Democrats definitely should win: The Senate

October 14, 2012

In August, before the party conventions, it looked as if Obama was ahead in the presidential race, but that the Republicans were posed to take control of the Senate and could increase their hold on the House of Representatives, thanks to district boundary changes. Since then, we have been on a roller-coaster with Obama: at […]

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Guide to the US elections #1: The North East

September 12, 2012

With the party conventions out of the way, polls currently show a narrow but consistent lead for Barack Obama.  FiveThirtyEight put his chances of re-election at around 80%. For the first time since the month following Bin Laden’s death, Obama is now registering a 50% approval rating in Gallup’s weekly polls. Perhaps as impressively, it […]

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USA Journal 2012 #13: Texas

September 1, 2012

Houston Texas’ 18th congressional district This is the final entry in my 2012 USA journal, as I sit in the departure lounge of the George HW Bush International airport (how on earth did a failed president get such a huge airport named after him?). There is not much of note in today’s Houston Chronicle, other […]

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USA Journal 2012 #11: Louisiana

August 27, 2012

Baton Rouge Louisiana’s 6th congressional district For the eleventh installment in my journal travelling around the US South in election year, I have reached Louisiana, just as (currently) Tropical Storm Isaac looks to be about to do the same.  Naturally enough, it is the all-encompassing story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune (my favourite US paper […]

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USA Journal 2012 #10: We’re goin’ to Jackson…

August 27, 2012

… look out Jackson town! Jackson Mississippi’s 2nd 3rd congressional district A briefer entry in our journal today, from Mississippi’s capital. Jackson is a weirdly empty place at the weekend, and seems a lot smaller than its 230,000 inhabitants would suggest: walking down the main road in downtown felt post-apocalyptically deserted.  The late, great Johnny […]

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USA Journal 2012 #9: Mississippi

August 24, 2012

Clarksdale Mississippi’s 2nd congressional district For the ninth in my series of posts from the USA in election year, I have reached the Delta region of the Mississippi, the pancake-flat alluvial plains formed by the continual flooding and new courses of the Mississippi River that stretch between Memphis and Vicksburg. That makes it fertile earth, that led […]

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USA Journal 2012 #5: Ohio

August 19, 2012

Cincinnati Ohio’s 1st congressional district After travelling by train across the Appalachians, I am now in Ohio.  Like Virginia, it is one of the key states for November’s presidential election. Cincinnati sits in woody hills on the banks of the Ohio River and was founded by veterans of the American Revolution: when George Washington retired […]

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Hope for Obama from Arizona Special Election?

June 13, 2012

Yesterday saw a special election take place in Arizona’s eighth congressional district, to replace Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Democrats will be taking some comfort from their victory by an increased, if still narrow, margin.  Below is a chart showing yesterday’s result (right-hand side), comparing it to the Mid-term election result (left-hand) from November 2010. As you […]

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Week 45: Prat – Rick Perry

November 13, 2011

Rick Perry, Texan Governor and Republican presidential hopeful,  wins our award for being the biggest prat of the last seven days. It is three months ago today since Governor Rick Perry ended speculation and announced that he would seek nomination to become the Republican candidate in next year’s presidential elections.  At the time, many commentators […]

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Off The Rails #9: Perry Under Scrunity

August 17, 2011

Today’s entry from my tour of the USA comes from Salt Lake City. After a week of smalltown America, it’s good to be back in a big city. It is also a fascinating one, being the centre of Mormonism, and though very conservative seems to be somewhat out of touch with the Tea Party lunacy. […]

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Off The Rails #8: Obama’s Approval Rating Hits A New Low

August 15, 2011

Today’s piece comes from West Yellowstone, Montana, and features the Bozeman Chronicle. And a stuffed bear in my hotel lobby.  Here’s a quick rundown on themost interesting news. President Obama’s approval rating has hit a new low in the latest Gallup poll: 39% approve, to 54% who disapprove.  These are the worst figures of his […]

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Off The Rails #7: results from the Ames straw poll

August 14, 2011

I’m staying in Cody, Wyoming, the town founded by Buffalo Bill Cody, and as you can see the big news here this week is that a horse has been killed by a grizzly bear. As I said yesterday, Ames Iowa has been stalked by Mama Grizzly herself, Sarah Palin.  The results are now in from the […]

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Off The Rails #6: My Foot? Take Ames, Fire!

August 13, 2011

Billings: the largest city in Montana, hemmed in on two sides by tall sandstone cliffs called the Rimrocks. Its the nearest city to where General Custer got his comeuppance and a town steeped in the West, with downtown shops selling cowboy gear and Native American art and ephemera.  Montana is a pretty libertarian place: loving […]

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