polling

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

Obamacare: A big issue voters might be missing
Supreme Court delay in deciding on health care law challenge could hide the issue from voters

The Supreme Court deferred a decision on a case challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Correction 2:20 p.m. | ANALYSIS — Democrats who say they are determined to keep voters focused on health care this year were hoping that the Supreme Court would hand them a ready-made campaign ad and a potential courtroom win.

Instead, the court recently punted on a major decision over whether to kill the 2010 health care law that expanded coverage to more than 20 million Americans. Now, Democrats hope that by shifting their attention to high prescription drug prices they might still mobilize voters and help the party maintain its edge on health care, the public’s top domestic concern, although Republicans also are focused on drug prices.

Out of the impeachment, into the fallout
The trial ended Wednesday with acquittal, but investigations and court fights continue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with President Donald Trump as he departs from the House chamber Tuesday night after delivering his State of the Union address. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Trump’s speech rolled out Republicans’ blueprint for general election
Democrats must present contrast to Trump without looking out of touch on humming economy

President Donald Trump greets lawmakers as he walks into the House chamber on Tuesday to deliver his State of the Union address. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

For an hour and a half, President Donald Trump used his third State of the Union speech to remind Republicans why they supported him in the past and why they will stand with him in November.  

“From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy — slashing a record number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements,” he boasted. “Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American.”

Survey reveals wide split among aides on impeachment
Dems overwhelmingly favor Trump’s removal from office; Republican staffers confident of election boost

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The impeachment that has so divided lawmakers and the public has also split congressional aides.

The latest Capitol Insiders Survey, conducted by CQ Roll Call as President Donald Trump’s lawyers made their case to the Senate, found Democratic staffers in favor of removing Trump from office by a margin of 86 percent to 1 percent, with 13 percent unsure.

Goodbye, Iowa. Hello, Bloomberg
If Democrats are serious about beating Trump, former New York mayor may be their best hope

If Democrats are serious about beating President Donald Trump, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be their best hope, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Iowa Democrats can’t seem to count caucus votes, even though the votes were cast Monday night in public and covered by so many cable news reporters, they could have rolled up their sleeves and tallied the ballots themselves.

Reporters compared Monday night’s debacle to a goat rodeo. I’ve never been to a goat rodeo, but I have been to a sheep rodeo, and I can tell you the sheep were a lot more organized. Those little guys probably could have counted votes too. It’s not really that hard.

After Iowa, a boost for Buttigieg and concerns for Biden and Warren
Partial results put the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor in enviable position

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg talks with attendees at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa, on Aug. 15. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — One state down, and many states to go. In one respect, Pete Buttigieg “won” the Iowa caucuses Monday evening regardless whether he finishes first in delegates or in the popular vote.

One year ago, Buttigieg was a mere asterisk in the Democratic contest. Then 37 years old and the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg seemed unlikely to raise the necessary money or excite Democratic voters, who were likely to gravitate to better-known officeholders like former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Even former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, fresh off an unsuccessful but enthusiasm-generating Senate campaign, seemed like a potentially more significant hopeful in the Democratic field.

Majority of election sites in battleground states lack validation, McAfee finds
Local government election-related websites lack the .gov domain

A Board of Elections official places signs around the One Judiciary Square building as District of Columbia residents head to the polls for the first day of early voting in the 2014 general election at the Board of Elections headquarters in Washington on Oct. 20, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A vast majority of election-related websites operated by local governments in battleground states lack a key feature that would help distinguish them from those run by commercial entities or criminal hackers — a site that ends in .gov as opposed to .com or other extensions, according to cybersecurity research firm McAfee.

Of 1,117 counties in 13 key states, which account for 201 of the 270 Electoral College votes that determine the winner of presidential contests, 83.3 percent didn’t have the .gov validation, McAfee found. 

State of the Union: An impeached president goes before his accusers
Donald Trump first impeached president to run for reelection

President Donald Trump is seen in the House chamber during his State of the Union address along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence on Feb. 5, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will kick his reelection campaign into high gear Tuesday in perhaps the most awkward of places: Inside the Democratic-controlled House, where he became only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

The 45th chief executive formally launched his bid for a second term last summer with a rally in Florida. But his fourth address to a joint session of Congress — and third State of the Union — will put him face-to-face with the House Democratic caucus that rebuked him, guaranteeing a made-for-television clash that seems a fitting Season 4 premiere for a presidency that continues to operate stunningly like a reality television show.

Illinois poll illustrates one challenge in campaign coverage
How results are released can influence whether polls are taken seriously

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., faces another competitive primary after winning a close race in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While polling elections is a challenge, analyzing polls can be even more dangerous. I considered scrapping a couple days of reporting work on a survey memo on an upcoming Democratic primary, but decided to share what happened to provide a small window into how I digest polling.

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski fended off a competitive challenge in the 2018 Democratic primary and recently released a poll that showed him with a 23-point lead in a 2020 rematch with Marie Newman. That felt like a stretch considering their 2-point race a couple years ago.