Read our latest musings about poltics, policy, and others out there who are making ideas matter.

Roll Call: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again in Southwest Pennsylvania

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston explains similarities between the PA-18 special election and a similar defeat for Republicans in 2010:

“In 2010, the special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th District was a tough loss when history dictated Republicans should’ve expected to pick up seats in congressional elections in a nonpresidential year. In reality, that defeat ended up being a gift to the GOP. The unexpected loss jolted Republicans out of their complacency.”

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Roll Call: Trump Can’t Help Stepping on His Own Message

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston argues that despite his innate ability to drive the media cycle, President Trump is unable to capitalize on his accomplishments:

This inability to deliver a singular message and maintain a news focus has plagued this president and his communications team since Day One, and his own popularity is paying a heavy price. With the economy roaring, jobs and wages rising, ISIS defeated and a tax reform bill passed and gaining approval, clearly his favorability numbers ought to be higher.

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Roll Call: Democrats’ Own Spanish Inquisition Could Burn Party

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston explains how the ascendency of the “Resistance” on the Left may hurt Democrats in November.

A particular brand of progressivism rooted in the “Resistance” is growing in its distemper and disassociation with what these activists see as outdated, traditional Democratic ideology, further dividing their leaderless and, as they see it, increasingly aimless Democratic Party.

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Roll Call: Trump’s Negatives are the Biggest, but Are they Also the Best?

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston discusses what the President’s unique ability to win votes despite high unfavorables means for Republicans in November:

Most of the conclusions that predict doom for the GOP are based, not unreasonably, on the impact of presidential job approval on the political environment. But what we should not forget is that President Donald Trump has had strange numbers since Day One.

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Roll Call: Digital Discourse, Not Division

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston discusses how cyber criminals exploit deep partisan divisions in our society, and why this should concern Democrats, Republicans, and the media alike:

There was a time when we had safeguards in place to protect the integrity of our electoral process from external interference. The Foreign Agents Registration Act and strict prohibitions on noncitizen campaign contributions, for example, were effective in defending our elections from undue outside influence. But cybertechnology has dramatically changed our electoral environment with the potential to affect voting systems, ballot security, voter rolls and registration, and campaign communications, and equally sinister efforts to chip away at voters’ confidence in their own democracy.

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Roll Call: America Doesn’t Care How the Sausage is Made

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston argues how voters care primarily about outcomes and results, while Washington is stuck on the process.

Americans are tired of process. They don’t want to know how the sausage is made. Who is up and who is down in D.C. Which party is at fault this week or predictions of who will take the fall next week. They really don’t care about the internal machinations of the Republican or Democratic House and Senate conferences. All they want to know about the “sausage” is whether it will impact them and how.

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Roll Call: To Filibuster or Not to Filibuster?

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston writes that the Senate is at a major inflection point and how the increasing use of the filibuster breeds problematic uncertainty:

It’s clear the Senate filibuster — or just the threat of it — has become the enemy of progress. But is it the structure of the filibuster itself or simply the unwillingness of the minority to cooperate or compromise?

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Roll Call: The Schumer Chaos Strategy

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston writes that the Democrats are attempting to divert the public’s attention from an improving economy.

Understanding the media’s penchant for shiny objects, the Senate minority leader creates chaos. From government shutdowns to short-term CRs to warnings on all things Russian to blowing up DACA talks, it’s all to ensure media attention is anywhere but on the latest economic news, whether it’s growing 401(k)s, rising employment or corporate announcements of wage hikes, bonuses, bigger pension contributions or plant investments, all linked to the tax bill.

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Roll Call: Independents Can Help GOP Withstand Blue Wave

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston argues that it was mainly independents, not other demographic groups or party bases, which drove recent Democratic gains in Virginia, Alabama, and Wisconsin:

Is a blue wave about to hit the GOP head on? While a higher turnout usually favors Democrats as we saw in Virginia, Republicans have won key House and Senate races in high-turnout years. 2016 is a good example. However, Democrats don’t necessarily need a presidential year to win either, as we saw in 2006. But whatever the turnout this fall, both parties need independents to win.

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Roll Call: Groundhog Day in America

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston writes that Washington dysfunction is driven by a system that rewards clicks and quick media hits over cooperation and compromise:

Good governance takes second place to good copy and cable hits. Politicians on both sides who drive controversy through bombast and division are rewarded by their parties and the media, and this system has created a reality so skewed that average voters can no longer tell what’s important and what’s hype.

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