Louis Jacobson

Secretaries of State Up the Political Ante

By: - January 3, 2011

Kris Kobach, an architect of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, will be sworn in as secretary of state in Kansas next week. Kobach has promised to carry out an aggressive agenda of halting voter fraud. AP Photo/Ed Zurga As Kris Kobach and Scott Gessler prepare to take office as secretary of state for Kansas and Colorado, […]

Democrats Struggle to Generate Hispanic Participation

By: - October 13, 2010

The hot phrase for analysts of the 2010 midterm elections is “enthusiasm gap” – the level of eagerness to participate that one segment of voters has compared to another. Across the board this year, polls show that Republicans are more energized than Democrats are. But few groups are being watched as closely for signs of […]

Independents Making Noise on Gubernatorial Scene

By: - September 27, 2010

Joyce Nalthcayan, Getty ImagesIndependents this year are looking to follow in the footsteps of former governor Jesse Ventura in a season when both parties are less popular. This would seem an ideal time for candidates from outside the two-party system to run for governor. And a few of them are attracting some legitimate attention. In […]

Blanket Test in California

By: - April 20, 2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Could voters in the nation’s biggest state fundamentally change the way their executive, legislative and congressional delegations are chosen? If the polls are to be believed, California voters will do precisely that when they take up a measure on the June 8 primary ballot that would restructure the state’s primary system. While […]

Youth Vote: Democratic Movement, or Fad?

By: - November 21, 2008

CALIFORNIA, Pa. – If anyone still has doubts about how helpful the youth vote was to electing Democrat Barack Obama president, they need to look no further than this college town about an hour south of Pittsburgh. In a normal election year, the two precincts serving the bulk of students at California University of Pennsylvania […]

Obama Closing In on Victory in the States

By: - October 23, 2008

After two months of zigs and zags in the presidential race – highlighted by the party conventions, the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as GOP vice presidential nominee and the financial wipeout on Wall Street – Sen. Barack Obama is closing in on victory, not just in the national polls but also on the […]

The Man McCain Didn’t Pick

By: - September 4, 2008

(Updated 3:40 p.m., Sept. 10, 2008) ST. PAUL, Minn. – If Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the ultimate outside-the-box vice presidential pick for John McCain’s GOP ticket, the governor of this state – Republican Tim Pawlenty – would have been the quintessential inside-the-box choice. Pawlenty, long considered a leading candidate for the VP slot, is […]

First-Term Govs Largely Successful

By: - July 25, 2008

Almost a year ago, Out There examined the records of new governors and found that most survived their first legislative sessions with flying colors. Now, midway through their terms, the class of 2006 has lost one member and accumulated lots of battle scars. But most first-termers are avoiding the voter discontent directed at Congress and […]

Govs Find Their Popularity Might Not Transfer

By: - July 10, 2008

How hard is it to change the political complexion of a state? Not even a strong legislative record and high popularity may be enough for four Republican governors in predominantly Democratic states and four Democratic governors in heavily Republican states. Two of these eight fish-out-of-water governors – Democrats Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Brad Henry […]

Will Obama Have Coattails in the South?

By: - June 10, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C. – High turnout among African-Americans and younger voters supporting U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) could reshape the Southern political landscape this fall. But with a few exceptions, Democrats may find gains in statewide contests thwarted by bad timing and a potential conservative backlash. Democratic and Republican strategists agree that African Americans and young […]

Will Democrats Grow Legislative Edge in ’08?

By: - March 20, 2008

With the nation swept up in a riveting presidential election, state legislative races might rank far down the political totem pole this fall. But with almost two dozen chambers at risk of a takeover by their minority parties – roughly one of every four that have elections – state legislative contests will carry weight this […]

Purple States Turn a Little More Blue

By: - March 6, 2008

Last July – a lifetime ago in the 2008 presidential race – “Out There” rated 19 battleground states on how likely each was to vote Republican or Democratic in the general election. Eight months later, the list of states that are neither solidly Republican “red” nor Democratic “blue” remains the same. But within those battleground […]