Every four years, I start this same quest. To write about the upcoming presidential election as clearly and objectively as possible, offering analysis and thoughts that aren’t published anywhere else yet.
Basically, the ultimate fool’s errand. Clarity is difficult. Objectivity virtually impossible. And what are the odds of saying truly new things?
Each presidential cycle, one or more candidates (looking at you Mayor Pete) say this is the most consequential election in recent history. And one of these times, they’re gonna be right. So if they can say this is that one crucial election, I can say this is the one blog we’ve been waiting for. The one that changes how we look at elections.
Also, I’m making progress. In 2012 I gave up after the Florida primary. In 2016, I threw in the towel during the GOP convention. At this rate of improvement, it’s a solid 50/50 I last until Election Day.
So welcome to the team! Like your favorite candidate, there’s no telling how long this will last or how well it will turn out, but I do have favorite things to talk about:
Polls. They’re fun. Also, combined with other analysis, they’re way more informative than given credit for. You’ll see a lot of posts that have something to do with polling.
Debates. Always a big deal in an open primary. Likely a bigger deal with 20+ candidates. I can’t resist writing previews, recaps, strategy memos, and all kinds of pontificating about why Candidate X must say Y or face extinction.
Primaries. We’ll track Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina individually. Plus the various Super Tuesdays. Each cycle has a couple of turning points. Maybe we can anticipate them early.
History. There’s a limited sample size in presidential elections. It’s not like we’ve done this 10,000 times. The modern primary system only dates to 1972. Still, there are various clues we can find in the recent past that relate to the present.
Data. Polls are a form of data, but nowhere near the only kind. If there are numbers to play with that give us something to look for or at, it’s worth discussing.
I have my candidate preferences. They sometimes change, but they always exist. If I do my job correctly, you won’t be sure what they are. When I talk about what a candidate should do next, that’s separate from whether I hope they actually do it. I’ll try to point out my biases as best I can.
Within a week or two, I’ll be posting at least once a day. Until then, I’m aiming to get a couple posts up before the Democratic debates kick off the next phase of the race.
Talk to you soon!