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In the wake of the Republican and Democratic conventions, the release of a new jobs report and growing troubles in the Middle East, AEI scholars took the stage for the first Election Watch event of the general election season. While explaining the latest findings of the polls, moderator Karlyn Bowman noted that most voters want the Democratic Party to control the U.S. Congress, which is a new development.
Michael Barone then claimed that while Mitt Romney has a narrow window for victory in the U.S. Electoral College, he has more opportunity for success than many political analysts would admit. Norm Ornstein countered Barone's assertions by emphasizing that Romney’s missteps in responding to the recent murder of four Americans in Libya indicates that his campaign is still trying to find traction in a theme.
Henry Olsen concluded the discussion by stating that 2012 will not be a repeat of 2010, contrary to the hopes of Republicans. Olsen, Ornstein and Barone ultimately agreed that Paul Ryan faces the challenge of ensuring his Wisconsin House of Representatives re-election while not appearing to resign himself to a losing vice presidential bid.
What are AEI’s election experts observing as the presidential race enters the home stretch? On September 13, AEI’s Election Watch team returns for the first of two pre-election sessions to discuss the presidential and U.S. Senate races. What issues will the campaigns be talking about (or avoiding) this fall? Do Obama and Romney have hidden strengths and weaknesses, and what swing states are they interested in?
The AEI Election Watch team has plenty to address, so don’t miss out on your latest dose of politics! Celebrating its 30th anniversary, AEI's Election Watch series is Washington's longest-running election program for a reason: serious historical commentary and current insights that can't be beat.
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Michael Barone, AEI
Henry Olsen, AEI
Norman J. Ornstein, AEI
Karlyn Bowman, AEI
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Michael Barone, a political analyst and journalist and a resident fellow at AEI, studies politics, American government, and campaigns and elections. The principal co-author of the biennial “Almanac of American Politics” (National Journal Group), he has written many books on American politics and history. Barone is also a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.
Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI. She researches and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, the environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade, the war in Iraq and women's attitudes. In addition, Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics resulting from key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States and writes a weekly column for Forbes.com.
Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic and political thought.
Norman J. Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call called “Congress Inside Out,” and is an election evening analyst for CBS News. He also served as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law known as McCain-Feingold, which reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include “The Permanent Campaign and Its Future” (AEI Press, 2000), “The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track” (with Thomas Mann, Oxford University Press, 2006) and, most recently, The New York Times’ bestseller “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism” (with Thomas Mann, Basic Books, May 2012).