election day

What If 2016 Was a Fluke?

Donald Trump, like the prophet Joshua, understands the power of blowing his own horn. And like Joshua, Trump brought a wall tumbling down in 2016: the “blue wall” of states around the Great Lakes that supposedly gave Democrats an advantage in the Electoral College. Trump…

The Democrats’ Vote-By-Mail Problem

As the coronavirus pandemic fanned across the country in the spring, Democrats looking ahead to the presidential election urged people to stay home in November—and vote by mail. Minnesota’s secretary of state encouraged all eligible voters to cast their ballot by mail. Virginia Governor Ralph…

Only About 3.5% of Americans Care About Democracy

Imagine a candidate you like. This politician has everything: the right positions on taxes, abortion, foreign policy, immigration; sound judgment; enough personal probity to be trusted with your wallet, house keys, or email password. Now imagine that that candidate does or says something antidemocratic. For…

Even Fast-Casual Restaurants Are Telling Me to Vote

I have recently been reminded, asked, or commanded to vote approximately 6 million times. These nudges have come from the people and places I’d expect—candidates, local officials, civic and political organizations—but also, more so than in any other election year I remember, from the places…

The Health-Care Fight Republicans Can’t Afford

There’s a reason Donald Trump has never produced a health-care plan that protects consumers with preexisting medical conditions: Ending protections for the sick is the central mechanism that all GOP health-care proposals use to try to lower costs for the healthy. Every alternative to the…

Actual Senate Confirmation Hearings Take Time

As Donald Trump and Senate Republicans try to confirm Amy Coney Barrett as a justice of the Supreme Court in the 38 days between her nomination and Election Day—with many votes already being cast—much of the criticism has focused on the hypocrisy of moving this…

GOP to Take Penn. Court’s Revision of Election Laws to Supreme Court

Republicans intend to ask the short-handed Supreme Court to review a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that extended the deadline for receiving and counting mailed ballots in the Keystone State, a decision they claim violates the law and endangers electoral integrity. Pennsylvania is among the most…

Large-Scale Political Unrest Is Unlikely, But Not Impossible

When a reporter recently asked Donald Trump if he would accept a peaceful transition of power, the president wouldn’t commit. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. In an apparent reference to mail-in ballots, he went on, “We’ll want to have—get rid of the ballots and…

The Election Is Already Under Way in America’s Courts

Although the election is not technically until November 3, election season is already well under way—most significantly in the dozens of election-litigation cases that are determining how people can vote, whether they can vote, and whether their votes will be counted. In the many cases…

Is This Really the End of Abortion?

Friday was a perfect early-autumn evening in Washington, D.C., less than 50 days away from the election. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, arguably the most powerful anti-abortion group in Washington, had wrapped up her day on Capitol Hill. She and…

A Dangerous Moment for the Court

The Supreme Court seems strangely immune to the bitterness that plagues our politics. Even now, when Americans can no longer agree on basic facts, the Court’s relative popularity has endured. Following Donald Trump’s 2016 election, the Court has what may be its most conservative majority…

Senate Republicans’ Last Chance to Stand Up to Trump

Nearly every reporter in Washington has experienced it: A Republican member of Congress says, “Off the record,” shifts into a quieter voice, and expresses how much he or she doesn’t like President Donald Trump. Soon after, you watch this same elected official speak up in…

An Experiment in Wisconsin Might Reveal the Key to Defeating Trump

No state has haunted the Democratic Party’s imagination for the past four years like Wisconsin. While it was not the only state that killed Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes in 2016, it was the one where the knife plunged deepest. Clinton was so confident about Wisconsin…

The Coming Crisis of Legitimacy

In normal times, it would seem outlandish to worry that an American president might refuse to concede defeat upon losing his bid for reelection. This year it is not. Even though he won in 2016, Donald Trump falsely claimed that he was the victim of…

The Deadline That Could Hand Trump the Election

Many Americans know that counting all of the votes in this November’s presidential election is going to take extra time. Few people realize there’s a specific deadline by which states must finish. The 1887 Electoral Count Act seems like an obscure piece of political trivia.…

Donald Trump Is Attacking Politics Itself

After a caravan of Donald Trump’s supporters descended on Portland, Oregon, this weekend, aching to grapple, he praised them as “great patriots.” In cheering them on, Trump is pointing them, and others like them, toward a specific target. What he seeks to eliminate is politics…

‘We Have Seen Very, Very Little Fraud’

President Donald Trump has spent months trying to convince Americans that universal mail-in voting would be a disaster for democracy. It is “dangerous,” he says, potentially “catastrophic”—an “embarrassment” that would “make our country the laughingstock of the world.” Just this week, in his speech kicking…

The U.S. Is Facing the Possibility of a Truly Illegitimate Election

On Election Day, 1888, approximately one hour after the last vote was cast, four masked men burst into a polling place in Plumerville, Arkansas. Waving pistols and shouting threats, they forced election officials against a wall, seized the ballot box, and disappeared on horseback into…

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