December 29, 2021
One Year Later, Continued National Political Division Over the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol
UMass Amherst Poll
One year after thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to protest and disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, the results of a new national University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll show 71% of Republicans – and one-third of the nation – continue to believe that Biden’s victory was illegitimate, and that Republicans continue to blame Democrats, Antifa and the Capitol Police for the events of Jan. 6.
Swing Voters Don’t Like the January 6 Committee Critics
Rich Thau & Susie Pieper, The Bulwark
Republicans who disrespect the January 6 Committee are not winning over swing voters. Democrats, meanwhile, remain on firm political ground with “persuadables” when they endorse the committee’s investigation. These are among the top takeaways from 13 Trump-to-Biden voters in key swing states, participating in two online focus groups on December 14.
Why Is John Roberts So Popular Among Democrats?
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine
Earlier this month, Gallup gauged American sentiment toward 11 of the nation’s most prominent public figures. Only one boasted majority support from both Democrats and Republicans, and he happens to be the most effective conservative politician of the modern era.
Hispanic Voters in This Pennsylvania City Are Shifting Toward the GOP. Both Parties Want to Know Why.
Aaron Zitner, Wall Street Journal
Republican gains among Hispanics in Reading mirror those in other parts of the country, but Democrats think they still have important advantages with this growing demographic
Trump idolatry has undermined religious faith
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post [via opiniontoday.com]
While the White evangelical political movement has done immeasurable damage to our democracy, its descent into MAGA politics, conspiratorial thinking and cult worship has had catastrophic results for the religious values evangelicals once held dear.
It’s Not Over for Joe Biden
David Axelrod, New York Times [via opiniontoday.com]
Sen. Manchin’s defection on the Build Back Better Act caused doubters to ask whether the president had placed too much faith in the Senate as an institution, in his own negotiating skills and in his steadfast belief that he could cajole the West Virginian, one Old Bull to another. Or maybe he misread what the Covid crisis would allow him to accomplish legislatively, causing him to shoot for too much. The question is, what now?
The 2021 High School Yearbook of American Politics
Michelle Cottle, New York Times [via opiniontoday.com]
Well, that was weird. Much of the past 12 months felt as though 2021 came about by looking at the political insanity of 2020 and thinking smugly: Hold my beer. As usual, a smattering of people and events managed to rise above, or sink below, the baseline chaos. These notables deserve to be commemorated — and, in some cases, subpoenaed — for their roles in making 2021 so very memorable.
Which 2024 Candidates Won 2021?
Bill Scher, Politico Magazine
This time, it’s actually not too early to game out the next presidential contest. The potential contenders are already maneuvering.
The Political Center Does Have Meaning
Andrés Velasco (LSE), Project Syndicate
Centrist politicians accept some ideas from the left and some from the right, making it all too easy to dismiss them as unprincipled cynics. But not only can centrism represent a distinct set of ideas; it is also necessary for protecting democracy against populist authoritarianism.
California Redistricting: Golden Opportunities
Jacob Rubashkin, Inside Elections
California’s independent redistricting commission unanimously passed a new congressional map for the Golden State that shores up the state’s Democratic delegation and puts several Republicans on their heels.
Republicans are upset about California’s redistricting. But it’s not as bad as they think.
Henry Olsen, Washington Post
Republicans are upset over California’s recent redistricting efforts, which weaken a number of congressional seats held by GOP incumbents. Their criticisms are fair, but Republicans would do well to recognize that the new map also provides the party a number of pickup opportunities that could give them an unexpected boost in next year’s midterms.
Harry Reid, former Senate majority leader and Democratic kingmaker, dies at 82
Megan Messerly, Nevada Independent
Over more than three decades of service in Congress, Reid earned a reputation for fighting relentlessly to protect his home state and everyday Americans. As Senate Democratic leader for a dozen years, he played an instrumental role in passing the Affordable Care Act and shepherding through Congress pivotal economic recovery legislation in the wake of the Great Recession.
Harry M. Reid, Senate Majority Leader Behind Landmark Democratic Victories, Dies at 82
Jonathan Martin, New York Times
Mr. Reid, who was from Nevada, displayed his pugilistic instincts as he steered an economic stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act to passage.
What Do Americans Think About 2021’s Biggest Stories?
To wrap up the year, the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew looks back at what Americans thought about some of the biggest political and cultural issues of 2021. They play a game of “Guess What Americans Think,” in which the panelists have to guess Americans’ opinions on a variety of topics, including Elon Musk, inflation and Britney Spears.