The Fix: Master Archives
For no particular reason, we were inspired this week to go back and look at the Census Bureau's historic data on voting trends by race and age. Perhaps it was all of the talk of 2016. Perhaps it was knowing that there were tables of numbers sitting out there, waiting to be charted. Who knows what motives lurk in the hearts of men?
When Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) steps down from the Senate in early 2017, Mormonism will lose its highest-ranking elected official -- and the most high-profile example that yes, there is such a thing as a Mormon Democrat.
Mormons are the most Republican religious group in America, and they are moving to the right. A 2007 Pew study found about 66 percent identify with the party. By 2012, Pew found that figure had risen, and 74 percent of Mormons identified as Republican.
The 2016 general election is 18 months away, but at The Fix it’s never too early to begin speculating about the fate of the all-important swing states. Or in this case, stamping out the inevitable speculation to come.
Consider this: four potential Republican nominees come from sizable swing states that could — who knows! — swing the presidential election. Florida is home to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, Wisconsin to Scott Walker and Ohio to John Kasich. Only one potential Democratic candidate hails from a traditional swing state, Jim Webb in Virginia. (On the GOP side, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson also live in Florida, but don't have longstanding ties to the state.)
Indiana has come under fire for a bill signed Thursday by Gov. Mike Pence (R) that would allow businesses to refuse service for religious reasons. The NCAA has voiced its concern ahead of Final Four in Indianapolis next week, there are calls to boycott the state, and Miley Cyrus has even weighed in, calling Pence a name that we can't reprint on this family Web site in an Instagram post.
There's a tradition in the Senate that the passage of the annual budget will be accompanied by a slew of votes on amendments either somewhat or not-at-all related to the content of the full bill. Often, it's a way for members of one political party to put the screws to members of the other, by introducing politically tricky topics and demanding that they receive a vote.
It's easy to conclude that Democrats are actually in better shape to hold the Nevada seat in 2016 after Sen. Harry Reid's (D) decision not to run for another term.
Reid, after all, had rarely won his races by anything but the skin of his teeth and his role as the leading national Democratic in the Senate had badly tainted his image back in the state. He won in 2010 in no small part because Republicans nominated the single worst candidate to run in that election — or maybe any recent election.
The first and most important thing to know about Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader who announced his retirement today, is just how unlikely it is that he succeeded in politics at all.
His voice was — and is — often barely audible, a soft-spokenness that often require reporters to crowd close to Reid to merely hear what he is saying. It was — and is — a trait uniquely unsuited to the television age of politics where shouting is the norm.
Ted Cruz announced he's running president on Monday, and late-night comics had their fun with it. Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and Seth Meyers all cracked jokes about the Texas Republican this week.
"Cruz said that after doing exhaustive research to see if he had a real chance to win, he said 'screw it, I'm going to run anyway,'" Fallon said.
Letterman did a top 10 list of little-known facts about Cruz, like he "was never elected to Congress; [he] just started showing up."
Up on Capitol Hill, it's a day of unusual drama: The long-standing head of the Senate Democratic caucus has announced his planned retirement, setting off the expected jostling and positioning. But leaving Capitol Hill, one might safely assume that interest drops off nearly as suddenly as Independence Avenue. A huge number of Americans, repeated polling has shown, aren't really aware of who this Harry Reid person is.
The White House makes public its logs of visitors to the buildings in the secure area near the Executive Mansion. It can be hard to navigate; it's presented on the site as a long list of visitors with inscrutable codes identifying where they were headed and the people with whom they met.
So we decided to make it easier. We pulled all of the data from the White House Web site -- over 4 million records through last November -- and created a database that allows users to search easily by name and see when and where visitors we inside the compound's gates. You can explore the data using the tool at the bottom of this article.