The Fix: Washington

The wide racial gap in Obama’s presidential elections, in 2 charts

The wide racial gap in Obama’s presidential elections, in 2 charts

President Obama will mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington Wednesday against the backdrop of an electorate that is sharply divided along racial lines. The gap between white and black voters in 2012 was wider for Obama than it had been for any Democratic nominee in nearly three decades.

Continue Reading »

The racially divided United States of America

A truly amazing map from the University of Virginia’s Dustin A. Cable (click on it to zoom in on particular areas).

Notice the concentration of green (African American) and yellow (Hispanic) dots in urban areas, and how racially separated many of these areas are. Wired has captured several screen shots illustrating this point.



African Americans in Congress, by the numbers

African Americans in Congress, by the numbers

Our friends over at the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics team are out with some great new data on African-American representation in the United States House.

Here are some of the tidbits we found most interesting:

The total number of African Americans elected to the House: 127.

Continue Reading »

The differences between Democrats and Republicans over race, in three charts

The differences between Democrats and Republicans over race, in three charts

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, is just a day away. So, where do Americans come down on the question of how far the country has moved toward King's vision of racial equality in the five decades since the march?

Continue Reading »

What's changed for African Americans since 1963, by the numbers

What's changed for African Americans since 1963, by the numbers

As the nation prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington over the next week, it's worth asking: how much have things changed for African Americans since Aug. 28, 1963?

The U.S. Census Bureau has compiled a slew of statistics that tell at least part of the story. In many ways African Americans are participating more fully in the nation's civic life, but in many sectors they are still lagging behind their white counterparts.

Continue Reading »

When Bill Clinton considered Ben Bradlee for the Medal of Freedom

When Bill Clinton considered Ben Bradlee for the Medal of Freedom

As David Nakamura reports, The Post's Ben Bradlee is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian award in the United States.

But it's actually not the first time Bradlee has been considered for the award.

As John Harris explained in his 2005 book "The Survivor" — and as Mark Leibovich re-reported in the just-released book "This Town" — Bill Clinton once considered Bradlee for the honor as well.

Continue Reading »

The politics of Jeff Bezos

The politics of Jeff Bezos

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that The Washington Post will soon be coming under new ownership.

Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com will be taking the reins. Bezos, 49, has done most of his political talking with his checkbook, shelling out millions in support of gay marriage last year and thousands more over the years on behalf of mostly Democratic candidates. Those who know Bezos say he has libertarian leanings.

Continue Reading »

The only constant in today's politics: Pessimism

The only constant in today's politics: Pessimism

There is a lot of uncertainty in politics. But this much is clear: for the past 20 years, Americans have taken a consistently pessimistic view of the direction of the country.

Six in 10 Americans say they think things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Just 36 percent say things are headed in the right direction.

Continue Reading »

African Americans and Latinos spur gay marriage revolution

Last Tuesday's election was a watershed moment for the gay marriage movement. Voters in three states voted to legalize it -- something no state had done before -- and a fourth state voted against a proposed ban.

And if the movement catches on in other states, African Americans and Latinos will be a big reason why.

Continue Reading »

Democrat Jay Inslee wins Washington governor’s race

Democrat Jay Inslee wins Washington governor’s race

Former congressman Jay Inslee (D) was declared the winner of the Washington state governor's race on Friday night, handing Democrats their third win in the three most competitive gubernatorial races in 2012.

Inslee led state Attorney General Rob McKenna (R) 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent with 80 percent of precincts reporting. AP has called the race in Inslee's favor.

Continue Reading »

WaPo-ABC tracking poll: final weekend tally is Obama 50, Romney 47, still a margin of error contest

WaPo-ABC tracking poll: final weekend tally is Obama 50, Romney 47, still a margin of error contest

Heading into Election Day, likely voters divide 50 percent for President Obama and 47 percent for his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, according to the latest, final weekend release of the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll.

A nail-biter throughout, the presidential contest remains closely competitive through its last days, even as most voters perceive a likely win for the president.

Continue Reading »

Washington Post/ABC News poll: The good news for Obama

The Fix’s Sean Sullivan wrote a few moments ago about what’s good for Mitt Romney in the latest Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll.

Below, we look at a few reasons the poll (full results here) is good news for Obama.

1. Obama is still winning on his signature issues

The Obama campaign has been focused like a laser on taxes, Medicare and women’s issues, and they’re winning on all three issues by double digits. The president leads by 11 points on handling of taxes, 12 points on Medicare and 13 points on “addressing women’s issues.” Even as Romney has made up ground on foreign policy and continues to run strong on the economy, Obama has made the three issues above his own.

Continue Reading »

Most are negative about Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments

A majority of Americans have unfavorable views of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s comments — caught on film at a fundraiser — regarding the “47 percent” of people who don’t pay federal income taxes and simply would not vote for him, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll

Fifty-four percent of those polled regarded Romney’s comments in an unfavorable light while 32 percent saw them favorable. The public reaction to the comments is, not surprisingly this close to an election, a partisan one. More than three-quarters of Democrats have negative impressions of Romney’s comments, with most having “strongly unfavorable” views. Independents too tilt negative by more than 2 to 1: 57 to 27 percent. (Among Republicans, nearly two-thirds have favorable views of Romney’s comments.)

Continue Reading »

Political conventions had the Worst Week in Washington

OK, we admit it: We love convention season. Despite the lack of sleep, the August/September heat and the fact that we essentially neglect our families for two weeks straight, there’s nothing quite like the scene that is the political convention.

All of that said, it’s time the political convention did a little soul-searching.

Continue Reading »

Todd Akin had the ‘Worst Week in Washington’

Todd Akin had the ‘Worst Week in Washington’

After one of the shortest “Worst Week in Washington” deliberations in modern history, Rep. Todd Akin has been crowned with the hebdomadal(dis)honor.

Cillizza writes:

It took just two words forTodd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri, to wreck his political future.

The two words legitimate rape were uttered during a local TV interview last weekend as part of a longer (and kooky) argument by Akin that many women who have been raped dont become pregnant. If its a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down, he said. (In case you had any doubts, Akin is a member of Congress, not a doctor.)

A national firestorm ensued, with nearly every prominent Republican in the country up to and including presidential candidateMitt Romney calling on Akin to step asideso he wouldnt cost the party a very winnable race against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

Akin has become the political equivalent of those Japanese soldiers who continued to fight World War II after their side conceded. Hes a political dead man walking, and everyone seems to know it. Everyone, that is, but Akin.

Todd Akin, for not grasping that legitimate rape totally delegitimized your candidacy, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Continue Reading »

Worst Week in Washington: Vincent Gray

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he looks in the mirror every day and sees someone that he respects.

Unfortunately for him, fewer and fewer of his constituents can say the same when they look at their mayor.

That’s why, for the second time in two months, the D.C. mayor has had “Worst Week in Washington” honors bestowed (thrust?) upon him.
Vincent Gray makes an appearance at a Democrat unity gathering at Judiciary Square in 2010. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Continue Reading »

Redskins fans may want to keep an eye on North Dakota tonight

Washington Redskins fans who treasure their team’s nickname may want to cast their eyes westward tonight as North Dakotans vote on whether to preserve their team’s own divisive mascot.
The North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey team. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Measure 4 in North Dakota is one of the most significant developments in the decades-long controversy over American Indian mascots used by colleges and pro sports teams.

The University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname — which has long been controversial but now risks financial and competitive sanctions from the NCAA — will face a rare public referendum in what has been a lengthy and ongoing process.

Continue Reading »

Top appropriator Rep. Norm Dicks to retire


In this March 30, 2011 file photo, Rep. Norm Dicks ( D-Wash.) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite - Associated Press)
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) announced Friday that he will not seek reelection this year.

“I am proud that many of these friendships have crossed the ideological and party lines that tend to separate us, and I have always believed that we can achieve greater results if we leave politics aside when the election season and the floor debates are over,” Dicks said in a statement announcing his decision.

Dicks, 71, and in his 18th term in Congress, is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, and he was in line to become Appropriations Committee chairman if Democrats were able to regain the majority — which looks like it’s at least possible.

Continue Reading »

Bob McDonnell had the ‘Worst Week in Washington’

The Republican presidential candidates aren’t the only ones having to deal with some uncomfortable social issues this days.

This week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — many insiders’ choice to be the GOP’s vice presidential nominee — had his own abortion tempest to deal with.

Continue Reading »

Newt Gingrich’s risky Super Tuesday strategy

Newt Gingrich is handing Rick Santorum a golden opportunity to prove himself as the true anti-Romney conservative before Super Tuesday.

So far, the former House speaker’s campaign has shown little inclination to play in the three states that will hold their contests before March 6, a risky strategy that could pretty easily backfire.

That may be changing — Gingrich has hired some staff in Washington and is now pledging to visit Michigan — but his campaign is a little late to the game, which could play into Santorum’s hands.

Continue Reading »

Ron Paul still waiting for elusive first victory

Ron Paul still waiting for elusive first victory

Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) campaign may have blown its best chance at winning a state in the Republican presidential contest last week in Maine.

But there will be other opportunities in the weeks ahead.

The final results from Maine showed Paul losing to Mitt Romney by fewer than 200 votes. His campaign is crying foul over one county having postponed its caucus, but the result seems set in stone.

Continue Reading »

Jon Huntsman’s “Worst” week

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, after a less-than-expected third place finish in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, won our “Worst Week in Washington” award for the week.


Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman celebrates his third place finish at his election night party January 10, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT

Continue Reading »

New Washington map creates competitive district

New Washington map creates competitive district

Members of Washington state’s bipartisan redistricting commission released a compromise map Wednesday that is expected to be pretty close to the (if not the) final version of the state’s new congressional districts.

The map creates a competitive district running from the Seattle suburbs in King County all the way up to the Canadian border, bringing in fast-growing Snohomish County. With the state gaining one seat, the commissioners agreed to give both sides a fair shot at winning the new district, which leans slightly Democratic, according to an early review of the map.

Continue Reading »

Congress had the “Worst Year in Washington”

Congress had the “Worst Year in Washington”

In a year filled with bad news, it wasn’t easy to make our pick for who or what had the absolute worst 2011 in Washington.

We weighed giving it to former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) whose Twitter sex scandal won him a record four “Worst Week” awards. We took into account the more than 71,000 votes that you all cast — with “the long term unemployed” coming out on top. (Weiner was second in the voting.)

Continue Reading »

Who had the best year in Washington?

Who had the best year in Washington?

Every week in 2011, we “awarded” someone or, occasionally, some thing, our “Worst Week in Washington” honor.

And, every week we got a few emails and tweets from people asking us why we didn’t award a “Best Week in Washington”. The answer can be summed up in a single (German) word: schadenfreude. There is a part of all of us that takes secret (or maybe not-so-secret) pleasure in the misfortune of others.

Continue Reading »

Who had the “Worst Year in Washington”?

2011 is rapidly coming to a close. And that means that we are on the verge of declaring who had “Worst Year in Washington”! (There are LOTS of good choices; it was a pretty bad year all around.)

But, there’s still time to vote on who you think deserves this “honor” . Then tune in later this week for the big reveal!

Tell us your pick for the “Worst Year in Washington” on Twitter using #WorstYear

Herman Cain had the “Worst Week in Washington”. Again.

After acknowledging that he was “reassessing” his presidential campaign in the wake of the allegations of an extramarital affair with an Atlanta woman, businessman Herman Cain doesn’t look much like a winner.


Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain leaves the Manchester Union Leader newspaper after meeting with the editorial board, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Except of course if you are talking about the “Worst Week in Washington” award, which the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza ran away with again this week.

The full writeup will be in Sunday’s Outlook section — check it out! — but here’s a taste:

If your boss tells you he is “reassessing” your role in the company, it’s time to get your résumé polished up.
If your wife tells you she is “reassessing” your marriage, it’s time to start looking for your own apartment.
And so, when Herman Cain announced on a conference call this past week that he was “reassessing” his presidential campaign, the writing appeared to be on the wall.

Don’t forget to nominate your pick for our “Worst Year in Washington” competition. You can do that here or tweet to #worstyear.

Who had the “Worst Year in Washington”?

It’s been an amazing year in the nation’s capital.


Who had the worst year in Washington? (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
From the debt ceiling crisis to the rollercoaster Republican race for president, politics has been endlessly fascinating. (Isn’t it always?) The Capitals and Nationals both changed their managers in 2011 and the Redskins (still) stink. Heck, we even had an earthquake.

But who (or what) had the absolute worst year in Washington? We want to hear from you!

You can check out all of the “winners” of our “Worst Week in Washington” award here. And, make sure to check out our writeup of the Michael Steele, who had the worst 2010 in Washington.

Make sure to stay tuned for the official unveiling of the “Worst Year” — as well as some folks who had, gasp, good years in Washington — in December.

Tell us your pick for the “Worst Year in Washington” on Twitter using #WorstYear

Read more on PostPolitics.com

Supercommittee wins “Worst Week in Washington”

Supercommittee wins “Worst Week in Washington”

It may only be Tuesday but the supercommittee’s failure to agree on, well, anything makes it a runaway winner for our “Worst Week in Washington” award. (Plus, this is a holiday-shortened week so Tuesday is the new Thursday.)

As we write in our “Worst Week” writeup:

In a story arc familiar to Washington Redskins fans in recent years, the congressional “supercommittee” — the 12-member panel tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in federal budget cuts by Thanksgiving — began with a sense of hope against impossible odds, only to devolve into the finger-pointing when faced with failure.

Continue Reading »

Who has the most to lose in the economic debate (and why)?

The Washington Post and Bloomberg News are sponsoring an economic-focused debate among the 2012 Republican presidential candidates at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on Tuesday.


presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, listens as Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement during a debate Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, Pool)
The economy is the dominant issue of both the Republican primary fight and next year's general election so each of the candidates have a considerable amount riding on their debate performance.

Our question for you: Which of the Republican presidential candidates has the most at stake at the debate?

Is it former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who has staked his campaign on the economic know-how he learned in the private sector? Or Texas Gov. Rick Perry whose job creation successes in the Lonestar State have formed the foundation of his nascent campaign? What about businessman Herman Cain who is the fastest rising star in the GOP field? Or is is someone else?

Offer your thought via Quora or in the comments section below. We’ll incorporate them into our debate preview in advance of Tuesday’s debate.

A Chris Christie groundswell? Maybe not

A Chris Christie groundswell? Maybe not

Nearly six in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents either don’t want or don’t know if they want Chris Christie to run for president in 2012, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll — numbers that throw some cold water on the idea that the party is clamoring for the New Jersey governor to enter the race.

Continue Reading »

Ron Paul’s Republican problem

Ron Paul’s Republican problem

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the most enigmatic figure in the Republican race for president.

On the one hand, his call for fiscal austerity resounds with tea party-affiliated primary voters. On the other, his views on foreign policy — including the idea that America all but incited the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 — are decidedly less popular.

Continue Reading »