The Washington Post

What’s striking about this debate is how detached it is from some simple facts about the 2012 election—facts that suggest that the Republican Party doesn’t need an overhaul.

It's a common view of what's wrong with American politics: Gerrymandering has created a bunch of safe-seat legislators whp drift further and further to the ideological extremes. But it's not true.

Consider this poll question: “When you think of people who are Republicans, what type of person comes to mind?” 31 percent picked words like “wealthy” and “business executive” while only 6 percent chose “working class” and its kindred.

Last week, for the first time this fall, Republican advertising in the presidential election essentially matched Democratic advertising. In the period from Oct. 22-27, the Democrats aired about 38,700 ads while Romney and his allies aired about 38,200 ads.

That's the key question, right? So here are some of the more thoughtful estimates from the election wonks.

  • Ezra Klein
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  • Oct 4, 2012
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The debates probably won't affect the election. And if they do, it'll be the media coverage of them that tips the scale.

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Oct 3, 2012
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It's no secret that a small fraction of the population changes its mind over the course of the campaign. Now Lynn Vavreck and John Sides have estimated just how small that fraction is: 6 percent.

  • Dylan Matthews
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  • Sep 21, 2012
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Obama has consistently out-advertised Romney, but his advantage has been mitigated or even eliminated by the efforts of independent groups on the Republican side and, to a lesser extent, the Republican National Committee.