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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Politics, by the numbers: Evaluating 2016 by diving into the data

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | Two years from today, Iowa — dark, brooding, enigmatic Iowa — will be enjoying its quadrennial moment as the epicenter of the universe. And in 10 months, voters will vent their spleens — if they still are as splenetic as they now claim to be — in congressional elections. Some numbers define the political landscape.

In an October poll, 60 percent favored voting out of office every congressional incumbent. The poll was taken just 11 months after voters reelected 90 percent of House and 91 percent of Senate incumbents. Democrats are more likely to lose control of the Senate than gain control of the House. Ninety-three percent of Republican House members represent districts Mitt Romney carried, 96 percent of Democratic members represent districts Barack Obama carried. Since the mid-19th-century emergence of the current two-party competition, no party holding the presidency has ever won control of the House in a midterm election.

Larry Sabato and Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Center for Politics note that, since the Civil War, the average turnout in presidential elections has been 63 percent and in midterms 48 percent. The decline comes mostly from the party holding the presidency, and analyst Charlie Cook says three crucial components of Obama’s coalition — unmarried women, minorities (more than 40 percent of Obama’s 2012 vote) and young people — are especially prone to skipping midterms. In the seven midterms since 1984, voters younger than 30 averaged 13 percent of the midterm vote, down from 19 percent during presidential years.



Furthermore, for House elections much of the Democratic vote is inefficiently concentrated in and around large cities. Obama won 80 percent or more in 27 districts; Romney did so in only one. That is why in 2012, Democratic House candidates got about 1.4 million more votes than Republican candidates but did not win control of the House.

Today the 30 Republican governors — four short of the all-time GOP high of 34 in the 1920s — represent 315 electoral votes. Republicans have a 52 percent majority of state legislative seats. After the 2012 elections, Republicans controlled the governorships and legislatures in 25 states with 53 percent of the nation’s population; Democrats had unified control of 13 states with 30 percent of the population.

Since the emergence of the Republican Party, only two Democratic presidents, Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, have been followed by Democrats, and both FDR and JFK died in office, so their successors ran as incumbents. But Republicans have not decisively won a presidential election since 1988. Since then, no Republican nominee has won more than 50.8 percent of the vote. In the six elections from 1992 to 2012, Republicans averaged 211 electoral votes, Democrats 327. Republicans lost the popular vote in five of these elections, and in the sixth, 2004, George W. Bush’s margin was the smallest ever for a reelection.

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In 2012, Obama became the first president since Ronald Reagan to win two popular-vote majorities, but Obama got 3.6 million fewer votes than in 2008, a 5 percent decline. (The prior reelected president, Bush, got 11.6 million more votes in 2004 than in 2000.) Except for a small gain among those age 30 to 39, Obama lost ground among every age cohort. And in 2012, Republicans improved the share of votes they got in 2008 from men (in 2012 Obama became the first person to win a presidential election while losing the male vote by seven points), whites, young voters and Jews. And independents: John McCain lost them 44 to 52 but Romney won them 50 to 45. And by September 2013, independents were leaning Republican by 18 points, above even the 14-point advantage Republicans had in 2010.

In three of the most intensely contested states in 2012, Florida, Virginia and Ohio, Obama’s victory margins averaged 2.6 points. But even if he had lost all three he would have still won with 272 electoral votes. Analyst Jeffrey Bell calculates this:

“Of the 12 ‘battleground’ states, Obama won 11 — eight of them by a margin of more than 5 percentage points. Remarkably, this meant that if there had been a uniform 5 point swing toward the Republicans in the national popular vote margin — that is, had Romney won the popular vote by 1.1 percentage points instead of losing it by 3.9 — Obama would still have prevailed in the Electoral College, winning 23 states and 272 electoral votes.”

These numbers suggest that the great political prizes can be won by either party. There will be more numbers to contemplate by the time the 1 percent of Americans who live in Iowa are heard from.

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