Trump, Paul and How to Read the Polls

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
Read More.
a | A

1. Nice primer on how to read the polls from Brendan Nyhan at the Upshot.

2. Dan Drezner is not impressed with WikiLeaks accusations against academic organizations and journals… or, really, with the WikiLeaks leaks.

3. Scott Lemieux gets it right on Rand Paul. He never really has had a chance at the nomination. His recently reported foibles are entertaining, maybe even interesting, but they’re not why he’s not going to be nominated. Two additional points. Paul could still have a surge; plenty of candidates have been written off after slumps (including future nominees John McCain and Barack Obama in 2008). And: Remember that winning candidates, too, make mistakes and have obnoxious staff members and all the rest of it; we just don’t see it written up like this. Still, it’s unusual for a candidate to reach for the presidency after contesting only one previous election, and likely to cause problems.

4. Excellent stuff at Mischiefs of Faction by John Patty about candidates, parties and campaign staff (OK, he should have cited my work, but that’s how it goes).

5. I pretty much agree with Ed Kilgore on how the media should be handling the Donald Trump story.

6. At Vox, David Roberts on the Republican-aligned media. I basically agree with each of his basic points (and have written on them many times, as has Roberts). My one caveat: we know this is all true, but we don’t really have a sense of how important it is. That is, the conservative marketplace is filled with perverse incentives for the Republican Party – that’s certain – but we don’t really know exactly how large an influence it is. It’s more than negligible; it’s less than total (after all, normal, healthy incentives still exist for many Republican politicians, campaign and governing professionals, and party-aligned interest groups). We don’t have good tools for measuring this sort of stuff.

7. And Bloomberg View’s Zara Kessler on the millennials in the basement.

Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at

To contact the editor on this story:
Maria Lamagna at