Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

The Return of Mark Sanford

If there’s a lesson from yesterday’s special election in the first district of South Carolina—which covers most of Charleston, as well as small towns like Summerville and Goose Creek—it’s that Republican voters in the state are willing to do anything but vote for a Democrat. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (sister of Stephen Colbert) ran a well-funded campaign to take the seat, but couldn’t prevail over disgraced former governor Mark Sanford, who won by a comfortable nine-point margin . Not that this comes as a surprise. Not only does Sanford have a long-standing relationship with the district—he held the seat for three terms before becoming governor—but it’s also a deeply conservative area which Republicans routinely win by double-digits or more. Yes, one early poll from Public Policy Polling gave Colbert-Busch a large lead over Sanford, but at every point, the most likely outcome was a win for the former governor. It’s tempting to read a broader narrative into this race, but the truth is...

The Future of White People

honeyfitz/Flickr Writing for Reuters , Reihan Salam has an excellent take on the evolution of Hispanic identity. He doesn’t try to relate this with the current push for immigration reform, but it’s useful to consider in the broader context of American politics. Here’s the key passage: The Census Bureau relies on individuals to self-identify with a given ethnic category. We now know, however, that many individuals who could identify as Hispanic, by virtue of a parent or grandparent born in a Spanish-speaking country, choose not to do so. In recent years, Brian Duncan, an economist at the University of Colorado Denver, and Stephen Trejo, an economist at the University of Texas at Austin, have been studying this “ethnic attrition rate” among U.S. immigrants and their descendants. And their findings suggest that while a given generation of Americans might identify as Hispanic, there is a decent chance that their children will not. This squares with what I found last year, in my piece for...

Did the Obama Campaign Matter?

President Obama’s 2012 reelection victory was immediately followed by reporting and analysis on his turnout operation, which surpassed 2008’s in scope and scale. The Obama campaign devoted millions to sophisticated polling, modeling, and data collection. It was able to pinpoint particular demographic groups, and target them with mail, advertisements, volunteers and everything else in their arsenal. The general assumption from everyone—including myself—was that this operation was integral to Obama’s success. Or was it? At The Monkey Cage , political scientists Ryan Enos and Anthony Fowler find that Obama’s voter mobilization effort—while more sophisticated than any other operation in election history—was only slightly more effective than Mitt Romney’s. Here are the details: While registered Democrats and Republicans in these media markets (7.5 million and 7.0 million individuals, respectively) were heavily targeted by the Obama and Romney campaigns, others may not have been. Among...

Ken Cuccinelli Is Winning. Here's Why.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Gage Skidmore/Flickr The race between Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli isn’t as bleak as the fight between Godzilla and Moth-Ra (thanks, Jonathan Chait, for the comparison ), but it’s close. Fairly or not, McAuliffe is seen as a soulless Democratic Party hack, with few supporters and nothing to connect him to the state or its history. But he’s better than Ken Cuccinelli, whose entire reputation is for right-wing revanchism. He hates taxes, he hates abortion, and has used his position as attorney general to launch ideological crusades against health care reform and climate science. The only difference between him and a candidate like Todd Akin is that Cuccinelli actually stands a chance of winning. To wit, according to the latest Washington Post poll, Cuccinelli holds a ten-point lead over McAuliffe among likely voters, and a five point lead among all Virginians. How is this possible in a state Barack Obama won twice? Demographics. The drop-off between presidential and gubernatorial...

A Roaring Jobs Report

Barack Obama/Flickr
Here is the thing to remember about every jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: You have to wait for the revisions. Remember, the monthly jobs report is a scientific survey of households and employers. That doesn’t mean it’s inaccurate, but for any given survey, there are ways to improve the accuracy and reach a higher degree of precision. Month after month, this is what the BLS does—it tests and adjusts, in order to get the most accurate account of the where the economy stands. With all of that said, this month was a solid one for jobs; April employment grew by 165,000 jobs, a decent number, though not as good as it should be given population growth and the still-sluggish economy. The number of long-term unemployed declined 258,000 to 4.4 million (around 37 percent of all unemployed Americans). Joblessness dropped to a four-year-low of 7.5 percent. But more important than this is the revisions. As it turns out, February was the biggest month for job growth in years—the BLS...