Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

Why Hillary Clinton Could Be the Kind of President Bernie Sanders Supporters Will Love

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
AP Photo/Seth Wenig Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a speaker at a rally in the Staten Island borough of New York, Sunday, April 17, 2016. I t's frustrating to be a Bernie Sanders supporter right now. Your candidate has plenty of impressive wins behind him, Hillary Clinton is still far from having the nomination wrapped up, and yet everyone is talking as if the race is over. First they didn't take your guy seriously, and now they want to push him out of the race. With the expectedly raucous New York primary coming up Tuesday, it's no wonder that there's no small amount of animosity coming from Sanders fans toward Clinton. In fact, in a recent McClatchy/Marist poll , 25 percent of Sanders supporters say they won't vote for Clinton if she's the party's nominee. They may not want to hear it yet, but those who support Sanders might start thinking about how they could exert influence over Clinton's presidency. Because some of what they don't like about Clinton—...

Republicans Haven't Stopped Digging Their Hole with Latino Voters

(Photo: AP/Wilfredo Lee)
(Photo: AP/Wilfredo Lee) GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz stand onstage during the March 10 Republican presidential debate. Y ou might remember how back in March 2012, Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom dismissed concerns about Romney's ability to pivot to the general election by saying that moving from the primary to the general is "almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again." Romney couldn't, though: He remained the man he had been during the primaries, someone who was so eager to ingratiate himself to suspicious Republican base voters that he sometimes descended into self-parody ("I was a severely conservative Republican governor," he said proudly at one point). No matter how he tried, he couldn't convince voters that the person they saw in the primary was something other than the president he would have been. That was particularly true among Latinos, who gave Romney only 27 percent of their votes according to...

Donald Trump's Ignorant Honesty

Al Drago/CQ Roll Call/AP Images
Al Drago/CQ Roll Call/AP Images Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Racine, Wisconsin, Saturday, April 2, 2016. F or a guy so eager to tell you about the majestic size and quality of his brain, Donald Trump has a way of displaying his ignorance and getting into trouble whenever he gets asked detailed questions about a policy issue. And something has changed: Now it's actually doing him some harm. The latest controversy, on abortion, shows us how some of what has served Trump so well in the primaries is coming back to bite him as he moves toward the general election. For months, we all marvelled at how Trump could say almost anything, no matter how offensive or stupid, without suffering any damage in the polls. But that was possible because of the particular polls that mattered at the time: polls of Republican primary voters. And for Trump voters told for years that "political correctness" was oppressing them and ruining the country, the...

Barack Obama Is Looking Better and Better

(Photo: AP/Natacha Pisarenko)
(Photo: AP/Natacha Pisarenko) President Barack Obama waves as arrives in Bariloche, Argentina, on March 24. I magine the pain your average Republican must feel when he opens his morning paper. His party is not just riven by internal dissent, but looks like it will nominate a spectacularly unpopular candidate to be its standard-bearer in 2016, with a campaign that gets more farcical every day, bringing ignominy upon a party that has suffered so much already. And now, to add insult to injury, the president he loathes with such fervor is looking ... rather popular with the American public. Barack Obama's approval ratings are now above 50 percent in daily Gallup tracking , and have been for weeks. He's risen higher in public esteem than he's been in three years. Every poll taken in the last month and a half shows him with a positive approval rating. You might say that it's no great achievement to be above 50 percent. After all, didn't Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan leave office with...

How to Explain Which Republicans Will Support Trump, and Which Won't

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio carries a sign reading "Dump Trump", in reference to candidate Donald Trump, at Rubio's campaign headquarters, Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Miami. I t's been a tough few years for the Republican "establishment." Criticized and vilified, they've become a pariah within the party they're supposed to dominate. The only saving grace is that since the group itself is so nebulous, anybody can claim that they aren't a part of it. Perhaps that's why the establishment seems to have such trouble getting its act together. It couldn't stop the Tea Party from determining the GOP's agenda, it couldn't get any of its favored candidates the presidential nomination, and now what may be its final stab at asserting its will in this era—a last-ditch attempt to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee—seems doomed to fail. In the process, though, there's something interesting happening, something that offers a...