Kevin O'Leary

Kevin O'Leary, a journalist and political scientist, is a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine. 

Recent Articles

Alabama Senate Special Election Hinges on African American Turnout

Will the traditional method of turning out black voters in Alabama be enough to carry Democrat Doug Jones to victory?

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) Former Vice President Joe Biden and Democrat Doug Jones walk onstage at a rally on October 3, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama. T he question hovering over the Alabama Senate contest between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore is whether blacks will turn out to vote in sufficient numbers to give Jones a shot at victory in the December 12 special election less than two weeks before Christmas. The race is a dead heat going into its final week, according to the latest Washington Post poll , and national money has poured into the Democrat’s campaign since Moore was accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls while working as a 30-something district attorney. As a result, the Jones campaign is “well resourced” to both pursue moderate white voters and fund a “robust base consolidation” operation among African Americans, says Montgomery-based Democratic pollster Zac McCrary. To become Alabama’s first Democratic Senator in two decades and the first Democrat...

Could Alabama Be Next?

Doug Jones’s uphill battle against Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race

Jeronimo Nisa /The Decatur Daily via AP Candidate Doug Jones chats with constituents before a Democratic Senate candidate forum at the Princess Theatre in Decatur, Alabama T he hill country of northern Alabama holds one of the keys to next month’s special election that will decide if GOP Christian firebrand Roy S. Moore or Democrat Doug Jones joins the U.S. Senate in 2018. Nearly everyone agrees that Jones is a quality candidate and a man of integrity. In the early 2000s, as U.S. attorney he successfully prosecuted the last of the Birmingham Church bombers who killed four African American girls in 1963—a time when white Alabama stood firmly behind then Governor George Wallace trying to derail the civil rights revolution. The December 12 special election to fill the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be the first general Senate election of President Trump’s tenure. Progressives hope Jones can score an upset against Moore, whose extreme views of religion, the...

Time's Up

I n the aftermath of September 11, a writer to The New York Times spoke for many New Yorkers when he wrote, "There is no more eloquent testimony to the mindlessness of term limits than the performance of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani during this time of crisis. We mistake change for improvement, and New York City will be the poorer because of our unwillingness to let the voters decide when a leader should depart." An extraordinary crisis coupled with a gifted leader is a powerful argument against arbitrary limits in the executive branch. It was fortunate for the nation that President Lincoln could run for a second term in 1864 and President Roosevelt could run for a third term in 1940 and then a fourth in 1944. The nation's state legislatures present an even stronger argument against term limits. There, the pluses--greater diversity, more members with local government experience--can't make up for the damage done. The damage wouldn't be so great if the United States had a parliamentary...