Michael Barone

Posted November 25, 2014

About half of minimum wage earners are not in the lowest fifth households in income. Even fewer are their own household's primary earner. Almost all economists agree that when the minimum wage is raised, some employees lose their jobs.

Posted November 21, 2014

"When the facts change, I change my mind," economist John Maynard Keynes said when charged with inconsistency. "What do you do, sir?"

Posted November 18, 2014

Were the polls wrong? It's a question asked after every election. Sometimes, as in 1948, the answer seems as obvious as the answer to the question, "Why did Custer lose at Little Bighorn?" Sometimes the answer is less obvious, as it is this year.

Posted November 14, 2014

If you're a political junkie -- or at least if you're a conservative political junkie -- you've probably seen the map. It's a map of the United States showing the congressional districts won by Republicans in red and those won by Democrats in blue.

Posted November 10, 2014

Looking back on the 2014 election cycle, I see two largely unnoticed turning points that worked against Democrats and in Republicans' favor.

Posted November 07, 2014

Some observations on the election: (1) This was a wave, folks. It will be a benchmark for judging waves, for either party, for years. (2) In seriously contested races, Republican candidates were generally younger, more vigorous, more sunny and optimistic than Democrats. The contrast was sharpest in Colorado and Iowa, which voted twice for President Obama. Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst seemed to be looking forward to the future. Their opponents grimly championed the stale causes of feminists and trial lawyers of the past.

Posted November 04, 2014

Before the election results are in, and keeping in mind that there may be some unpleasant surprises for one party or the other -- or both -- it's possible to assess how the Democratic Party has fared under the leadership of President Obama. To summarize the verdict: not so well.

Posted October 31, 2014

Sherlock Holmes famously solved a mystery by noticing the dog that didn't bark in the night. Dogs that are not barking at night -- nor in prime time -- provide some useful clues to understanding the significance of this year's election.

Posted October 28, 2014

On Oct. 27, 1964, 50 years ago Monday, a movie actor and television host delivered a 30-minute speech on primetime national television in support of the presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwate

Posted October 24, 2014

You probably haven't read much commentary about this year's elections to the House of Representatives. There's a good reason for that: The majority in the Senate is up for grabs, but it's clear to everyone who follows these things that Republicans will continue to control the House.

Posted October 21, 2014

Francis Fukuyama picked an auspicious publication date for his latest book, "Political Order and Political Decay." The news is full of stories of political decay: the Centers for Disease Control and Ebola; the Department of Veterans Affairs' health service; the Internal Revenue Service political targeting.

Posted October 17, 2014

It's looking like a tough off year election for Democrats, with their Senate majority at serious risk and their chances of gaining House seats down toward zero.

Posted October 14, 2014

One question I'm asked in every electoral cycle is, "What are the surprise races in this election?" My answer in recent years has been, "There are no surprises, because any unexpected development becomes universally known in seconds."

Posted October 10, 2014

Things are spinning out of control. Out of control, at least, by government, and by the United States government in particular. You don't have to spend much time reading the news -- or monitoring your Twitter feed -- to get that impression. Armed fighting in Ukraine. Islamic State beheadings in Iraq and Syria. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong.

Posted October 07, 2014

Contained within that word and in the snarky tone of the story is the assumption that if you are politically opposed to a president, you won't mind seeing him or his family murdered. After all, you're against him, so why would you feel "deep worry for his security"?

Posted October 03, 2014

Republicans seem to be pulling away in the race to win a majority in the U.S. Senate. At least this week.

Posted September 30, 2014

President Obama's speech at the United Nations last week was "an important turning point in American foreign policy -- and in his presidency."

Posted September 26, 2014

Last week, the voters of Scotland, in a heavy turnout and from age 16 up, decided not to disunite what has been arguably one of the most successful and beneficial nations over the last 307 years, the necessarily clunkily named United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Posted September 23, 2014

What should we do about immigration policy? It's a question many are asking, and some useful perspective comes from an article in Foreign Affairs by British-born, California-based historian Gregory Clark, unhelpfully titled, "The American Dream Is an Illusion.

Posted September 19, 2014

Which of our two great political parties is the stronger? Maybe it makes more sense to ask which of the two is weaker.