Commentary

Capitol Perspectives: What’s next?

BY: - November 24, 2020

The title of this column is a question that kept popping into my head during Missouri’s gubernatorial campaign. That question repeatedly was asked by fictional Pres. Jed Bartlet in the TV series West Wing of two decades ago. Bartlet used that question to cut off meandering conversations by his staff that went nowhere. To one […]

Election spending in 2020 doubled to $14 billion – 3 takeaways from a campaign finance expert

BY: - November 23, 2020

Individuals and companies spent a record $14 billion trying to get politicians elected in 2020, according to the latest estimate, more than double the $6.5 billion expended in 2016. What do donors get for parting with all that cash? Some of those who put large sums toward supporting a winner, such as President-elect Joe Biden, […]

A record number of women will serve in the 117th Congress, including at least 51 women of color

BY: - November 17, 2020

Women will gain at least 14 seats in the 117th Congress, setting a new record for female representation. In 2018, the nation elected 127 women – and 48 women of color – to the House and Senate. Next Jan. 3, at least 141 women, including 51 women of color will be sworn in. Eight races […]

2020 was a bloodbath for Missouri Democrats. Will 2022 be any better?

BY: - November 16, 2020

There’s no point trying to spin it: While the 2020 election was a mixed verdict nationally, with Republicans gaining congressional seats and minimizing Senate losses even as Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump, the Missouri verdict was unequivocal. It hurts to say, but 2020 was a bloodbath for Missouri Democrats. It started atop the ticket […]

How you can help veterans every day

BY: - November 11, 2020

As the nation celebrates our 17 million living veterans, it is also important to know that the number of these heroes who are ending their own lives prematurely is rising. In the general population, suicide is the 10th most common cause of death, but among veterans with PTSD, it’s fourth. Among veterans younger than 35, […]

Mike Parson faces opportunities, challenges in new term as Missouri governor

BY: - November 9, 2020

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson made history last week.  He became the first Republican in more than three decades to win a second term as governor, winning a landslide victory by nearly 500,000 votes.  And just like his first go round — after he took over following Eric Greitens’ June 2018 resignation — Parson will take […]

Biden wins – experts on what it means for race relations, US foreign policy and the Supreme Court

BY: , and - November 9, 2020

The American public has had its say and for the first time in a generation denied a sitting president a second term. President Donald Trump’s tenure lasted just four years, but in that time he dragged policy on an array of key issues in a dramatic new direction. Joe Biden’s victory, confirmed by the Associated […]

An embarrassing failure for election pollsters

BY: - November 6, 2020

Election polling is facing yet another reckoning following its uneven-at-best performance in this year’s voting. Although the outcome in the 2020 presidential race remained uncertain the next day, it was evident that polls collectively faltered, overall, in providing Americans with clear indications as to how the election would turn out. And that misstep promises to […]

Capitol Perspectives: Election night reporting history

BY: - November 5, 2020

There are four Missourians who helped develop the systems that provide you with accurate and prompt election night returns. To understand this column, you need to realize that the results reported on election night are neither official nor complete. In fact, Missouri law provides a several-week delay after the election to assure accuracy of the […]

On Election Day, Missouri Republicans dominate up and down the ballot

BY: - November 4, 2020

Missouri is a red state. If there was any doubt about that at all, Republicans put it to rest Tuesday night.  Not only did Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and his fellow GOP statewide officeholders run the table, they did it by each winning nearly 60 percent of the vote. And U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner survived […]

Why Americans are so enamored with election polls

BY: - November 2, 2020

The Republican pollster Frank Luntz warned on Twitter and elsewhere the other day that if preelection polls in this year’s presidential race are embarrassingly wrong again, “then the polling industry is done.” It was quite the forecast. While it is possible the polls will misfire, it’s exceedingly unlikely that such failure would cause the opinion […]

Capitol Perspectives: Further reflections on Gov. Mel Carnahan’s death

BY: - October 30, 2020

The recent thoughts written by others about the tragic death of Gov. Mel Carnahan two decades ago have prompted me to add some personal details. There was something about Carnahan that touched all of us who covered the statehouse during his time in the Capitol. The informal, completely transparent and laid-back personality of Carnahan were […]