2020 Primary Primers

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    Primary Primers: The Electoral College is a complex institution that may be making contemporary political conflicts worse

Primary Primers: The Electoral College is a complex institution that may be making contemporary political conflicts worse

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In US presidential elections, the winner is determined not by who wins the most votes nationwide, but by who wins a majority in the Electoral College, with every state having an elector for each of the state’s US House and Senate seats. In the wake of a number of elections in recent years which have seen the winner of […]

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    Primary Primers: The line between presidential politics and popular culture is becoming increasingly blurred

Primary Primers: The line between presidential politics and popular culture is becoming increasingly blurred

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While popular culture has never been far from politics, the campaign and election of Barack Obama in 2008 was the beginning of a new trend of candidates and politicians embracing and influencing celebrity in much more visible ways. Giovanna Di Mauro writes that the greater accessibility of popular culture via social media and the internet means that we are […]

  • Permalink Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of more than 200 service members and civilians as they listen to his message of thanks and his appreciation for military members and their families Jan. 13, 2010, on Camp Victory, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andrew Lee)Gallery

    Primary Primers: No matter who wins the Democratic primary, an end to ‘Forever War’ is unlikely

Primary Primers: No matter who wins the Democratic primary, an end to ‘Forever War’ is unlikely

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Since 2001, the US has been engaged in a global campaign of counterterrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Tom Watts writes that if a Democrat is elected to the White House in 2020, the ‘Forever/Endless War’ is unlikely to end. As presidential candidates, both Barack Obama and Donald Trump pledged to change how transnational terrorist organisations were fought, […]

  • Permalink Credit: Nicolas Raymond (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)Gallery

    Primary Primers: The US primary-style contest for the next UK Prime Minister is the worst of both worlds

Primary Primers: The US primary-style contest for the next UK Prime Minister is the worst of both worlds

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As the United States gears up for its next presidential race next year, the United Kingdom is also in the throes of a contest to elect its next leader. While both contests involve presidential style debates and a great deal of public scrutiny, Robin Pettitt writes that in the UK, only the 160,00 which are members of the Conservative […]

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    Primary Primers: Italy shows that the road to high office can sometimes pass through City Hall

Primary Primers: Italy shows that the road to high office can sometimes pass through City Hall

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Like the US, until recently Italian politics had virtually never seen a city mayor elevated to its highest office. That all changed with the appointment of the former Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi as Prime Minister of Italy in 2014. Emanuele Monaco sees close parallels between the rise of Renzi and the presidential ambitions of the Mayor of South […]

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    Primary Primers: Why a little bit of populism may be a good thing for the Democrats’ 2020 candidates

Primary Primers: Why a little bit of populism may be a good thing for the Democrats’ 2020 candidates

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In the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump’s populism helped to elevate him to the White House. Now, with the Democratic presidential primaries fast approaching, Rubrick Biegon looks at whether populism may pay a part in the left’s political strategies. He comments that Trump has firmly planted American populism on the right and that in their personal attacks on him, […]

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    Primary Primers: Why Joe Biden’s polling lead for the Democratic nomination may be more tenuous than many believe

Primary Primers: Why Joe Biden’s polling lead for the Democratic nomination may be more tenuous than many believe

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As we head into the first round of debates between the candidates for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden has a commanding polling lead over the other contenders. Ronald Ranta writes that Biden’s polling lead may in fact be masking a fragile position. As the field narrows, he argues, Biden may lose ground to […]

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    Primary Primers: Three reasons why foreign policy negotiations during the 2020 campaign season are a bad idea

Primary Primers: Three reasons why foreign policy negotiations during the 2020 campaign season are a bad idea

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As both campaign and as presidential rhetoric, Donald Trump has boasted of his deal making prowess. However, like for all other presidents before him, the deals that Donald Trump makes internationally will be informed by US domestic politics – especially in the lead-up to a presidential election. Looking to the past, Andrew Payne writes that while previous administrations have […]

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    Primary Primers: Why California is set to matter even more in the 2020 election

Primary Primers: Why California is set to matter even more in the 2020 election

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The Golden State is the most populated in the US, has the largest GDP, and importantly, is likely to have the most primary delegates in the 2020 Democratic nomination contest. Peter Finn and Robert Ledger write that by moving its presidential primary from June to March, the Democratic-dominated state is now poised to play a significant role in determining […]

  • Permalink Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division salute the American flag as the United States anthem is being played during their departure ceremony at historic Fort Snelling May 22, 2011.  1st BCT will be deploying to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn.Gallery

    Primary Primers: Many of the candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary want to re-write America’s foreign policy

Primary Primers: Many of the candidates in the 2020 Democratic primary want to re-write America’s foreign policy

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Since the early 1990s, US foreign policy has largely centered on promoting and preserving – often via military interventions – the rules-based order of democracy and free-trade across the world. Thomas Furse writes that many candidates in the Democratic Party’s 2020 primary field advocate that the US pursues a more restrained foreign policy – one that emphasizes consent, not […]

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