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Less than one week after the South Carolina primary results shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination, AEI's Election Watch team gathered Thursday for their second event of the 2012 campaign season. Moderator Karlyn Bowman started things off with a discussion of some fun campaign facts, such as the origin of Mitt Romney’s real first name—Willard—and which candidate voters most want to see on "Dancing with the Stars." After Michael Barone gave a quick overview of the current state of the presidential race, he and Henry Olsen faced off in a mini-debate about the upcoming Florida primary. Olsen explained how Newt Gingrich could win the primary, noting that Gingrich has the ability to unite conservatives who think passion is most important and those who value experience. Barone argued that Romney could win Florida because Gingrich's unfavorable ratings are clearly higher than Romney's; Romney is more able to pick up votes from individuals who do not currently support him. Norm Ornstein offered a view of the congressional landscape, maintaining that it would be very difficult for the Democrats to take back the House this November. He also argued that super PACs in this year's presidential and congressional campaigns made it possible for small numbers of wealthy individuals to overcome the importance of traditional fundraising and organization.
Does Newt Gingrich's impressive victory in South Carolina set the stage for a long, drawn-out GOP nomination contest? At AEI's Election Watch event on January 26, Karlyn Bowman, Michael Barone, Henry Olsen and Norman Ornstein will discuss the state of the race and the state of the union, reflecting on the races thus far and looking ahead to Florida and the caucuses in early February. The team will also examine President Obama's standing, views on the Republicans in Congress, money in 2012 and early evidence on redistricting.
Join AEI's Election Watch team for a reflection on the races that have already taken place and a look ahead to the contests to come. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, AEI's Election Watch series is Washington's longest-running election program for a reason: serious historical commentary and insights that can't be beat.
Online registration for this event is closed. Walk-in registrations will be accepted.
If you cannot attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be avaiable within 24 hours.
Registration and Breakfast
MICHAEL BARONE, AEI
HENRY OLSEN, AEI
NORMAN J. ORNSTEIN, AEI
KARLYN BOWMAN, AEI
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Michael Barone, a political analyst and journalist and a resident fellow at AEI, studies politics, American government, and campaigns and elections. The principal co-author of the biennial “Almanac of American Politics” (National Journal Group), he has written many books on American politics and history. Mr. Barone is also a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.
Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI. She compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, the environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade, the war in Iraq, and women's attitudes. In addition, Ms. Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics resulting from key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States.
Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic and political thought.
Norman J. Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call and is an election analyst for CBS News. He also serves as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law known as McCain-Feingold, which reformed the campaign-financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include “The Permanent Campaign and Its Future” (AEI Press, 2000); the co-authored “The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track” (Oxford University Press, 2006); and, most recently, “Vital Statistics on Congress, 2008” (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), also co-authored.