Steve Wagner

Steve Wagner is president of QEV Analytics, a public opinion research firm, and a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.

Newt Gingrich tore into Mitt Romney in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, calling the former Republican presidential nominee pathetic, bizarre, and ineffective — principally for his efforts to derail Donald Trump and his flirtations with a third party candidacy. Newt might have added a fourth adjective to the list: immoral. It is a beautiful thing, the […]

Trump’s January Pivot

by Steve Wagner

Donald Trump is well on his way to winning the Republican presidential nomination. This owes substantially to the party’s bias for “winner-take-all” and “winner-take-all-lite” primaries. Trump will come out of the four earliest beauty contests states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada) with a solid lead in delegates, assuming he wins in New Hampshire […]

HOT: The big dogs of the social conservative movement have voted, and their candidate is Ted Cruz.  The effort among leading social conservative organizations to coalesce around one candidate – in order to maximize their influence on the nomination process – is a quadrennial initiative which usually comes to naught.  But this year, doubtless due to […]

Peggy Noonan is the only Wall Street Journal op-ed regular who does not hyperventilate at the mention of “The Donald.”  Despite hanging with the beautiful people in Manhattan, Ms. Noonan stays admirably in touch with Middle Americans – perhaps because of her frequent travels to the heartland, although it is difficult to see Ms. Noonan staying […]

George Will Needs to Chill

by Steve Wagner

Wednesday’s anti-Trump rant by George Will is far from his first.  On September 9, it was “Donald Trump is a Malleable Mess.”  On August 26, it was “The Havoc that Trump Wreaks – on his own Party” (which included this memorable sentence, “Every sulfurous belch from the molten interior of the volcanic Trump phenomenon injures […]

The Republican mating ritual is getting down to brass tacks: policy substance is of increasing importance, and the two candidates whose persona is most about substance are Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. The field continues its winnowing, now down essentially to four candidates: Trump, Carson (for the moment), Rubio and Cruz (though Fiorina is capable […]

Hot: Marco Rubio A gang of six is emerging in the Republican presidential field — which once sported 17 candidates.  The six are: three outsiders (Trump, Carson, Fiorina), two senators (Rubio, Cruz), and one former governor (Bush).  The top of the “insiders” is now Marco Rubio.  The question is, why? Doubtless Rubio has benefited from […]

Walter Jones, Congressman from North Carolina’s 3rd district for the past 20 years, in a letter to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, called on candidates for leadership to withdraw if aware of “any misdeeds” likely to embarrass the House.  His office characterized these “misdeeds” as “moral turpitude issues,” but he seemed […]

Carly Fiorina is on fire.  And to think she barely got into the Wednesday debate — only after CNN relented to pressure and changed their eligibility rules. We don’t know yet if she actually won the debate, because that judgment can only been made after we’ve seen how the American people respond to her.  But […]

And so there are 16, as Rick Perry effectively ends his campaign (they always say the campaign is “suspended,” in case they can get FEC matching funds down the road).  The JV debate will be even lonelier with Carly going to the show and Rick to pasture (Gilmore, Graham, Jindal, Pataki, and Santorum remain). The […]

The latest CNN national survey puts Donald Trump in the lead among Republicans with 32 percent; Carson second with 19 percent.  But Carson has gained more since the August CNN poll: 10 percent to Trump’s 8 percent.  No other candidate was up significantly, and Rubio, Bush, Walker, Kasich, and Paul have lost ground.  Team Governor (the […]

Yesterday, Donald Trump (speaking at the Trump Palace, or Trump Mahal, or whatever it’s called in NYC) announced he had taken the non-compete pledge and said this: “I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and for the conservative principles for which it stands.”  This guy may actually be serious about running […]

Jeb Bush’s August 11th speech at the Reagan Presidential Library laid out a six-point blueprint for driving the remaining Christians out of Syria — unintentionally, perhaps, but effectively nonetheless.  Each element of his plan for Syria was contrary to the interests of those beleaguered Christians.  A point-by-point discussion of the plan and its defects is published here.  […]

Bret Stephens is sputtering so fiercely in today’s Wall Street Journal that spittle fairly flew off the page into my face.  “If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling.”  Now there’s a strategy sure to work: let’s insult the voters — because, you know, after all, we know best.  Bret, I know […]

Do you remember?  February 23, 1980: George H. W. Bush had won the Iowa caucuses and now wanted a one-on-one debate with Reagan in order to solidify his status as the only alternative to Reagan.  But Ronald Reagan demanded the inclusion of four other candidates (John Anderson, Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Philip Crane) because they […]

Rand Paul skipped the Iowa State Fair this week in order to perform eye surgeries in Haiti.  Dr. Paul was using his God-given talents to help people — oh, and he’s also a U.S. Senator. I hope it will not diminish in anyone’s mind Dr. Paul’s charitable work to observe that his humanitarian mission will […]

Half of the Republican presidential field is a current or former governor (9 of 17 candidates).  As you might expect, before the first Republican debate on August 2, a plurality of self-identified Republican poll respondents (39 percent) preferred one of those nine candidates (this is based on an average of three national surveys which were […]

Positive public reaction to Carly Fiorina’s performance at the Republican JV debate last week — most of which was previewed in her speech at the Reagan Library on July 28 — means, barring a dramatic change in fortunes, she will be joining the varsity squad at the next Republican debate, scheduled for September 16 at the […]

Let’s do “Who’s Not” hot first, because it’s an easier call: Fox News and the RNC.  In a week dominated by the first Republican presidential debate, the biggest losers were the hosts of this missed opportunity of a debate. How can you tell it was a bad debate? The name of Hillary Clinton was mentioned […]

Jonathan Haidt – self-confessed liberal professor of psychology, now at NYU – is the author or a really fascinating book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.  What makes this book fascinating, in part, is that he argues conservatives are inherently more effective than liberals at communicating on issues with […]