Steve Wagner


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

Who’s hot and who’s not this week in Campaign 2016? Carly Fiorina: Very hot. At the Reagan Library on Tuesday, Carly Fiorina delivered a 30 minute tour de force on foreign and defense policy, including a withering critique of the Obama Administration’s international perfidy and Hillary Clinton’s complicity, with rich detail of how Ms. Fiorina would […]


Had you tuned in to Hillary Clinton’s hour-long speech on economics yesterday in order to learn the specifics of how she intends to achieve “strong growth, fair growth and long-term growth,” you would be unsatisfied: Throughout the campaign, I’m going to be talking about how we empower entrepreneurs with less red tape, easier access to capital, […]


In a remarkably transparent statement in yesterday’s Washington Post (the left usually prefers to camouflage their true intentions), a deputy director of the ACLU announces it is time for the RFRA to be retired. RFRA was okay so long as it was used to defend vaguely quaint behaviors, such as the right of a Sikh not […]


Ralph Benko is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and a sometime contributor to The Pulse 2016.  Always insightful, Ralph has a nice piece in Forbes this week, “Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Throw the 2016 Presidential Race Into Overdrive And Paul Krugman Protests.” Having in mind Rand Paul’s unveiling of a bold, pro-growth tax plan, and Jeb […]


At CPAC earlier this year, Rand Paul promised to deliver “the largest tax cut in American history,” which will “cut everyone’s taxes, from the richest to the poorest,” and “balance the budget in five years.”  At the announcement of his presidential candidacy, there was no mention of a tax plan – I thought he might […]


At last, a powerful critique of the economic harm caused by the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rate policy (brought to light by Judy Shelton in an excellent blog for The Hill).  “Financial Repression: the Unintended Consequences,” published by the Swiss Reinsurance Company, is must reading for the Republican presidential campaigns. The ”financial repression” in […]


A friend who was a student of Elizabeth Warren at the University of Pennsylvania Law School assures me that back then she was a Republican.  So she has some history of political mobility.  But even by Washington standards, her latest flip (or is it a flop?) is pretty astounding. Back when Senator Rand Paul introduced […]


In a bid to maintain viability as a presidential candidate, Chris Christie yesterday authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, “My Plan to Raise Growth and Income,”and traveled to Manchester, N.H., to present the plan in person.  This is the second of at least three installments of the Christie policy vision, following an April […]


Memorandum for: Maggie Gallagher From: Steven Wagner Subject: Your Prescience on Clinton Maggie, your wager that Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee is looking safer by the day.  The post-announcement rollout of her candidacy has not worked out to expectations; I have yet to see a campaign photo from that road trip with […]


The Rubio announcement of candidacy on Monday (April 13) was frustrating for its lack of policy substance, the “what and how” that would define his presidency.  He seems intent on basing his candidacy on a personal narrative. In particular, what does Senator Rubio have to say to voters blindsided by the recession of 2007, who […]


Rand Paul spoke yesterday before the Susan B. Anthony List’s “Campaign for Life” Summit, advising the pro-life movement to go on the offensive. Senator Paul was very warmly received.  Although his announcement of candidacy did not mention the defense of life, the audience was well aware of Paul’s defiant response to a reporter during his […]


It was good theater, but Rand Paul’s announcement of his candidacy for president today in Louisville, Ky., failed to achieve its essential purpose, which was to expand Paul’s appeal beyond his base of anti-Washington, liberty-motivated voters to other segments of the Republican primary electorate not previously in his corner.  No part of the conservative triad […]


Ross Douthat thinks the Bush campaign should “blast-email the [Andrew Ferguson] profile instead to doubtful right-wing activists, with ‘Jeb: He’s on Your Side’ in the subject line (or ‘Jeb: The Anti-Romney),” because it so effectively establishes Bush’s conservative bono fides. I disagree.  Ferguson actually reinforces Bush’s fundamental problems.  First, there is this Bush response when […]


Ted Cruz Goes Long

by Steve Wagner

Two words defined Ted Cruz’ 26 minute announcement of his presidential candidacy today at Liberty University:  “liberty” and “imagine.”  The first because of his frequent invocation of that principle of our founding; the second because of his invitation to envision the possibility of an American future substantially different from our present. There is no presidential candidate […]


“Most Iraqis believe the Islamic State was created by the United States.” This observation was made not by a conspiracy theorist, but by an Orthodox priest who along with his whole Christian village was forced to flee Daesh (as the Islamic State is known by Iraqis) into the safe haven of Kurdistan.  He told me […]


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) loaded for…Ted Cruz.  Speaking a few minutes after the Texas Senator, Governor Walker responded to Cruz’s riff about picking a candidate “who stood up and fought” by declaring, “[voters] don’t want someone to fight for the sake of fighting, they want someone who […]


Speaking at CPAC, Ted Cruz invoked Ronald Reagan’s admonition to paint not in pale pastels but in bold colors – and bold he was.  Cruz seemingly came to CPAC with two objectives: to establish himself as the most conservative of potential presidential candidates and the toughest fighter for conservative principles.  As of the end of […]


Carly Fiorina brought the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) audience to its feet by calling the proposed deal with Iran a threat to American security.  It was the high point of her speech (which you can watch here) in terms of audience reaction, and in fact, opposition to the pending Iran deal – which purportedly […]


With “Audit the Fed” being described as the “direst threat” to the Fed since Dodd-Frank, it’s worth while noting the mounting number of horrid consequences to actual people who need to make a living, especially from the federalization of banks. Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that J.P. Morgan Chase—which is a bank, by the way—plans […]


This is not another in a long line of often vitriolic attacks on Senator Rand Paul for his temerity to propose “auditing the Fed.” As is by now well-recognized, his proposal (S. 264, “The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015”) is not about auditing the fed, but about subjecting Federal Reserve monetary policy to critique […]