Gwen's Take

Election 2012 – Managing Alternatives

Posted: February 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Updated:  Friday, Feb 10-4pm

One of the things we tell our children is that life is all about choices.

We celebrate this idea, because it is an essential part of the kind of ambition we want them to have. We want them to consider all the options, and then aspire to the best one.

In politics, the language of choice often comes loaded. School choice. Abortion rights. Public option. Proponents embrace these descriptions to put the best possible face on otherwise contentious issues.

What’s Next---5 Questions Answered

Posted: February 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Right after the polls closed Tuesday night and Mitt Romney had been declared the winner of the Florida primary, Syndicated Columnists and PBS NewsHour contributors David Brooks, Mark Shields and I looked at each other and sighed.

As we prepared for the NewsHour’s 11 p.m. politics special, would we have anything left to say?

Turns out we had plenty.

5 Things To Watch For In Florida

Posted: January 31, 2012 at 10:53 am

For some reason in modern politics, it always seems to come down to Florida. It is an irresistible destination. The northern panhandle is a sweet piece of the South. The I-4 corridor---where half the state's registered Republican voters live---slashes the state in half east to west, along the way connecting the two huge media markets of Tampa and Orlando. The east and west coasts are home to vast swaths of northeastern retirees, including a robust and engaged Jewish population.

Taking Voters At Their Words

Posted: January 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Pundits. Analysts. Historians. Political scientists. The landscape is lousy with them this election year, and I love talking with them.

But in our PBS NewsHour political coverage this year, we are making a special commitment to seek out the opinions of the people who actually cast the votes. And in each of the contests we have covered so far, we have found they do not disappoint.

Gwen's Primary Day Take: South Carolina Votes

Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. - In retrospect, it should not come as a surprise that Election Day came to South Carolina with wind, rain and tornado watches. The Gingrich surge here has been that strong.

It cannot be overstated how dramatic the shift from Mitt Romney to Newt Gingrich has been here on the ground. In a single night -- after Monday night's pivotal debate -- Romney went from an 8 point lead among Tea Party voters to trailing Gingrich by 7 points the very next day. And then the lead grew.

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