Presidential Tote Board

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Stark reality

Steven Stark is known to Phoenix readers for his "Presidential Tote Board" odds-making feature, but it turns out that he and his son, Harrison, are also soccer aficionados, having become fans of London side Fulham FC during stays in the British capit
Your indispensable World Cup update
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  June 11, 2010

Maverick in a mess

A number of pundits, mostly of the conservative variety, would like you to believe that if Barack Obama wins on Tuesday, it's the mainstream media’s fault. Don't believe a word of it.  
If McCain loses, is it the mainstream media's fault?
By STEVEN STARK  |  October 29, 2008

Lou Dobbs in 2012?

On November 4, the United States will elect a new president. And, on November 5, in this era of the permanent campaign, the Road to the White House 2012 will begin in earnest.  
As the GOP implodes, the financial crisis may present a white-hot moment for a third-party voice to enter the fray
By STEVEN STARK  |  October 16, 2008

Radical tweak

Every candidate has vulnerable blind spots, especially one new to the national scene, so there are ways to run against Obama. But the current approach has a particularly fatal flaw: it’s untrue.
Conservatives are missing the mark on Obama’s vulnerability
By STEVEN STARK  |  July 02, 2008

Going Dutch

One odd thing is already clear about the fall campaign: in it, one of the two major candidates, John McCain, is going to play only a minor role.
If Obama is to win the general election, he’ll have to crib from the playbook of . . . Ronald Reagan
By STEVEN STARK  |  June 11, 2008

Dead heat

With a bit less than six months to go until Election Day, both parties now know their nominees with certainty.
If the general election took place tomorrow, we’d have an unprecedented situation on our hands.
By STEVEN STARK  |  May 14, 2008


Genie in a bottle

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have split the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, sending the race stumbling along to West Virginia (where Clinton should win decisively) this Tuesday, and then beyond.
Obama can only hope his Reverend Wright problem ends up like the Clinton Gennifer Flowers scandal
By STEVEN STARK  |  May 07, 2008

Emasculation proclamation

Though the press and Barack Obama supporters often maintain the opposite, by the rough-and-tumble standards of American politics, Hillary Clinton really hasn’t run that tough a campaign against the Illinois senator.
Is Barack Obama in danger of being outmanned?
By STEVEN STARK  |  April 30, 2008

Who's going to win?

I give you the BMP Tote Board, handicapping the big categories — because who doesn’t like reducing real life to betting lines?
2008 Portland Best Music Poll tote board
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 30, 2008

Beijing bounce

All three candidates declared that if the Chinese don’t change their attitudes about Tibet in a hurry, President George W. Bush should boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing.
No matter how well American athletes do in the Olympics, John M c Cain should get a lift from the Games
By STEVEN STARK  |  April 16, 2008

Endorsed by God

The press has begun to bury the Reverend Jeremiah Wright story, convinced by the polls that the issue — for the most part — has gone away.
Reverend Wright tarnished Obama’s image as America’s anointed savior
By STEVEN STARK  |  April 09, 2008


Clinton fatigue

This past week, Vermont senator Patrick Leahy urged Hillary Clinton  to quit the Democratic race in the interests of party unity.
What is driving the widespread movement pressuring Hillary to drop out, even though she is very much still in the race?
By STEVEN STARK  |  April 02, 2008

Race gets in the race

For much of this election cycle, the assumption has been that foreign policy, specifically Iraq, would be the dominant issue on the campaign trail.
Obama’s fast-track to success could be alienating working-class white voters, reminding them of their nemesis: affirmative action
By STEVEN STARK  |  March 19, 2008

Giant step

Two weeks ago we noted that, in spite of all the press hype promoting Barack Obama, the Democrats were only two steps away from chaos in their nomination process.
If Hillary Clinton can take Pennsylvania, the Democrats will be shooting themselves in the foot
By STEVEN STARK  |  March 05, 2008

One for the books

It’s hard to believe that we just had a week without a primary.
Can tales of the Democratic party’s glory days help Obama and Clinton?
By STEVEN STARK  |  February 27, 2008

Civil war

The whole Democratic race is still only two steps away from becoming a train wreck that could derail the party’s chances of winning in November.
If Clinton can pull off a couple more victories, the democratic party is headed for a disastrous, fight-worn finish
By STEVEN STARK  |  February 20, 2008


Losing it?

It’s been said that one benefit of the torturous process presidential candidates must undergo is that it gives voters an extended view of their managerial ability.
Hillary Clinton has squandered a huge lead. Can she get it back?
By STEVEN STARK  |  February 14, 2008

The morning after

Obama now faces a road that may well get rougher. And the fat lady is singing so loudly for Romney that she’s getting hoarse.
Now that Super Tuesday is behind them, where do they go from here?
By STEVEN STARK  |  February 07, 2008

Super preview

“We came back,” he says. “We came back . . . dear God, [but] not far enough!”
Clinton and McCain shouldn’t write their acceptance speeches just yet
By STEVEN STARK  |  January 30, 2008

Net results

The surprise results in New Hampshire exposed the myth, once and for all, that the Internet has made political reporting and analysis far better than it once was.
Rather than improving political discourse, Internet pundits are making things worse
By STEVEN STARK  |  January 16, 2008

Going the distance

So far the media storyline on Campaign 2008 is how extraordinary this year’s race has been, with the process dominated by upsets and a renewed call for change.
With two major contests over and done, the nomination process is coming into clearer focus. Who’ll be the last person standing?
By STEVEN STARK  |  January 09, 2008


McCain still able

Until the past week or so, the press had pretty much written off John McCain’s chances of gaining the GOP nomination.
If the Arizona Senator can rally to win the GOP nomination, he’ll likely be our next president
By STEVEN STARK  |  December 26, 2007

Up-Hil climb

Those in the press always prefer presidential races to be close contests, and this year they’ve seemingly lucked out again.
Even if Obama goes three for three in January, he still faces a steep challenge from Clinton
By STEVEN STARK  |  December 19, 2007

Country cousins

The Republicans may want to keep their opinions of Carter to themselves.
Mike Huckabee and GOP b ête noir Jimmy Carter share few political views, but Huckabee’s rise mirrors that of Carter’s 1976 campaign
By STEVEN STARK  |  December 12, 2007

He ain’t heavy. . .

One of Campaign 2008’s hottest topics has been the question of whether — and, if so, when — Mitt Romney needs to give the “Mormon speech."
Denouncing the anti-Mormon prejudice facing Romney isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also politically shrewd
By STEVEN STARK  |  November 19, 2007

Free speech!

Finally, Barack Obama has begun drawing contrasts between himself and Hillary Clinton.
Obama heads in the right direction with his latest strategic maneuvers, but still lacks a killer stump address
By STEVEN STARK  |  October 24, 2007


Ego Trippin’

All the stories chronicling the demise of the Barack Obama campaign are premature, no matter what the current polls say.
Obama can still win the Democratic nomination — b ut first, he has to get over himself
By STEVEN STARK  |  October 10, 2007

Wising up

According to the latest conventional wisdom, Hillary Clinton is threatening to turn the Democratic presidential-nomination race into a rout.
Edwards must count on Democrats voting with their heads in the primaries
By STEVEN STARK  |  October 03, 2007

Stable — within limits

There’s been very little movement in state and national Democratic polls over the past six months.
Clinton’s dominated the Democratic field since february, but voters are getting used to Obama
By STEVEN STARK  |  August 29, 2007

About-face time

Conventional wisdom says that debates help everyone but the front-runner in the polls, because they give the pack exposure and face time next to the leader.
Debates usually help lesser-known pols. This season, they’re crushing them.
By STEVEN STARK  |  August 15, 2007