FROM Mark Blumenthal
Political Prognostication and the Revenge of the Nerds On Monday, when we discussed how many electoral votes would go to President Obama, Florida was up in the air. But the prediction of Professor Sam Wang , who founded Princeton University's Election Consortium, was dead on. The President won exactly 303 Electoral College votes and Florida is still undecided -- and Wang is not alone. Before the election, Nate Silver's " 538 " blog was bringing more visitors to the New York Times' website than any of the paper's more famous traditional pundits. He also called the election just right. Mark Blumenthal is founding editor of Polling.com and senior polling editor for the Huffington Post , which has it's own scientific modeler, Simon Jackman .
GOP Race Now Focuses on Gingrich and Romney It's only one month until real Republican voters go to the Iowa caucuses, but the Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll shows the race for the presidential nomination is anything but settled. Newt Gingrich is leading with 25 percent; Ron Paul is second with 18 percent and Mitt Romney has dropped to just 16 percent. Last month, Romney was tied with Herman Cain who's now tied with Michele Bachmann at 8 percent. (The poll was taken before Cain "suspended" his campaign this weekend.) Websites of other Republican presidential candidates: Michele Bachmann Rick Perry Jon Huntsman, Jr Rick Santorum
Another Surprise for Republicans: Newt Gingrich With Herman Cain out and only one month until real Republican voters go to the Iowa caucuses, the Des Moines Register's latest Iowa Poll shows the race for the presidential nomination is anything but settled. Newt Gingrich is leading with 25 percent, Ron Paul is second and Mitt Romney has dropped to third with only a month to go. Has Gingrich peaked like so many others, or is this growing momentum, despite a campaign plagued with debt, staff turnover and a lack of discipline? Democrats say they'd love to run against Gingrich. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has thousands of pages of dirt "when the time is right." Can Christian conservatives handle his married life? Do Tea Partiers want a lobbyist for Fannie and Freddie? What about his record as House Speaker? Websites of other Republican presidential candidates: Michele Bachmann Rick Perry Jon Huntsman, Jr Rick Santorum
AIG: Political Outrage and Financial Stability President Obama said today he shares public outrage over bonuses paid to failed executives with public money. Meantime, the head of the failed insurance giant AIG told Congress he would never have approved the contracts that required those bonuses to be paid. Is there a way to get the money back? Why are executives given incentives for assuming so much risk that they threaten the world's financial stability? What's AIG doing to pay back at least some of its $200 billion government bailout? We ask those and other questions.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.