Why Are Republicans So Angry?

Washington Post: “Deep in the new NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll are two questions that help explain some of the big shifts in the American electorate – particularly the Republican electorate – that have flummoxed many longtime political operatives and observers in this campaign so far. They help explain the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the anger at the Republican establishment and the potential dangers lurking in the general election for the GOP nominee.

“In both cases, pollsters read a series of statements about the direction of the country, then asked respondents how well each of those statements described them. All the answers are revealing, but two of them stand out.”

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What Works for Americans When it Comes to the Government?

Gallup: “It’s clear that Americans give the government a mixed report card on the list of functions it performs, especially compared with 2013. While some areas of focus for President Barack Obama have seen significant increases in the past two years — healthcare, job creation and labor and employment issues — other areas such as veterans’ issues and criminal justice experienced significant drops. These drops likely partly reflect the effect of major scandals involving Veterans Affairs and recent high-profile law enforcement cases in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore; and Staten Island, New York.”

The U.S. Federal Government's Handling of Major Arenas

Riding the Polling Roller Coaster

Nate Cohn: “The wave of candidate announcements that began late last month has set off a new phase of volatile polling, when voters will rally behind news-making candidates and move on as soon as the next arrives. But for now — and for a while — it might be wise to tune out the polls altogether. That’s because these bounces tend to be short-lived.”

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“Some might say that Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cruz’s support is enough to put them alongside Mr. Bush or Mr. Walker, the two candidates who have led the polls and have often been described as front-runners for the nomination. But Mr. Bush and Mr. Walker are front-runners in spite of their standing in the polls, not because of it. They’re front-runners because the other candidates do not appear to have enough support from party elites to sustain a national campaign.”

“But now, it’s better to focus on the fundamentals — whether the candidates appear to hold the support from party elites necessary to win the nomination, whether they are broadly appealing throughout the party, and whether they seem capable of building support in the early states.”

The Beauty of Political Polarization

Christopher Ingraham: “Political polarization is on the rise, and with it come lots of clever new ways to visualize that polarization … A group of researchers recently gave it another go in a paper published in PLOS One.”

“You’ll see that they’ve created network diagrams for each House of Representatives from 1949 to 2011. They’ve drawn dots for each representative, and lines connecting pairs of representatives who vote together a given number of times. Finally, the dots for each representative are placed according to how frequently the Representatives vote together overall.”