In addition to the decline in competition, American politics today is characterized by a growing ideological polarization between the two major political parties.
Presidents are elected not by direct popular vote but by 538 members of the Electoral College.
A human being tends to believe that the mood of the moment, be it troubled or blithe, peaceful or stormy, is the true, native, and permanent tenor of his existence.
Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of election law typically resides with partisan officials, many with public stakes in the election outcome.
A healthy degree of party unity among Democrats and Republicans has deteriorated into bitter partisan warfare.
First, his job approval ratings have been trending down for many months, a trend that has accelerated in recent weeks as the war on terrorism has been supplanted in the public's mind by corporate scandals, stock market declines, and a growing sense of economic insecurity.
The only religious way to think of death is as part and parcel of life.
Whose best and most fruitful gift was the power of admiration, which made it possible for me to learn. Now, as in my youth, I am looking up to the truly great creations of the past, which I see high above my own and which alone deserve the name of greatness.
I will keep faith with death in my heart... For the sake of goodness, for the sake of love, Let no man's heart be ruled by death... The only religious way to think of death is as part and parcel of life; to regard it, with the understanding and the .emotions, as the inviolable condition of life.
It is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.
Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictions word, preserves contact - it is silence which isolates.
For I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide.
Beer soothes the upset soul.
Knowledge of the soul would unfailingly make us melancholy if the pleasures of expression did not keep us alert and of good cheer.
Redistricting is a deeply political process, with incumbents actively seeking to minimize the risk to themselves (via bipartisan gerrymanders) or to gain additional seats for their party (via partisan gerrymanders).
Further-more, partisan attachments powerfully shape political perceptions, beliefs and values, and incumbents enjoy advantages well beyond the way in which their districts are configured.
All of this suggests that while citizens became more comfortable with President Bush after September 11 and thought him to have the requisite leadership skills, they continue to harbor doubts about his priorities, loyalties, interests, and policies.
The increase in straight-ticket party voting in recent years means that competitive congressional races can tip one way or the other depending on the showing of the candidates at the top of the ticket.
America is an outlier in the world of democracies when it comes to the structure and conduct of elections.
The public's evaluation of the job George W. Bush is doing as president changed dramatically as a result of the horrific attacks of September 11 and his response in leading the country on a campaign against terrorism.
Votes in federal elections are cast and counted in a highly decentralized and variable fashion, with no uniform ballots and few national standards.
While Republican voters have remained universally supportive of their President, Democrats and Independents are returning to a more naturally critical stance.
With the parties at virtual parity and the ideological gulf between them never greater, the stakes of majority control of Congress are extremely high.
Science never makes an advance until philosophy authorizes it to do so.
In the House, Republican prospects have been buoyed by several successful rounds of redistricting, which have sharply reduced the number of competitive seats and given the Republicans a national advantage of at least a dozen seats.
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