Speaking Style Says Volumes About GOP Race

Stuart Rothenberg November 25, 2015 · 10:17 AM EST

In a race filled with plenty of fast-talking, quick-tongued hopefuls — including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and, at one point, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — Ben Carson stands out as very different, and not only because of his race, resume and life accomplishments.

The retired pediatric neurosurgeon often lacks the other candidates’ intensity, and at times seems about to doze off for a quick nap (even in the middle of an answer). But if you focus on that part of his style and delivery, you are missing his appeal.

As I watched Carson’s Veterans Day speech at Liberty University and reflected on the first few GOP debates, I concluded that he has resonated with some voters precisely because he is unlike those candidates who have talked for a living their whole lives. Apart from his values and agenda, his appeal rests on his sincerity, plain speaking style and sense of humor.

The question now, after the attacks in Paris and the increased salience of terrorism and the U.S. response to it, is whether Carson’s style still works.

The fastest talker during the GOP debates probably was Jindal, who has exited the race. His sentences usually were long but well organized. He obviously was very comfortable talking to an audience, with few…

Imperfect Candidates Get Elected

Nathan L. Gonzales November 24, 2015 · 2:11 PM EST

Every day there’s a new story exposing a candidate or a politician, and each misstep is portrayed as a disqualifier — a mistake that will lead to the candidate’s demise. It can be easy to forget that imperfect people get elected to office.

A few weeks ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign…

2016 Senate Ratings (November 21, 2015)

November 21, 2015 · 10:39 PM EST

New Hampshire Senate: Clash of the Titans

Nathan L. Gonzales November 20, 2015 · 2:30 PM EST

Voters in New Hampshire are so consumed by the presidential primary that they may not even realize they’re also hosting one of the most competitive senate races in the country. 

Republican Kelly Ayotte kept the seat in GOP hands with her convincing victory in 2010. But that was a great Republican…

Presidential Battleground Spotlight: Virginia

Nathan L. Gonzales November 20, 2015 · 2:29 PM EST

Virginia is the newcomer to the list of battleground states that will select the next president of the United States. 

It’s a remarkable turnaround for a commonwealth that went 44 years without voting for a Democratic presidential nominee. Barack Obama’s 53 percent to 46 percent victory in 2008…