Articles by Karl Rove

Super-PAC Strategies For 2016 Success

Wall Street Journal | March 26, 2015

By using Twitter to announce his entry into the 2016 Republican presidential race, Sen. Ted Cruz signaled just how pervasive social media will be this election. Two other trends are worth watching. There will be a greater reliance on data and technology in organizing, communicating and measuring the effectiveness of campaign activity—and every presidential candidate will have a Super PAC.

The $2,700 a person contribution limit to a candidate’s campaign for the primary season means donors who are able will donate larger amounts to the Super PAC supporting their favorite candidate.

The New Price Of Running For President

Wall Street Journal | March 19, 2015

While juggling questions of a candidate’s performance, message and organization, every Republican presidential strategist also spends lots of time thinking about money. First comes this question: How many dollars must a candidate have to be competitive in the opening round of 2016 contests? 

It’s tough to settle on a number for the buy-in now. Few states have passed laws setting their primary or caucus date, so it may be months until the calendar is locked in. It’s also difficult to decide how much of each kind of activity is necessary. 

Democrats Are Bullish On Retaking The Senate

Wall Street Journal | March 12, 2015

After sustaining crushing losses in 2014, Democrats are projecting confidence about recapturing the Senate in 2016. Unlike midterms, according to the party’s Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman, Justin Barasky, a presidential election “can only help Democrats.” Count me skeptical. 

To get a majority, Democrats must defeat five of seven Republican senators in states President Obama won twice—Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. (Or five of eight Republicans if you add North Carolina, which Mr. Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012.)

How The White House Botched Bibi’s Speech

Wall Street Journal | March 5, 2015

Put aside the policy implications of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s powerful speech to Congress on Tuesday, and the dire consequences if President Obama bungles his dealings with Iran. 

Instead, consider how badly the Obama administration has handled things during the six weeks since Jan. 21, when House Speaker John Boehner invited Mr. Netanyahu to address Congress. Mr. Obama and his team pride themselves on their communications prowess, but they’ve made a hash of the situation.

Republicans Could Be In For A Wild Ride In 2016

Wall Street Journal | February 26, 2015

To better understand the 2016 GOP presidential race, let’s consider some history. At a comparable point during the last nine Republican presidential primary contests, four had a front-runner with a double-digit lead in a national poll, and in five the leader was ahead by single digits.

Combining the two sets, the front-runner—regardless of their lead’s size—won five out of nine times. If the front-runner actually ran, he became the GOP nominee in five of seven contests. Structural changes imposed by the Republican National Committee may make 2016 a different story. 

A GOP Lifeline On Immigration—If They’ll Take It

Wall Street Journal | February 19, 2015

Congressional Republicans are right to try to stop President Obama's November 2014 executive action suspending enforcement of immigration laws for millions of illegal aliens. 

The House has passed a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill prohibiting DHS from spending money to carry out Mr. Obama’s unconstitutional directive when the department’s current funding runs out Feb. 27. Now 60 senators—including at least six Democrats—must vote to invoke cloture and take up the bill. 

The Dangers Of Make-Believe Foreign Policy

Wall Street Journal | February 12, 2015

With only two years left in his presidency, Barack Obama recently has been revealing his innermost convictions, particularly on foreign policy. These convictions are startling and disturbing.

Take Mr. Obama’s Feb. 1 interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. The president said American leaders must avoid “suggesting in some fashion” that terrorist networks “are an existential threat to the United States or the world order.” 

Seeding A Democratic Defeat In 2016

Wall Street Journal | February 5, 2015

Notwithstanding the accident that left him blind in his right eye and with four broken ribs, Minority Leader Harry Reid labored hard to show he was still in command during his month’s forced absence from the Senate. Aides claimed he worked the phones from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., making as many as 60 calls a day.

But it is difficult to lead a demoralized legislative caucus from a Ritz Carlton condo across town from Capitol Hill. 

What To Watch In The GOP Jockeying For 2016

Wall Street Journal | January 29, 2015

For most of this year, national polls showing head-to-head matchups among potential Republican presidential candidates will be interesting but hardly predictive. Opinion in states with February 2016 contests won’t really gel until late autumn, when polls begin to show the true state of the race in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

So what’s worth paying attention to in early polls? First, look at how many Republicans are undecided. The Jan. 25 USA Today/Suffolk University poll found 45% of Republicans and Republican leaners were undecided when asked an open-ended question who they wanted nominated.

What Was Obama Thinking?

Wall Street Journal | January 22, 2015

President Obama ’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening was oddly disconnected.

It was disconnected from events abroad. He said that “the shadow of crisis has passed.” Earlier that day Iranian-backed rebels stormed the compound of the president of Yemen, an American ally. Islamic State, which Mr. Obama referred to a year ago as the “jayvee team,” now controls large parts of Syria and Iraq—leading the president to ask for congressional authorization to use force against it.