Jayson Cost

Jay Cost is a staff writer for The Weekly Standard and the author of Spoiled Rotten, a critical history of the Democratic party, forthcoming from Broadside Books.

Stories by Jayson Cost

Who’s Extreme?

12:00 AM, Oct 21, 2013
Earlier this month, California congressman George Miller took to the floor of the House of Represent-atives and, in a vitriolic speech, shouted that the Republicans were shutting down the government because of a “jihad” against Obama-care. Miller is a far-left liberal, but he is no backbencher.... Read more

Jay Cost Podcast: Where is the GOP's Shutdown Strategy?

08:05 PM, Oct 11, 2013
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Jay Cost on the government shutdown and whether the GOP has a strategy to end it with a policy victory. This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to THE WEEKLY STANDARD's iTunes podcast feed here . ADVERTISEMENT: [img nocaption... Read more

Republicans Should Fight or Give Up

05:31 PM, Oct 11, 2013
The findings of the newly released NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll are simply brutal for congressional Republicans. Not only are they getting the lion's share of the blame for the government shutdown, but President Obama's numbers have actually improved. Worse, Obamacare's... Read more

The Obama Magic Fades

12:00 AM, Aug 12, 2013
When he was sworn in for a second term in January, Barack Obama’s political standing was the best it had been in years. His job approval had climbed into the mid-50s—not extraordinary but solid—and he seemed to have the wind at his back as he called for a new era of liberal governance. Six... Read more

Podcast: The Overlooked Story of Obama's Plunging Poll Numbers

01:00 PM, Jul 25, 2013
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Jay Cost on President Obama's plunging poll numbers.  This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to THE WEEKLY STANDARD's iTunes podcast feed here . ADVERTISEMENT: To learn more about THE WEEKLY STANDARD Cruise visit... Read more

The Wrong Fix for the Wrong Problem

12:00 AM, Jul 08, 2013
In the wake of the 2012 election, Republicans have been treated to seemingly endless prophecies of doom. Many have come from liberal Democrats, who would happily see the demise of the GOP. But more than a few Republicans have also made the case that the party must either change or disappear, and... Read more

All Politics Isn’t Local

12:00 AM, May 27, 2013
The state of the union today is uneasy, at best. Washington is crippled by gridlock while Americans across the country feel alienated from their government, so much so that the president feels compelled to remind them that the government is “us.” But is it really so, in a meaningful sense? Sure,... Read more

Obamacare Isn’t Forever

12:00 AM, Apr 01, 2013
With the Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama’s health care law last summer and his reelection in November, liberals are triumphant, convinced that Obamacare is here to stay. When pressed on this matter, they point to the political success of Medicare to show how quickly new... Read more

A Difference that Can’t Be Split

12:00 AM, Mar 18, 2013
This week Paul Ryan’s House Budget Committee is set to release its fiscal year 2014 budget, which promises to balance Uncle Sam’s books in 10 years. Ryan’s offering will elicit lamentations from the usual quarters of the mainstream media: House Republicans have lurched sharply to the right,... Read more

Jay Cost Podcast: How the GOP Can Win in 2014

09:05 PM, Feb 28, 2013
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, hosted by Michael Graham, with Jay Cost on how the GOP can win in 2014. This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to THE WEEKLY STANDARD's iTunes podcast feed here .  Read more

Jay Cost Podcast: Obama the Bargainer, Why the GOP Shouldn't Fear Obama

08:27 PM, Feb 06, 2013
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Jay Cost hosted by Michael Graham: This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to THE WEEKLY STANDARD's iTunes podcast feed here .  Read more

Morning Jay: Shake It Off, Conservatives!

11:00 AM, Nov 09, 2012
Liberal historians of American politics have long held, at least implicitly, a teleological view of our history. The assumption is that America is slowly moving toward a more “progressive” (read: statist) society, and the only thing the right can do is slow the movement. Conservatives cannot... Read more

Morning Jay: Barack Obama and the Triumph of Identity Politics

11:00 AM, Nov 08, 2012
Barack Obama is now the first president in American history to win a second term with a smaller share of the electoral vote, a smaller share of the popular vote, and a smaller aggregate vote than when he was first elected. There are still votes to be counted, but as of this writing he actually... Read more

Morning Jay: Mitt’s Pennsylvania Push: Real or Fake?

11:00 AM, Nov 04, 2012
The Romney campaign seems to have committed to a late push into Pennsylvania, to the derision of Team Obama. The latter sees this as a desperation ploy by a foundering campaign, similar to John McCain’s late entrance into the Keystone State in 2008. Is that right? I don’t think so. For... Read more

Morning Jay: Polling Madness, 2012 Edition

10:00 AM, Nov 02, 2012
Here’s a thought experiment. Let’s say you want to do a quality poll of 1,000 likely voters. How many people would you have to contact? For starters, the response rate for pollsters is somewhere around 9 percent. So for every 100 people you contact, you will get 9 people to do the poll. On... Read more

Morning Jay: Why Romney Is Likely to Win

10:00 AM, Nov 02, 2012
When I started making election predictions eight years ago, I had a very different perspective than I do today. I knew relatively little about the history of presidential elections or the geography of American politics. I had a good background in political science and statistics. So,... Read more

Morning Jay: A Polling Quandary—in the Buckeye State

10:00 AM, Oct 31, 2012
There is a peculiar divergence between various public opinion polls at the moment. On the one hand, Mitt Romney has built a narrow but durable lead in the national polls, averaging around a 1 percent advantage over the last three weeks. This has cheered the hearts of conservatives everywhere.... Read more

Can Obama Sustain Enthusiasm With African Americans?

11:20 AM, Oct 22, 2012
Elections these days are determined in part by the swing of unaffiliated voters, which both sides closely contest. They also hinge on how strongly each party’s base turns out to vote. The base vote can be a huge factor in elections. Consider, for instance, that in 2000 George W. Bush... Read more

Morning Jay: Mitt Romney and Modern Conservatism

10:00 AM, Oct 19, 2012
Naturally, there has been plenty of talk this week about who won the debate. As I mentioned in my own recap, I thought that though Obama won more “points,” Romney did a better job advancing his argument for election. And that argument gets to the very core of modern economic conservatism... Read more

Obama Scores Points, but Romney Remains Solid

04:21 AM, Oct 17, 2012
Some quick thoughts on the debate: a.) Obama was aggressive on debating/rebutting/getting points in. It was a big improvement over last time. In particular, Obama had a lot more facts at his fingertips this time around. b.) Romney was not as aggressive as Obama, but was by... Read more

Morning Jay: Politics and the Gallup Poll

10:00 AM, Oct 11, 2012
Since about the beginning of President Obama’s tenure, the Gallup poll has generally been one of the least positive polls for the Democratic party. This has prompted outrage and pressure from the left-- even from presidential advisor David Axelrod . Over the summer Mark Blumenthal... Read more

Morning Jay: The State of the Race, Four Weeks Out

10:00 AM, Oct 10, 2012
So where are we, four weeks out? Romney suddenly finds himself with a lead in the polls, making liberals panicked and conservatives jubilant -- an interesting change of pace.  But I actually see more continuity than change here. And allow me to quote one pollster who has had a solid... Read more

Morning Jay: Underestimating Mitt?

12:00 PM, Oct 08, 2012
Most of the post-debate punditry has focused on Barack Obama’s failure to win last week's head-to-head match-up. Both the left and right seem to agree that Obama lost, with disagreement as to why that happened, naturally. But perhaps it should be looked at in a different way: Obama did not... Read more

Morning Jay: Will October Be a Bad Month For Obama?

10:00 AM, Oct 05, 2012
October in an election year tends to be a bad month for incumbents seeking reelection. Going back fifty years, we have six decent comparisons to this cycle – 1956, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1996, and 2004. On average, the late September margin in the Gallup poll of registered voters closed by six to... Read more

Morning Jay: This Race Has Just Begun

10:00 AM, Oct 03, 2012
The most recent RealClearPolitics average of the national polls shows President Obama holding a 3.1 point lead over Mitt Romney, 49.1 to 46.0 . Additionally, his net job approval rating is now back to about even, 48.8 approve to 48.5 disapprove. It's important not to buy the left wing... Read more

Morning Jay: Are the Polls Tilted Toward Obama?

10:00 AM, Sep 26, 2012
Republicans, by and large, are frustrated with recent polls of the presidential election because they think Democrats are being oversampled. Many pollsters respond by saying that “weighting” the polls for partisan identification creates its own problems and might end up skewing the polls in the... Read more

Morning Jay: Historically, Obama Isn't in Strong Shape

10:00 AM, Sep 21, 2012
Conservatives are growing worried, and Democrats gleeful, about Obama’s lead in the polls, basically for the same reason: it is late in the season (or so it seems), and the incumbent president has a lead. That is a good thing for Obama. Perhaps, but three fundamental points  need to be... Read more

Morning Jay: How Romney Can Win

10:00 AM, Sep 20, 2012
The media tut-tuts about the ebbs and flows of the polls in the presidential race because – well, because that’s what the media does. But, in fact, if you look at every presidential race going back over the years when the incumbent party was defeated or almost defeated – 1948 , 1968 , 1976 ,... Read more

Morning Jay: How the Media Misrepresents the Race

10:00 AM, Sep 17, 2012
The gap between the way the media characterizes the presidential race and what is actually happening is growing larger by the day. In particular, we see a systematic emphasis on news items that favor the president and a discounting of evidence that disfavor him. The mainstream media's recent... Read more

Morning Jay: Nate Silver And The Democratic Capture Of the MSM

10:00 AM, Sep 13, 2012
Since arriving on the scene in 2008, psephologist Nate Silver has been widely hailed as a “ statistics guru .”  That phrase is a good fit for what Silver does. While his writing style often mimics the technical wonkery one sees in political science journals, his work differs from... Read more