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Wendy Davis, Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas, got beat on Tuesday. This was no surprise, but what was surprising was just how badly she lost. Despite a state-of-the-art grassroots organization like Battleground Texas (a group I volunteered for from March-November), 34,000 volunteers, and millions of voters contacted over and over again, Davis lost the Governor's race by the largest margin since 1998--George W. Bush's reelection.

Battleground Texas’ major goal was to increase voter turnout—especially amongst demographic groups favorable to their candidate: women, Latinos, and young voters. In almost all aspects, they failed. Turnout  dove from 38% in 2010 to 33% in 2014. A large majority of women—55%--voted for Greg Abbott, as did a huge chunk of Latinos—44%. Based on the evidence, objectively speaking Battleground Texas failed. Or did it?

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Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 07:20 PM PDT

Baseball's Obamacare

by Mathemagics

For many decades there has been a long-running debate about if and how to expand access to affordable healthcare coverage to more Americans. Finally in 2010 a policy solution came to fruition in the form of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare. Even before the law took effect, there were already deep divisions between those Americans who were against the law, and those who were for it.

Healthcare is not the only American institution which has seen a change in how it operates this year. America’s pastime—Baseball—has also seen a new change this year. Baseball is a game that has been virtually the same since the 19th century, but the MLB has decided to make a fairly substantial change this season, and it comes in the form of the instant replay. Similar to tennis and football, baseball managers will now have the power to use instant replay to challenge controversial calls on the field. Umpires will then review the play on the monitors and determine whether to uphold or overturn the original call on the field. As I’ve watched this new instant replay system unfold over the course of the beginning of the season, I couldn’t help but notice some surprising similarities between the new instant replay rule and Obamacare.

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For the second time in a row during his State of the Union, President Obama urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. And, for the second time in a row, thunderous applause echoed from both sides of the House chamber as members of Congress signaled their support for the measure. It hasn't even been two weeks since that demonstration of bipartisan enthusiasm, and already the prospects of immigration reform in Congress are slipping away. Sadly, the impetus which propelled immigration reform forward in 2013 is the same one that is dashing its chances of passage in 2014: electoral politics.
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