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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

To read Jennifer Harper's Inside the Beltway columns, click here. Contact her at [email protected].

Articles by Jennifer Harper

At the polling place in the Lone Star State: voters leave the town courthouse after casting their ballot in Blanco, Texas. (Associated Press)

Texas test case: Democrats gallop to the polls

Midterm fever has appeared out of nowhere. The Texas primaries are Tuesday, and analysts are already reading the proverbial tea leaves to determine the implications for the rest of the nation. The possible take away message: as Democrats fantasize of "flipping" seats in GOP strongholds in Texas and elsewhere, Republicans must light a fire under their own voters, or else. Published March 5, 2018

President Trump has a new and comprehensive voter survey that's being circulated by his 2020 reelection campaign. It has 32 questions. (Associated Press)

The president wants to know: Do you 'publicly admit' support for Trump?

President Trump's fans have long been subject to hostility, contempt and personal attacks from the news media, assorted Democrats, entertainers and political rivals. It's almost unprecedented. Mr. Trump himself is addressing that phenomenon in "Listening to America," a comprehensive, 32-question voter survey being circulated by his 2020 reelection campaign. Published March 4, 2018

The Adam Schiff Strategy: the power of 227 TV appearances

"Rep. Adam Schiff has used the House's Russia investigation as his big break, becoming a near-constant presence on cable TV to raise his profile," reports a Republican National Committee analysis, which based this conclusion on news coverage from Politico, CNN, C-SPAN, and other sources, including Nexis. Here is what they found. Published February 27, 2018

Survivors of shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School rally for gun control on the steps of the state capitol, in Tallahassee, Florida. (Associated Press)

45% of Americans approve of arming teachers

President Trump consistently offers staunch support for arming teachers or other school personnel to protect the young people under their charge. One major poll has found that while the majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea, a "sizable minority" approves of it. Published February 26, 2018 is one of several new activist groups which support a "boycott" of the National Rifle Association. Several have websites, too. (

Aggressive 'NRA boycott' expands and organizes

Boycott NRA, a newly formed activist group, has launched a public petition calling for commercial concerns to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. The cause already has topped 30,000 signatures, and it is one of about a dozen similar petitions launched on, which provides a free online platform for public pleas and causes — to the tune of 1,000 petitions a day. Published February 25, 2018

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch fields questions, sitting next to Broward Sheriff Scott Israel during a CNN town hall meeting. (Associated Press)

CNN gets aggressive over ratings

CNN's recent town hall on guns in America was a tense broadcast event that sparked controversy and ignored industry ethics meant to preserve decorum and fairness on the airwaves. Things change. The two-hour program boldly breached barriers between entertainment, news and reality TV. But it also garnered big ratings for CNN, attracting an audience of 3 million - about three times the number of viewers the network would typically attract during that time period. Published February 22, 2018

Start your engines: CPAC arrives Wednesday

The Conservative Political Action Conference - CPAC - rumbles to life in 24 hours. Doors open Wednesday for activism training and assorted receptions that herald a mammoth event which cheers up conservatives, whether they attend or not. Published February 19, 2018

Student gun-control activist: 'You are either with us or against us'

Students who witnessed the school shooting last week in Parkland, Florida, have already organized a "March for Our Lives" in Washington next month which has quickly gained traction after the young organizers appeared on multiple Sunday talk shows to make their case - particularly to unnamed lawmakers. Published February 18, 2018

This March 15, 2013, file photo shows Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. (Associated Press)

Romney's chances of winning U.S. Senate seat slim, says historical analysis

Mitt Romney has declared his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Utah. But what are his chances of winning, historically speaking? Not so good according to a unique analysis from Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor who gauged the odds for former presidential hopefuls who run for the lesser office. A dozen have tried, but only three succeeded. Published February 16, 2018

What once was: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with running mate Sen. Tim Kaine at the Democratic National Convention. (Associated Press)

Democrats in search of a brand

Maybe the Democratic Party is worried about their money and their message. Maybe an identity crisis is in progress as the midterm elections loom. Whatever the cause, many Americans appear to be associating Democrats with obstruction and fury rather than productivity and good will. Rivals are noticing this trend, and are only too happy to craft a message around it. Published February 14, 2018

The numbers are clear: There's a glow on Main Street and a soaring stock market seven months into the Trump administration. (Photo of Main Street in Chesterton, Indiana, by Chris Light)

Trump bump: Small business 'optimism index' breaks a 45-year record

Main Street continues to flourish under the Trump administration. The National Federation of Independent Business reports that optimism is at a 45-year high among America's small businesses. The "Small Business Optimism Index" -- a monthly gauge of sentiment among the owners -- broke the record for the measurement, established 45 years ago. Published February 14, 2018

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump in front of the Lincoln Memorial, on Inauguration Day, which was just over a year ago. (Associated Press)

Media: 'Stop worrying about normalizing Trump'

One critic continues to question much of the positive, often fawning press coverage of the North Korean presence at the U.S. Olympics. But he also wonders why this same news media does not give a similar courtesy to President Trump. Published February 13, 2018

Interest in UFOs is on the radar once again with a new Marist Poll revealing the nation's surprising sentiments toward extraterrestrials. (NASA)

Extraterrestrials are on the radar again

Weary of budget arguments and partisan discord? Consider talk of extraterrestrials, a topic which comes and goes in politics — a distraction or a joke to some, a serious concern or curiosity for others. Published February 12, 2018