In an earlier column, I looked at the role the abortion issue would play in the 2016 election -- not very much, I concluded -- and promised another column on other cultural issues. Here goes.
On anyone's list of cultural issues that have been debated over the last decade, same-sex marriage ranks just behind abortion. And unlike abortion, opinion on same-sex marriage has changed dramatically in recent years.
The defeat of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu by Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in last weekend's Louisiana runoff ends an election year that has been very successful for Republicans -- and has implications for 2016.
Americans are divided politically along cultural, not economic, lines. Partisan preference is highly correlated with views on non-economic issues and only loosely related to economic status.
Is the market in Hillary Clinton futures collapsing? Quite possibly so.
Even as Republicans are about to regain a majority in the Senate after eight years in the minority, the conventional wisdom around Washington is that Democrats are likely to win back that majority again in 2016. That's certainly possible, but it's short of a slam dunk.
No one in Washington much cares what House Democrats do these days. House rules tend to ensure that the main job of members of the minority is to show up, vote "no" and lose. And in the next Congress, Democrats will have fewer seats in the House than they've had since 1929 and 1930.
Last spring, you may remember, the French economist Thomas Piketty was all the rage in certain enlightened circles. His book "Capital" shot up to the No. 1 spot on bestseller lists, and many economists praised his statistics showing increased income and wealth inequality. Piketty argued that, absent a world war, returns to capital will exceed economic growth, inevitably producing growing inequality in the 21st century.
"When the facts change, I change my mind," economist John Maynard Keynes said when charged with inconsistency. "What do you do, sir?"
As President Obama threatens to stretch his power to faithfully execute the law to a breaking point by effectively legalizing some 5 million illegal immigrants, perhaps I owe readers an explanation of my own changes of mind on immigration.
Were the polls wrong? It's a question asked after every election. Sometimes, as in 1948, the answer seems as obvious as the answer to the question, "Why did Custer lose at Little Bighorn?" Sometimes the answer is less obvious, as it is this year.
If you're a political junkie -- or at least if you're a conservative political junkie -- you've probably seen the map. It's a map of the United States showing the congressional districts won by Republicans in red and those won by Democrats in blue.
It looks almost entirely red, except for some pinpoints of blue in major metropolitan areas and a few blue blotches here and there -- in Minnesota, Northern New Mexico and Arizona, Western New England, along the Pacific Coast.