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J. Scott Applewhite/AP. As any political scientist will tell you, presidents keep most of the promises they make on the campaign trail, or at least try to. It can be a little harder to judge members of Congress. Most have little power on their own; you may have voted for Congressman Forehead because he told you he would clean up Washington, revive the economy and protect Social Security, but he won’t be accomplishing those things single-handedly. And yet there are times when a party makes a collective argument in a campaign, and we can look to see whether it followed through. That’s one of the main functions the campaign serves: Each party tells the voters what the urgent challenges are ... Full story

9 November