Nearly a century ago, in 1920, the Census Bureau caused a ruckus when it announced that, for the first time, a majority of Americans lived in cities -- even though its definition of a city included every hamlet with a population of 2,500 and above.
It was conventional wisdom among the political cognoscenti during most of the primary season that Donald Trump could not win the general election. The evidence seemed strong.
Women, lamented Hillary Clinton in an April 2014 tweet, make just 77 cents on the dollar to men. As a presidential candidate she has repeated that lament again and again, updating the numbers, in line with government statistics, to 78 cents in July 2015 and 79 cents this year.
University of Missouri at St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld has had "second thoughts." Like many academic criminologists, he had pooh-poohed charges that skyrocketing murder rates in many cities in 2015 and 2016 result from a "Ferguson effect" -- a skittering back from proactive policing for fear of accusations of racism like those that followed the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.
John Quincy Adams, our greatest secretary of state (sorry, Hillary Clinton fans), thought that Cuba would inevitably become part of the United States. It hasn't, at least not yet, but two Cuban-Americans were serious presidential contenders this year.
An irresistible force meets an immoveable object.
The unexpected successes, forecast by almost no one 12 months ago, of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in winning 40 percent and 42 percent in Republican and Democratic primaries and caucuses is widely taken as evidence of raging discontent among American voters.
Ethnicity still matters. That's one lesson I draw from the results so far of this year's Republican and Democratic primaries and caucuses.
Home-state candidates notched up impressive victories in New York's presidential primaries Tuesday. Donald Trump topped 50 percent for the first time -- and handsomely, with 60 percent of Republican votes. And Hillary Clinton won 58 percent of Democratic votes in her adopted home state.
"Gestapo tactics." That's how Donald Trump's recently installed campaign manager, Paul Manafort, characterized the Ted Cruz campaign's successful effort to win all 34 of Colorado's pledged national convention delegates at the long-scheduled Republican congressional district and state conventions.