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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Swing/Base Roundtable

The Democratic Strategist’s first Roundtable Discussion for 2008 was on the perennial controversy over “swing” versus “base” voter strategies. Who are these voters? How valuable are they? Do swing voter appeals sacrifice principle or “base” support? These are among the questions we posed to a distinguished group of commentators, including practitioners, political scientists, activists and journalists. They included Robert Creamer, Bill Galston, Chris Bowers, Al From, Joan McCarter, and Ed Kilgore (who introduced and concluded the Roundtable). (Click here for a PDF version of the roundtable in its entirety).

One comment on “Swing/Base Roundtable

  1. microsrfr on

    The appeal to most middle class voters this time around arises from their common dramatic erosion of purchasing power. Worker annual pay increases are averaging 4% a year while the cost of living is increasing by over 11% a year — they are losing purchasing power at a rate of 7% a year (see http://www.shadowstats.com).
    The middle class are walking up a down escalator where every time they get a pay increase they take a step up, but the escalator is moving downward by the rate of increase in the cost of living. Over 90% of the middle class are traveling downward. As they fall off the bottom, they lose financial control and self respect. Eric Hoffer has observed that people in this state will follow a leader blindly. The only requirement for such a leader is that they blame someone, they are consistent and they are macho(shades of GWB?).
    We are fortunate that at this economically critical juncture, we have Barack Obama who is a dedicated creater of movements in the mold of Mahatma Ghandi or Martin Luther King. Because of the economic stress being placed on the middle class, he will appeal to all persuasions and pull enough swing state senators to get close to that magic 60 votes needed to cut off debate. Republican swing senators will face the onslaught of Obama’s minions who will pressure them to come to Obama’s side.
    We can only hope that Obama has the vision to utilize this power to pull us out of our military, health and energy crises before the middle class is decimated and our democracy is lost.


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