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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

NDN’s Simon Rosenberg: Midterm Outlook Improving

In yet another indication that Dems are picking up mo against GOP mid term candidates, New Democratic Network President Simon Rosenberg has this to say in an American Prospect interview by Tim Fernholz:

You’ve got trend lines where one party is dropping and one party is gaining — it’s indisputable at this point. If you’re a Republican right now, and you look at this environment, the party that’s dropping a month out usually loses. If you’re a candidate or a political party in a close election and you’re dropping a month out, and the other guy’s rising, you usually lose, because those dynamics are very hard to adjust.
Republican efforts to create an agenda were sloppy and showed the Republicans weren’t ready to govern. The whole effort of [House Minority Leader John] Boehner’s economic speech in Ohio, up through the recent pledge, really defined the Republicans as being a political party not ready for prime time. It gave the Democrats a more appropriate contrast to remind the public about a political party that had not really reconstructed itself. If the Republicans made a fundamentally different offering, the way [Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron] had in Britain, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. But they doubled down on a political philosophy and an economic philosophy that did grave damage to the national interest when they were last in power. … If you look at the Gallup poll from two weeks ago, they asked a question: “Who do you blame for what went wrong with the economy?” Seventy percent of the country still blames Bush and the Republicans.
We know the election has shifted. There’s been a four- to six-point shift toward the Democrats. Do those trends continue? Do the Democrats pick up another four to six points this month? The most reasonable scenario now of what happens in the next month is that the Democrats claim another three to six points and end up either even in the generic or slightly ahead, and certainly ahead in the non-Southern parts of the country.

Rosenberg sees the MSM as a tad dumbstruck by the Democratic rally underway:

Now the wave model has to be rejected and something else is happening. … I’m not arguing that the Democrats are going to pick up seats. But this notion that the Democratic Party would have made a six- to seven-point gain in September defies so many historical understandings of what was going to happen in this election that the dramatic nature of what just took place, I think, is being incredibly understated by the media.

He sees major weaknesses revealed in the GOP’s midterm campaign:

…the Republican Party is still not offering solutions for the future, has incredibly unattractive leadership, is ideologically divided, has elected far too many fringe candidates, and is way over-reliant on outside plutocratic money, which I think in the long term is going to become really problematic for them, because if they win the majority, they will have won it based on the contribution of 50 to 100 really rich people, which is unsustainable for them as a political party in this Internet age.
…The Republican Party was psychologically unprepared for what’s going on right now. It’s amazing how silent the national Republicans are right now in the face of it, and the reason why is because every time Boehner or [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell go on television, it hurts them.

Rosenberg also has an interesting explanation for why Dems have seemed a little timid in attacking Republicans this year:

Part of what went wrong with the Democrats in the last two years is that too many Democrats have political Stockholm syndrome. Many Democrats grew up in an era with a conservative politics that was ascendant and center-left politics was in decline. What happened in 2008 was the conservative jailers left, and were defeated, the door to the ideological jail opened up, the sun was shining, the Democrats could leave, and they didn’t leave.

And Rosenberg believes the Great Wingnut Ad Juggernaut made possible by the Citizens United decision is programmed to backfire:

The other thing you’re going to see is that, as the Republican ads go up on the air, it’s going to motivate Democratic voters because it’s going to remind the Democrats how much they hate the Republicans. The ability for the Democrats to label them bad Republicans — just like those Republicans who hurt the country — is not a difficult task in the next month. And I think that’s Obama’s job in the last weeks.

Rosenberg’s take, coming from one of the more astute political analysts, is good news indeed.

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