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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Stan Greenberg: Dem Votes Against Jobs Act Can Backfire

From Greg Sargent’s The Plum Line, before yesterday’s vote on the American Jobs Act: “In an interview with me this morning, Greenberg made a strong case that moderate Senate Democrats in red states would be foolish and shortsighted if they vote against the American Jobs Act today…He argued that moderate Democrats who vote against it are actually imperiling their own reelection chances.”

“They reduce their risks for reelection by showing support for a jobs bill that’s going to be increasingly popular as voters learn more about it,” Greenberg said. “They have to be for something on the economy, and this the kind of proposal they should support. If I were advising them, I’d say you want to be backing a jobs bill with middle class tax cuts paid for by tax hikes on millionaires. Moderate voters in these states very much want to raise taxes on the wealthy to meet our obligations.”
…”Voting No would increase their risk of losing,” Greenberg said bluntly. “Democrats would look divided on their central agenda. In the end you all go down with the ship here. Why would you send Democrats back to the Senate if they are divided on the most important issue facing people? Here you can show unity and purpose, which Democrats have not had an opportunity to do during budget negotiations.”

Asked by Sargent about the President’s popularity numbers as a possible reason for Democratic defections, Greenberg responded,

“It’s a long time until the election, and the President’s standing can go up,” he said. “If the Democrats are divided and have a weak vote on the jobs bill, then moderates will only hurt themselves.”

In the first Senate vote on whether to allow “full consideration” of the $447 billion jobs bill, just two Democratic Senators, Ben Nelson (NB) and Jon Tester (MT), “who each face tough reelection bids,” voted with Republican Senators, all of whom opposed allowing a floor vote. Although they succeeded in preventing full consideration of the act, more votes on specific measures of the act are expected soon.

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