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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

WaPo columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. has explains why it would be folly for moderates to create “a centrist third party” to challenge for the presidency next year. “We need moderation all right, but a moderate third party is the one way to guarantee we won’t get it. If moderates really want to move the conversation to the center, they should devote their energies to confronting those who are blocking the way. And at this moment, the obstruction is coming from a radicalized right.”
Brad Knickerbocker reports at the Monitor on “Ron Paul’s strategy for winning: Independent and cross-over voters,” an instructive read for Dems who want to initiate some preparation for the possibility of a third party challenge.
Gerald F. Seib has a Wall St. Journal article, “GOP Hopes to Keep 2012 Edge in Voter Intensity,” noting that “…Republican intensity seems to be a kind of negative intensity: GOP supporters appear a lot more fired up about voting against Mr. Obama than they are about voting for any of his potential Republican foes…Still, the numbers represent a big warning sign for Democrats.”
At Forbes, Loren Thompson discusses a tough challenge for the President and Dems, “Why Defense Cuts Could Doom Obama’s Re-election Bid.” Says Thompson: “There aren’t many sectors left in the U.S. economy where old-line industrial unions still have as much presence as defense. And there aren’t many institutions where retirees and dependents rely more heavily on federal funds than the armed forces. Such groups are usually considered core components of the Democratic base, but when they are associated with the military they seem to get ignored in White House political calculations. If Obama’s political team doesn’t wake up soon, these groups will be more inclined to vote Republican in 2012 — potentially denying Democrats the margin of victory needed to carry swing states essential to the president’s reelection.”
The Nation’s John Nichols has an update on the petition drive to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker — more than 300K signatures — more than half of the required signatures (540K) — after only two weeks, with a disproportionately large percentage coming from rural areas, where Walker ran well last year.
Republican strategist Javier Ortiz describes President Obama’s lead in The Hill’s Congress Blog: “…Polling conducted for Univision, the largest and most influential news outlet among Hispanics, reported President Obama experiencing a huge lead among Latino voters,” with larger than 2-1 margins against Cain, Perry and Romney, according to Univision.
And apparently Newt Gingrich isn’t exactly poster-boy for a compassionate immigration policy after all, as Ginger Gibson reports at Politico.
Greg Sargent comments on Thomas B. Edsall’s buzz-generating NYT op-ed, arguing that Dems have decided on a 2012 strategy that bi-passes the white working class. Says Sargent: “My read: Obama’s team knows that he is unlikely to win back blue collar whites in the numbers that he needs, and they are looking at ways to offset that problem…But I don’t see any evidence that the Obama team is writing off those voters as permanently lost. They are hoping to compete aggressively for those voters and for college educated whites, and are pursuing multiple routes to 270.”
Republican Governor of Kansas Sam Brownback shows how to turn a throw-away insult from a high-schooler into a widely-publicized three day story reflecting poorly on him, forcing his apology. A.P.’s Bill Draper has the story here.
Libby Copeland reports at Slate.com on “How To Hit a Woman: The new anti-Elizabeth Warren ad, and how political attack ads differ when the target is female,” an interesting look at the psychology behind GOP attacks vs. women candidates in recent years.
Also at Slate, Christopher Hitchens believes the GOP presidential candidate field may actually be benefiting from it’s endless gaffes, which help to paint a cumulative portrait of regular guy incompetence many find reassuring. Sort of a dog whistle to knuckle-headed voters.

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