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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Laura Meckler has a sobering article at The Wall St. Journal, “Democrats Lag in Voter Registration.” According to Catalist, a group with Democratic ties that studies voting, “In North Carolina, half of all people who registered to vote in 2008 were oriented toward the Democrats, and about 20% were oriented toward Republicans, a 30-percentage-point advantage for Democrats…Since then, that advantage has been erased. Republican-oriented voters have run slightly ahead of presumed Democratic voters in new registrations in North Carolina throughout 2010 and 2011…The picture is similar among new registrations nationally. Democrats had a 2-to-1 advantage in 2008, but in the most recent quarter, Republicans were slightly ahead, Catalist found.”

Many progressives applaud the retirement of Dem Sen. Ben Nelson. Others worry that the GOP may have just clinched a Senate takeover.

Salon’s Jefferson Morley interviews Thomas Frank about his new book, “Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.” Frank addresses the failure of liberalism and Democratic messaging, the rise of the tea party, “a cognitive withdrawal from the shared world” and ‘utopian market populism’ as chasing “the dream more vivid than life itself.”

It’s still a little gimmicky, but here’s the first thing I’ve read that makes an Obama-Clinton ticket sound interesting.

Recent polling in Iowa suggests Paul has not been damaged by reports about his racist newsletters, according to Slate.com’s Dave Weigel. My guess is Paul’s largely low-information constituency doesn’t read, know or care much about racial injustice and many simply have a high tolerance for bigotry in general. Newt and Bachmann, to their credit, have denounced Paul’s newsletters, while Mitt, as usual, cowers in the shadows.

Am I alone in thinking this endorsement smells a little like a set-up?

David Lauter of the L. A. Times Politics Now reports that “Latinos by a 2-to-1 margin disapprove of how President Obama is handing deportations of illegal residents, but by an even larger margin, Latino voters favor him over Mitt Romney, according to a new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center..Among the registered voters in the survey, Obama led Romney in a hypothetical matchup by 68%-23% — about the same margin by which Obama defeated John McCain among Latino voters in 2008, according to exit polls.”

Emily’s List has just published a “GOP Presidential Scorecard,” rating the Republican candidates according to their positions on five major issues of concern to women. Hint: Newt flunked worst.

It isn’t all about electoral politics. Dara O’Rourke writes at The Boston Review about another track for progressives activists, the awakening of the “Citizen Consumer.”

Jeffrey Toobin’s “Holder’s Legacy” at The New Yorker urges the A.G. to accept a worthy challenge: “…To define his legacy as Attorney General–as something more than the guy who tried, and failed, to have Guantánamo Bay detainees tried in federal court in New York. There is a purity, a simplicity, about the voting-rights fight that is sadly absent from many modern civil-rights battles. This is not about special privileges, or quotas, or even complex mathematical formulae. It’s about a basic right of American citizenship, which is being taken from large numbers of people for the most cynical of reasons. The laws are, quite literally, indefensible–so Holder ought to make the states that have them try to defend them. That would be a legacy that would make any Attorney General, and any American, proud.”

Time out for a little levity at Op-Ed News, where Rev. Dan Vojir’s “Driving The Clown Car: A (Serious) Look At GOP Campaign Managers With Nonetheless HILARIOUS UDATES!” reviews the latest Republican shenanigans.

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