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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

NYT Conservative pundit Douthat wonders “Could Defeat in Court Help Obama Win?,” but adds “The safest bet is still that it won’t come to this – that the high court (or at least Kennedy, our current swing vote-cum-philosopher king) will take the most politically cautious, precedent-conscious course, and uphold the health care bill in its current form…If so, it will be hailed as a big win for the administration. But the White House might actually reap more political dividends from defeat.”
In light of Douthat’s more sober assessment, this Monitor headline seems like an over-the-top downer: “Supreme Court justices appear poised to sweep aside entire health-care law.” Maybe Toobin, Richey and other doomsayers should just calm down a tad and remember that the High Court’s job is to ask tough, skeptical questions, and there is ample time left before the anticipated June ruling for serious reflection and maybe even some (gasp) soul-searching.
But it would be good if Justices Kennedy and Roberts read and ponder this lede from a new Reuters/Ipsos poll report conducted online March 23-28: “An overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system remains popular even though Americans are not enamored with the law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010, …The poll found that 44 percent of respondents favor the law, and that an additional 21 percent oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough – for a total of 65 percent.”
In his “Stealing Christianity” post at Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog, Ed Kilgore says what many are no doubt thinking. From the nut graph: “…A lot of media types simply don’t know much about religion, which they find faintly ridiculous and embarrassing. And since it’s all, in their view, a shuck, they are inclined to find its most forcefully conservative practitioners to be the most “authentic.”…This is precisely the same ignorance compounded by ill will that leads a lot of gentiles to treat visibly orthodox Jews as the only “real Jews.”
At The Fix, WaPo’s Aaron Blake takes a mildly hopeful (for Dems) look at a couple of “second tier” Democratic targets — the seat of embattled Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and the open seat in AZ, where Kyl is retiring.
Here’s Three encouraging bellwether state snapshots for the President.
Eric Pianin of The Fiscal Times has a thoughtful, balanced analysis in his article, “House Call: Democrats Need A ‘Wave’ to Reclaim Seats.” Among the arguments for a wave cited by Pianin: “More than 70 percent of Americans disapprove of the performance by congressional Republicans, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.”
GOP veepstakes buzz increases about conservative NM Gov. Susana Martinez, to shore up Romney’s alarmingly low approvals/favorables among women and Hispanic voters. As the WaPo bio notes, Martinez last election was bankrolled in part by “Texas couple Robert and Doylene Perry, who helped fund the 2004 Swift Boat campaign against 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Martinez has also received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of campaign contributions from gas and oil producers.”
Dems gotta love Kenneth P. Vogel’s Politico post, “GOP faces digital divide,” which says: “President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have opened up a big advantage over Republicans when it comes to high-tech voter targeting ” and “mobilizing volunteers, donors and voters.” Vogel adds “One of the Obama campaign’s big advancements this cycle has been to figure out how to link voters across multiple databases.” However, Republicans are investing heavily in closing the gap, and as one expert dryly notes in Vogel’s post, Dems’ high tech edge didn’t help much in 2010.
In an excellent update on the battle to win women voters, AP’s Laurie Kellman summarizes what’s at stake: “…Exit polls show that women are a majority of voters in presidential election years and about four in 10 female voters don’t have a spouse. They lean more heavily Democratic than their married counterparts. But the U.S. census says about 22 percent of them are unregistered, a rich pool of potential new voters for both parties competing for the presidency and the majorities in Congress…As much as 75 percent of single women vote for Democrats, so registering them to vote en masse is more beneficial for Democrats than Republicans.”

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