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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

For some good news for Democrats, see the Associated Press report, “Swing-state unemployment down,” which notes “unemployment has dropped more sharply in several swing states than in the nation as a whole. A resurgence in manufacturing is helping the economy — and Obama’s chances — in the industrial Midwestern states of Ohio and Michigan…And Arizona, Nevada and Florida, where unemployment remains high, are getting some relief from an uptick in tourism….in Michigan and Ohio. In Michigan, unemployment fell to 8.5 percent in March from 10.5 percent in March 2011. And in Ohio, it dropped to 7.5 percent from 8.8 percent over the same period, putting it well below the national average of 8.2 percent…In Florida, unemployment tumbled to 9 percent in March from 10.7 percent a year earlier. That was more than twice the nationwide drop of 0.7 percentage point (from 8.9 percent to 8.2 percent) over the same period. A rise in tourism is helping.”
Scott Bauer has an AP update on Republican leaders in Wisconsin openly asking their supporters to cross party lines in the May 8 primary to vote for fake Democrats to prevent recall of GOP state Senators. As state Rep. Robin Vos, the Republican expected to serve as speaker of the Assembly next year, put it “We are encouraging Republicans to vote in the Democratic primaries.” Crossing party lines to influence the opposition party’s outcome is defensible. Running fake candidates is pretty sleazy.
Dems have a great ad spot up, riffing on Gov. Scott Walker as a job-killer. “Most states gained jobs last year,” says the narrator of the ad. “But under Gov. Walker, Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state. Dead last.” See the ad and read Sean Sullivan’s Hotline on Call report right here.
Meanwhile in PA, Republicans are still screwing around with voter i.d. laws on the eve of the state primary. Philly Inquirer reporter Bob Warner adds “A survey by the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group looked at IDs issued by 110 colleges and universities and found only 19 appeared to meet the new standards. Most of them lack the expiration dates the law requires.”
Benjy Sarlin’s “Obama’s Daunting Task: Bring Back The Youth Vote” at Talking Points Memo indicates that the president’s campaign is working some bread-and-butter angles: “…The White House…would prevent interest rates on subsidized student loans from doubling to 6.8 percent. …Student loans are one area where the administration can tout concrete gains: In 2009, Obama passed student-loan reform through a controversial reconciliation procedure, transferring billions of dollars from private lenders to funding for more generous grants and loan terms…Ending the Iraq war is a big applause line on campuses, as is as the president’s successful push to allow gays to openly serve in the military. And some of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular elements have particular weight with young voters, including a provision allowing Americans to stay on their parent’s health insurance up to age 26: Over 2.5 million more young people are insured as a result, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.”
American Prospect’s Paul Waldman reports at CNN on a new Romney strategy, “bracketting” or the “pre-buttal” in which he gets to a town just before Obama and steals a big bite of his opponent’s favorable coverage. Hmm, could this work down-ballot?
Howard Kurtz reports at The Daily Beast that Romney is “carefully avoiding most national interviews outside of Fox.”
Kurtz also reports on a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism of 52 key newspaper, television, radio, and Web outlets, which found that “Overall, it was no contest. From Jan. 2 through April 15, Romney’s coverage was 39 percent positive, 32 percent negative, and 29 percent neutral, the researchers found. Obama’s coverage was 18 percent positive, 34 percent negative, and 34 percent neutral. That means Romney’s depiction by the media was more than twice as positive as the president’s. So much for liberal bias.”
Sen. McCaskil’s re-election campaign is making GOP Super-PAC money a central issue, according to Rosalind S. Helderman’s WaPo article, “Sen. Claire McCaskill takes fight to super PACs as Missouri swings farther right.” Helderman quotes McCaskill, “You make one company mad by casting a principled vote, and they say, ‘Okay, we’ll just gin up $10 million of our corporate money and take her out anonymously,’ ” she said. “I think if people figure out that’s what’s going on, they’re going to be very turned off by it.”

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