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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

How you can help GOTV in Wisconsin: The AFL-CIO has a widget you can use for making 15 GOTV phone calls.
Greg Sargent flags “
The Wisconsin debate moment everyone’s talking about” as a powerful energizer for the movement to recall Scott Walker and elect Tom Barrett. “Barrett attempted to use the moment to turn the tables on one of Walker’s main closing arguments — about crime stats in Milwaukee — and pivot back to allegations of Walker corruption. The exchange is heartening to labor and Dems because it’s the kind of charged debate moment that has at least the possibility of breaking through a bit and having an impact in a campaign’s final days…Many have observed that the Walker attack ad featuring the two-year-old child is not the kind of spot a campaign runs if it’s extremely confident of winning.”
At The Daily Beast Peter Beinart says Obama is right to continue attacking Romney’s record at Bain : “…Obama can’t win reelection simply with the votes of young, single, and minority voters. He needs to hold down his losses among blue-collar whites, a group with which he has always struggled. Using Romney’s stewardship at Bain to drive a wedge between him and the culturally conservative working-class whites whose turnout he desperately needs made a lot of sense, especially if the Obama campaign had tied Romney’s record at Bain to his support for unpopular Republican budgetary proposals.”
The Century Foundation is presenting a panel today from 12:00 to 2:00p.m. on “The Future of Labor Organizing” at their DC HQ and via webcast.
Key swing states are doing better economically. The Economist mulls over the ramifications, skeptically: “How much any of this will matter on November 6th is unclear. John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University, argues there is little or no empirical link between a state’s economic conditions and its presidential voting. National economic conditions are far more important, probably because voters base their opinions on the national media, or national indicators such as the stockmarket…Moreover, if Mr Obama tries to take credit for good news in swing states such as Ohio, Virginia and Florida, he will have to share it with incumbent Republican governors equally intent on reaping the political benefit.”
At the Wonkblog, Ezra Klein explains why, contrary to media overreaction, the May jobs snapshot should not provoke mass weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Alan I. Abramowitz argues at Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball that “Buying a Presidential Election? It’s Not as Easy as You Think.” As Abramowitz says, “The airwaves in the eight or 10 states that will decide the outcome of the 2012 presidential election will soon be saturated with ads supporting and opposing Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, all aimed at persuading a small group of undecided voters — less than 10%, according to most recent polls…These undecided voters are much less interested in the presidential election than those who have already chosen sides…The net impact of all of this advertising is likely to be minimal…Research by political scientists and evidence from 2012 polls in the battleground states suggests that the parties and candidates would do better to focus their efforts in these states on mobilizing their supporters rather than trying to persuade uncommitted voters.”
Also at Crystal Ball, Larry J. Sabato has a zinger for Gallup’s June polls: “Over the past eight elections, Gallup — the most recognizable of polling organizations — has only identified the eventual popular vote winner twice in its early June horse race polling…”
Jill Harris, managing director of strategic initiatives for Drug Policy Action, the political arm of the Drug Policy Alliance, has a WaPo update on the public’s views on marijuana laws reform, noting: “A new Rasmussen poll showed that 56 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana and only 36 percent oppose it. A Mason-Dixon poll conducted in May found that 74 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Independents and 67 percent of Republicans believe that the federal government should respect state medical marijuana laws and not prosecute individuals who are in compliance with these laws…In blue Oregon and California and red Texas, candidates have just succeeded with a pro-reform message. As the momentum builds for marijuana legalization across the country, politicians will have no choice but to get in step with the public. And then we’ll really start to see things change.”
Everyone agrees that the economy is the most pivotal factor. But at The Hill, Alexander Bolton has a riff that should make political junkies of all stripes a little nervous, “Ten game changers that could decide the race between Obama and Romney.”

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