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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Andrew Grossman reports at the Wall St. Journal on Obama and Romney campaign strategies “to Snag the Growing Number of Ballots Cast Before Election Day” in 30 states. For those who need to better understand the GOP’s war against early voting, Grossman notes that 47 percent of voters cast their ballots early in battleground states in 2008, up from 28 percent in ’04.
At Campaign for America’s Future, Dave Johnson asks “What Is The Calculation Behind Romney’s Campaign Of Lies?” Part of Johnson’s answer: “This is a key thing to get, the Romney campaign believes that they can win this election using lies and propaganda as “truths” to drive their campaign story. They are making the calculation that the right’s media machine has become sufficiently powerful for their version of reality to reach enough of the public, and that it is sticking in their minds as “truths!”…They are also making the calculation — so far validated by the media response — that there will be little if any pushback from “mainstream” media. They trust that the media will look the other way, report lies as “one side says X, the other says Y,” tell the public “both sides do it,” and say this is just par for the course.”
Dave Wessel of the Wall St. Journal’s ‘Washington Wire’ has an update on “The Vanishing Undecideds,” noting “in the last Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, only 8% of the voters failed to express a preference for one candidate or the other. And when pollsters probed, they found that 84% of those who said they’d vote for Mr. Romney today were “definitely” or “probably” going to vote that way; only 16% were “just leaning.” On the Obama side, the figures were even stronger: 91% of those polled said they’d “definitely” or “probably” vote to reelect the president; only 9% were “just leaning.” A New York Times/Quinnipiac University poll found only a sliver of voters in key swing states — 4% in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania — are undecided.”
Jonathan Chait ‘s “Class War and Romney’s Counterattack” at New York magazine reports on Romney’s “comically-mendacious campaign.” Among Chait’s observations: “One startling thing about the campaign is how little Romney has done to prepare himself for such an obvious line of attack…He’s allowed Democrats to define him by his wealth and heartlessness. He seems to have fallen into the trap of believing that the sentiments about wealth that prevail among movement conservatives reflect the beliefs of Americans as a whole…In place of his lackluster defensive exertions, Romney is instead mounting a hyper-belligerent offensive. If Obama attacks him for redistributing from the middle class to the rich, Romney will paint Obama as redistributing from the middle class to the poor…the political punch of this messaging derives from the fact that white middle-class Americans understand messages about redistribution from the hard-working middle-class to the lazy underclass in highly racialized terms.”
Jason Easely’s PolitcusUSA post “The Unlikeables: GOP Convention to Feature America’s Most Disliked Politicians” makes a pretty convincing case that the GOP convention is shaping up as a net downer for Romney.
Slate economics correspondent Matthew Yglesias writes that “…A bombshell report released last week by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center shows that Mitt Romney has given Democrats the greatest gift they could hope for – a Republican plan for a broad increase in middle-class taxes.” He explains the Urban-Brookings methodology and adds, “What you get turns out to be a substantial decrease in the after-tax incomes of households with less than $200,000 a year in income, to the tune of 1.2 percent of total income on average. Richer households, by contrast, will pay less in taxes than they do now.”
At the Kansas City Star Steve Kraske has an update on Senator Claire McCaskill’s race against Todd ‘Liberals hate God’ Akin, who wants to “privatize Medicare and Social Security…objects to the minimum wage and to federally backed student loans.” Akin has a slight lead at the starting gate. This may be 2012’s emblematic “money vs. reason” senate race.
MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ show seems to have deteriorated into a pro-Romney gushfest. Although it’s more substantial than other morning yak shows, the blustering-Republican-with-timid-moderates anchor table formula is a yawner. Maybe the show could be enlivened by more frequent guest spots for MSNBC’s impressive stable of assertive liberal commentators.
Good to see NC back in play in a new PPP survey. The state’s electoral votes could be determined by Dem GOTV in the Triangle and Triad regions of central NC.

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