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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At the Hill Sheldon Alberts reports that 53 percent of likely voters now believe President Obama will be re-elected on November 6, up from 43 percent just before the Democratic convention, according to The Hill’s latest election poll.
After examining all presidential polls since 1972, Nate Silver reports at The New York Times that the “Last 10 Presidential Elections Show No Consistent Bias in Polls.” Silver explains: “Data suggest that polling in presidential elections has no history of partisan bias, at least not on a consistent basis. There have been years, like 1980 and 1994, when the polls did underestimate the standing of Republicans. But there have been others, like 2000 and 2006, when they underestimated the standing of Democrats…In all but three years, the partisan bias in the polls was small, with the polling average coming within 1.5 percentage points of the actual result. (I use the term “bias” in a statistical sense, meaning simply that the results tended to miss toward one direction.)”
Will the GOP’s edge in money and redistricting empower them to hold their House majority? Alex Isenstadt reviews the strength of their “firewall” at Politico.
John Harwood has an historical retrospective at the NYT on how “Debates Can Shift a Race’s Outcome, but It’s Not Easy.”
Miranda Green observes at The Daily Beast that “Data from the Gallup study also saw no direct correlation between the winner of each debate and the winner of the presidency. The 2004 Kerry vs. Bush debate was cited as an example. Kerry was considered the victor of all three showdowns, but still lost the election.”
WaPo columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. has an insightful preview of Wednesday’s debate, and a couple of good tips for President Obama: “Obama will have to avoid intimations of arrogance or overconfidence. Al Gore marred an otherwise strong night with his rather dismissive sighs during a 2000 debate with George W. Bush…Obama’s aspiration is for a showdown in which he calmly, perhaps even amiably, maintains focus on the subjects that have consistently given Romney such trouble. Every mention of the number 47 will be a victory for Obama.”
J.D. Kleinke has a NYT post, “The Conservative Case for Obamacare.” Kleinke notes, “The individual mandate recognizes that millions of Americans who could buy health insurance choose not to, because it requires trading away today’s wants for tomorrow’s needs. The mandate is about personal responsibility — a hallmark of conservative thought. …The same goes for health insurance exchanges, another idea formulated by conservatives and supported by Republican governors and legislators across the country for years. An exchange is as pro-market a mechanism as they come: free up buyers and sellers, standardize the products, add pricing transparency, and watch what happens.”
From the Columbus Dispatch, Derrel Rowland’s post “Dispatch Poll: Obama widens lead as balloting starts” gives president Obama a 9-point lead — just as early voting begins — the fifth consecutive poll to report a 5-10 point edge for the President..
Demos reports that a coalition of nonprofits has produced some dramatic improvements in the enforcement of the national Voter Registration Act (NVRA), including: “Mississippi particularly deserves a huge shout-out. After implementing all suggestions for improvements in voter registration procedures undertaken by public assistance agencies, there has been a nearly 2,500 percent increase in the number of voter registrations per month…”
Something I’ve wondered about — Is it possible that Republican voter suppression will backfire in a big way? The Economist’s ‘Lexingon Notebook’ has a post “If America had compulsory voting, would Democrats win every election?” noting that, “…The idea that Republicans are trying to suppress black and low-income votes has energized the Democratic base like “rocket fuel”, to quote the chairman of the [PA] state Democrats, Jim Burn. In short, the voter-ID law could end up being a net positive for the Democrats.”

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