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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Nate Silver mulls over the latest presidential race polls at Five Thirty Eight, and says, “Mitt Romney remains in a considerably stronger polling position than he was before last Wednesday’s debate in Denver. But the polls released on Sunday did not tell quite as optimistic a story for him as those in the debate’s immediate aftermath…Based on the numbers that the tracking polls published on Sunday, however, Mr. Obama’s lead was down to just 1.7 percentage points on average — a net shift of 2 points toward Mr. Romney since the debate…If the polls settle in at showing something like a 1- or 2-point lead for Mr. Obama by this point next week, that would be reasonably well in line with where our model and others think that the election “should” be based on economic trends; it would no longer be as appropriate to think of Mr. Romney as being an underachieving candidate.”
Good to see MLK III stumping against voter suppression in Florida. King slammed “elected officials…who are trying to keep people from participating in the process. That is unconscionable” and urged the reelection of President Obama, adding “This really is the most important election for the next 50 years. It will set the tone for the next 50 to 75 years.”
At Politico, James Hohmann reports on the evidence in the Politico/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of LVs that the “enthusiasm gap” favoring Romney is back. Chuck Todd has more to say about it right here.
But Jamelle Bouie reports at Greg Sargent’s The Plum Line that “Democrats steadily gain in Senate races nationwide.” Bouie explains “While most political observers have been focused on the size of Mitt Romney’s bounce from last week’s debate, something else has been happening at the state level — Democratic Senate candidates have begun to break away from their Republican opponents.”
Fox News Latino actually has a decent report on Dems’ prospects for a Senate seat pick-up in AZ: “Arizona’s Richard Carmona, Democrat, in Race to Replace Retiring GOP Senator.”
And at Salon.com, Alex Seitz-Wald’s post “Democrats really do have a shot at winning the House” offers this ray of hope for Dems, despite pundit skepticim: “…In early August, the Reuters/Ipsos poll House generic ballot test — which asks if respondents would vote for a generic Democrat or generic Republican — showed the parties tied at 46 percent. In September, this same poll showed Democrats leading by 6 points, 49 percent – 43 percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal generic poll from July had similar movement since July, as did an An Economist/YouGov poll. The most recent generic poll comes from NPR, which shows Dems up 3 points. Another recent poll of exclusively battleground congressional districts, conducted by Politico and George Washington University, had Dems up 2.”
WaPo columnist Chris Cillizza is undoubtedly right in saying that “Foreign policy isn’t going to decide the 2012 election” in his post “Mitt Romney and the (foreign policy) vision thing.” But referring to the reportage of Romney’s clownish mess of a foreign policy trip as “decidedly mixed press coverage he received during his trip to Britain, Israel and Poland…” may merit Cillizza a nomination to the False Equivalency Hall of Fame.
Ron Rosenbaum asks the right question in his Slate.com post “Is the Republican Party Racist?” But if the Republicans take the white house next month, it will have more to do with the GOP’s embrace of the politics of racial resentment than with any particular region.
Also at Slate.com, Eliot Spitzer’s “Jack Welch’s First Stage of Grief: Denial of Strong Jobs Report” has this richly-deserved skewering for a once impressive-now ridiculous corporate ‘leader’: “Shame on you, Jack. The notion that the Department of Labor plays games with these numbers for political reasons is silly, ludicrous, and insulting to government workers who have reported new figures–good and bad–faithfully for many decades. It strikes me, Jack, that there have been more cases of corporate gamesmanship with financial numbers in the past few years than cases in which the government wasn’t honest. In fact, didn’t your company, GE, have an accounting issue that led to a big SEC settlement not so long ago? So, Jack, now that you have made this outlandish claim, where is your proof–your evidence, any facts–to substantiate your assertion? Or is it just a partisan screed? You might recall that when my office charged GE–then under your leadership–with a range of impropriety, we had the proof, and a judge forced your company to take out full-page ads admitting your wrongdoing…”
In case you were wondering about the answer to another good question, “Why Do the Sunday Shows Suck So Much?,” Paul Waldman has the answer at the American Prospect. “I live and breathe politics, yet I find these programs absolutely unwatchable, and I can’t be the only one. On a typical episode, there is nothing to learn, no insight to be gained, no interesting perspective on offer, nothing but an endless spew of talking points and squabbling.” Waldman sees a ray of hope in “Up With Chris Hayes” on MSNBC. Waldman says Hayes’s program “shows what the Sunday shows could be. Hayes doesn’t bother interviewing politicians or party hacks; instead, he brings on people who know a lot about whatever issue they’ll be discussing, aren’t constrained by the need to score partisan points, and might have something interesting to say.”

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