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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

As the final late votes dribble in, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner/Democracy Corps produced the most accurate national polls during the last three weeks of the presidential election, according to Nate Silver of NYT FiveThirtyEight, with “a smaller error than any national pollster – less than 1 percentage point.”
Romney appears to have learned nothing from being defeated in his bid for the presidency, bizarrely placing the blame on President Obama’s “gifts” to women, minorities and youth, which sounds like more of Mitt’s ‘moochers’ meme. But Gov. Bobby Jindal apparently has a clue. Politico’s James Hohmann and Jonathan Martin explain the emerging rift inside the GOP. However, Jindal dodged the issue of Republican-driven voter suppression. It’s not just about talking nicer — there has to be some policy behind it.
AP has an update, “Dems, GOP fight brewing over curbing filibusters.”
Carla Seaquist’s HuffPo post “This Time, Democrats Need to Keep Control of the Narrative” provides an eloquent take on the meaning of the election, a cautionary note and a prescription for moving the Democratic agenda forward. Here’s a bit of Seaquist’s view of the outcome: “…Not only was the American way of life reinforced, so in a way was our soul: In the teeth of Tea Party extremism, Obama-hatred, and off-the-wall pronouncements from Republicans about women, minorities, gays, and immigrants, the majority of the American electorate pushed back and voted for fairness, tolerance, and sanity…It’s America at its best and we got a bit of it back…”
Tim Murphy of Mother Jones has yet another peek “Under the Hood of Team Obama’s Tech Operation.”
David Moberg’s “Unions Played Major Unsung Role in Obama Victory” in In These Times has this to say: “While exit polls showed that Obama lost white voters by more than in 2008, the Hart surveys found that Obama won by 9 points among white union men without a college degree. In contrast, he lost by 47 points among white non-college men who were not union members…Romney did better with older voters overall, but union members over 65 favored Obama by 28 percentage points, while non-union voters in the same age group favored Romney by 17 percentage points. And while non-union voters making $50,000 to $100,000 a year favored Romney by 8 points, union members earning the same amount broke for Obama by a margin of 33 percent…In Ohio, the most hard-fought battleground state and one with above-average union membership, Obama won union voters by 70 to 29 percent…”
Tova Wang notes at Demos: “The right to vote is just that — a fundamental freedom at the cornerstone of American democracy. In the 2012 election, that sacred value was challenged in a way we have not seen in a couple of generations, perhaps since the civil and voting rights movements of the 1960s… The measures taken were so blatant and widespread that they served to energize coalitions of citizens to fight for voting rights harder than ever, and made many voters more determined to vote and have their vote count.” Wang follows up with the best detailed analysis of voter suppression in 2012 and successful efforts to challenge it yet published.
At ABC News/Univision Emily Deruy reports that Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) have introduced legislation to “make voting faster and more accessible…The bill, called The Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act of 2012, would award states grants based on how well they improve access to polls. That would be judged by a number of factors, including how flexible the registration process is, whether early voting is offered at least nine of the 10 days before an election, and whether absentee voting is offered.”
The Economist corrects Speaker Boehner’s assertions that the election had “no mandate” for raising taxes on the rich: “Did not! The Democrats won 50.6% of the votes for president, to 47.8% for the Republicans; 53.6% of the votes for the Senate, to 42.9% for the Republicans; and…49% of the votes for the House, to 48.2% for the Republicans (some ballots are still being counted). That’s not a vote for divided government. It’s a clean sweep…The only viable method for Democrats to reinstate the House’s democratic integrity is to win a healthy majority of state governments in 2020, threaten to gerrymander to their own advantage, and then use that leverage to extract a deal from state Republican parties for a non-partisan districting process.”
Politico’s Maggie Haberman cites a new poll by Hart Research’s Geoff Garin, conducted for Americans for Tax Fairness which indicates “Democrats have changed the landscape on an issue that has eluded them for years – taxes. The survey found that has most want the Bush-era cuts on top earners to expire, but that Republicans will shoulder blame if all of the Bush cuts, including those on the middle class, expire because a deal can’t be reached.”

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