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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Dems need a net gain of 18 seats in 2014 to win back control of the House of Reps, which sounds like a tall order given the mid term election historical patterns. But doing so is the president’s top political goal going forward, and Pennsylvania is a crucial battlefield. But Robert Vickers ‘ “Analysis: Obama’s midterm strategy could pose problems for Corbett” in the Central Pennsylvania Patriot News writes: ” While the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report currently ranks the Pennsylvania governor’s race as a “pure toss-up,” all the state’s congressional seats are ranked “safe” or “favored” for the incumbent…However, all three “favored” seats are Republican-held, and appear to be part Obama’s midterm strategy…Democrats have prioritized two of those “Republican favored” districts – freshman U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus’ 12th district seat, and two-term U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s 8th district seat. Fitzpatrick reclaimed the seat last year after losing his first re-election effort.” Vickers reports that Dems are also looking at winning two other seats in the ‘burbs outside Philadelphia.
At Roll Call, Stuart Rothenberg notes four House districts Dems should be able to pick up with better candidate recruitment.
Associated Press has an update on the “challenging terrain” Dems face in holding their majority in the U.S. Senate next year. Dems are placing their hopes on “polarizing primaries” for the GOP.
The Bangor Daily News has an editorial defending the voting rights of prisoners, who have been convicted of the most serious crimes (Only Maine and Vermont allow that right), and also providing an informative discussion of the pros and cons of the policy.
According to Lily Kuo’s Quartz post, Electronic voting is failing the developing world while the US and Europe abandon it “In the US and Western Europe, more states have been opting out of electronic voting systems and returning to paper out of worries over the number of glitches and, as we’ve reported before, the inability to verify that electronic votes or the software on machines have not been manipulated…In the US 2012 election, 56% of voters cast paper ballots that were optically scanned (pdf. p. 75) while only 39% used electronic voting machines. Similarly in Europe only two countries-Belgium and France-use electronic ballots. Out of eight European countries that have experimented with electronic voting, six reverted back to paper ballots.”
Some Dems got scammed by Rand Paul’s grandstanding. But MoJo’s David Corn ain’t having it. Neither is Alternet’s Joshua Holland.
Ralph Nader tries to answer a provocative question, “Why Are Democrats So Defeatist?” As Nader explains: “The leadership is still reluctant to represent the more than three-quarters of the American people who want big business to be held accountable for its special privileges, reckless behavior and disregard for people’s livelihoods. Many senior Democrats are settled in their own safe seats and care little about the overall prospects of the party winning a majority in the House.”
At the Wall St. Journal, Phil Izzo has a revealing statistic to ponder: “7.1%: What the unemployment rate would be without government job cuts.”
GOP-driven deficit hysteria is arguably the most destructive force in American politics. Krugman’s Saturday column, “Dwindling Deficit Disorder,” has some cogent thoughts on the topic, including: “…In fact, the deficit is falling more rapidly than it has for generations, it is already down to sustainable levels, and it is too small given the state of the economy. ..the facts about our dwindling deficit are unwelcome in many quarters. Fiscal fearmongering is a major industry inside the Beltway, especially among those looking for excuses to do what they really want, namely dismantle Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security…The deficit is indeed dwindling, and the case for making the deficit a central policy concern, which was never very strong given low borrowing costs and high unemployment, has now completely vanished.”
I think not.

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