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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Lest we forget, the “stand your ground” law which facilitated the dubious acquittal verdict in the Trayvon Martin case was an NRA and mostly Republican-sponsored law. As Howard Goodman reports for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, “As soon as the bill was signed into law in Florida, the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said the pro-gun organization would use the victory to promote the law everywhere…Within weeks, a proposed statute with almost the exact wording of the Florida law was adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That’s a conservative organization that pushes for laws favorable to its patrons, mainly scores of U.S. corporations…ALEC’s method is to hand cookie-cutter “model” bills to sympathetic state lawmakers — mostly conservative Republicans — who then sponsor them in their statehouses.”
Demography is Destiny to a great extent. But Ron Brownstein has a sobering warning for Dems in his National Journal post, “Danger Ahead for Democrats: The Passion Gap: A motivated Republican base could help the party win seats next year, despite long-term demographic trends.”
From Catalina Carnera’s USA Today article, “Poll: Voters blame GOP for gridlock in Washington” : “A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that 64% of voters say Republicans and Democrats are equally to blame for the gridlock…But when asked if the standstill occurs because of the GOP blocking President Obama or whether Obama lacks the skills to bring Congress together, 51% point fingers at Republicans. By comparison, 35% of voters say Obama “lacks the personal skills to convince leaders of Congress to work together.”
Former MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer passes on a run for the U.S. Senate, which is a blow for Dem hopes to hold their majority.
All of the Democrats problems in candidate recruitment notwithstanding, E. J. Dionne’s Sunday column highlights one area where Dems are in excellent shape — plenty of credible women leaders besides Hillary Clinton, who could make a strong run for president or veep.
At The Economist, Lexington offers some insights about “The war of the words: How Republicans and Democrats use language.” Among Lexington’s observations: “Republicans are also better, Democrats fear, at agreeing on a message and sticking to it. Frank Luntz, a Republican consultant, once said: “There’s a simple rule. You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time.””
The editors of the NYT’s The Caucus have an updated statistical profile of the “Racial Makeup of Red and Blue America.”
Mark Sappenfield of The Monitor’s ‘DC Decoder’ blog explores a question of increasing interest to Dems, “Texas abortion uproar: Could backlash turn Lone Star State blue?” As Sappenfiled notes, “The demographics of the Lone Star State suggest irresistible change. The 2010 Census showed that 45 percent of Texans are white, 38 percent are Latino, and 11 percent are black, with other ethnic groups making up the remaining 6 percent. A decade before, the white-Latino split was 53 to 32 percent. White Texans, already no longer a majority, will soon no longer even be the plurality.” However, “10 to 15 percent of Texas Latinos are not citizens. The Latino population also trends much younger than the white population, meaning a larger share of Texas Latinos have not yet reached voting age.”
Paul Krugman posts on why “There Is No “True” Unemployment Rate” and discusses the uses of the ‘U3’ and ‘U6″ unemployment rates.
A new Gallup poll finds that “In U.S., More Relate to Democrats Than GOP on Immigration.” Asked “which political party’s policies on immigration and immigration reform come closer to your own?,” 48 percent chose the Democratic party, with 36 percent picking the Republican party. Further, 41 percent of non-Hispanic whites selected Dems, vs. 42 percent for Republicans. The figures for African Americans were 70 percent for Dems and 14 percent for Republicans, while Latinos chose Dems by a margin of 60-26.

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