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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

This is really great news for Democrats. the highly-regarded and well-connected Michelle Nunn is running for the Senate seat now held by Republican Saxby Chambliss, giving Dems their best hope for a 2014 pick-up — likely a marquee Senate race.
A new USA TODAY/Bipartisan Policy Center poll has some interesting findings beyond the headline, including that 22% of men, but just 8% of women have considered running for office, as have 17% of whites, but just 8% of African Americans. But the survey indicates that the main reasons most don’t end up running for office include money, time and the nastiness of it all. The poll also cites “a close split, 42%-38%, on whether they see the government as an advocate or an adversary for them and their families. (The partisan divide: Republicans and independents view the federal government as an adversary while Democrats see it as an advocate.)”
Little Cheney is apparently flunking the carpetbagger test big time. I guess it was too much to hope she would get traction and divide the state GOP.
Dems face a very tough challenge in terms of holding their U.S. Senate majority in 2014, but there are some grounds for hope, as Jessica Taylor writes at MSNBC: “Republicans inherited a very friendly map, but they have failed to put any blue or purple states into play. Even in the red states, Republicans are mired in divisive primaries that pit Tea Party conservatives against establishment Republicans favored by the Washington elite. The party has failed to unite behind a candidate in any of the most competitive states they cite,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director Matt Canter. “Democrats have had tremendous recruiting success in Iowa and Michigan, where Democrats now are the undisputed favorites. Grimes’ candidacy fundamentally changes the map, forcing Republicans to spend millions playing defense, and Democrats are confident that she can defeat McConnell. Democrats also believe that a Todd Akin conservative will emerge in Georgia and provide a pick up opportunity for the right moderate Democrat with an independent Georgia brand.”
Chris Matthews asks a good question: “Forty-one states had voter suppression bills introduced by Republicans last year. Do you think people are going to forget which party wanted them to be shut out from their democratic rights?”
This Pew Research Center study presents a number of important findings for Democrats, including: “Our research has also found a correlation between the amount of time Hispanic immigrants (regardless of legal status) spend in the United States and the share that identifies with a political party. While nearly two-thirds (63%) of Hispanic immigrants who have been in the U.S. at least 15 years identify with one of the two major parties, that share falls to 38% among those who have been in the U.S. for fewer than 15 years.”
Give it up for NC progressives, who are writing a new book on how to raise consciousness and fight Republican suppression. Partricia Murphy reports at the Daily Beast, and the photo accompanying her article reflects the growing spirit of resistance taking root in this key swing state.
Here’s one theory about why Nate Silver is leaving the New York Times for ESPN: “His entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism that The Times specializes in: polling, the horse race, campaign coverage, analysis based on campaign-trail observation, and opinion writing, or “punditry,” as he put it, famously describing it as “fundamentally useless.” Of course, The Times is equally known for its in-depth and investigative reporting on politics.”
Tamara Keith’s “How Floor Charts Became Stars Of Congress” provides an interesting take on the increasing use of a new tool for political education: “Watch C-SPAN long enough, and you’ll see members of Congress using visual aids: big, brightly colored poster boards, known on Capitol Hill as floor charts…When you are in the minority, you have to find ways to get your message across because there’s no other way. You don’t have a bill that they’re going to hear. There’s no committee that will receive your suggestions,” [Florida Democrat Frederica] Wilson says.”
Well-intentioned that it is “middle-out” doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of excitement as a Democratic catch-phrase heading towards 2014.

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