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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In “Rasmussen Reports Loses Scott Rasmussen, But the Inaccurate Polls Will Remain” TNR’s Nate Cohn provides a sendoff many poll watchers will appreciate: “…His polls were biased toward Republican candidates in two consecutive cycles, outrageously so in 2012. He refused to interview voters with a cell phone, even though mounting research confirms they tilt toward Democratic leaning groups. He weighted his samples to a fantasy electorate where there are millions more white, Republican voters. And unlike Gallup, which is in the middle of an extensive post-election effort to improve its polling, Rasmussen’s post-election rethinking involved reweighting their tracking poll to the 2012 exit polls, even though you really, really can’t do that. Really embarassing stuff.”
Dem policy-makers should give Amy Sullivan’s Atlantic post “Why Jobs Go Unfilled Even in Times of High Unemployment” a thoughtful read, and come up with a credible job-training program. Among Sullivan’s points, “There are some observers who say that the idea of a skills gap is overstated, that vacancies persist because employers can’t find people with the skills they need at the rate they’re willing to pay. But it is true that employers complain they have a hard time finding workers with the skills they need. About 40 years ago, only one in four jobs required more than a high school education, but now about two in three jobs require more training. And workers now really need to think of learning as a lifelong task. That’s a huge shift from the days when you did one job that never changed for one employer and then you retired.”
The Koch Brothers may be unhinged wingnuts, but they can add, is one conclusion that might be drawn from this HuffPo report, which notes of their interest in purchasing Tribune syndicate newspapers: “…The prospect of their ownership had led to protests from people who were concerned they would use the papers to push their highly controversial political views…But sources told the Daily Caller that, after looking at Tribune’s finances, the Kochs had determined that the purchase wouldn’t be “economically viable.” They are not done yet, however, as one of their spokespersons stated, “”Koch continues to have an interest in the media business and we’re exploring a broad range of opportunities where we think we can add value. In terms of the Tribune, the Daily Caller story is accurate.”
Along with NC right-wing extremist Art Pope, the Koch brothers have a big influence on the tide of reaction in NC through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). For an update on ALEC’s influence in NC politics, read Jim Morril’s Charlotte Observer post, “Where the N.C. GOP got its agenda.”
But the Republican strategy of all-out voter suppression may not do so well in neighboring VA, as John Harwood reports in his New York Times post, “Demographic Shifts May Help Virginia Democrats.”
So what are the prospects for Dems pulling off a repeat of the 2012 strategy of supporting tea party candidates in the GOP senate primaries, which Claire McCaskill so adroitly deployed? Pretty good, apparently, as Noah Bierman explains in his post,”Democratic strategy promotes Tea Party rivals” at the Boston Globe.
Ditto for Democratic strategy in congressional races, as Cameron Joseph reports at The Hill in “Democrats hope GOP chaos in fall will help them win back House.”
The AFL-CIO is targeting six Republican governors for defeat, as Tom Guarino’s Monitor post “Top labor union aims to topple six GOP governors: payback or big risk?” explains: “The six governors are primarily from the Midwest: John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, plus Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania and Paul LePage in Maine. Mr. Hauser [AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Hauser] says the AFL-CIO will not neglect important state and congressional races in the rest of the country, but its “focus” will be those six battlegrounds where the majority of its 12 million members are located.”
E.J,. Dionne, Jr. has coined an apt term for the GOP’s shut-down-government freaks —“The Armageddon Caucus.” Dionne points out “The GOP has gone from endorsing market-based government solutions to problems the private sector can’t solve — i.e, Obamacare — to believing that no solution involving expanded government can possibly be good for the country…Ask yourself: If conservatives still believed in what both left and right once saw as a normal approach to government, would they speak so cavalierly about shutting it down or risking its credit?”
Only Five?

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