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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From HuffPo Pollster Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy report on “The Surprising Takeaway From A Poll About Polls“: “Three out of four (75 percent) said they perceive polling to be biased. Only 4 percent reported “a lot of trust” in polling companies — and nearly half (46 percent) expressed distrust — in the midst of a conversation with an employee of a polling company…As such, the perceptions of bias may not signal further doom and gloom for pollsters. If anything, they suggest that the few who do participate in surveys will share their true beliefs, even when it might offend the pollster. And that, in a perverse way, may amount to a bit of good news.”
At USA Today Martha T. Moore and Catalina Camia explore how the “Syria vote will ripple through 2014 campaigns,” particularly the senate seats now held by Mitch McConnell and Mark Pryor.
Meanwhile, “Obama Faces Barrier in His Own Party on Syria” by NYT’s Jeremy W. Peters reviews the challenges the president is facing in getting Dems to support a strike against the Assad regime: “Those who are deeply conflicted about how to proceed include liberals who are ordinarily suspicious of using military force but feel compelled to punish President Bashar al-Assad of Syria over accusations that his forces staged a chemical attack against civilians. There are also members who represent primarily minority and urban districts where the president’s word carries a lot of weight but voters are preoccupied with how spending cuts are hurting public assistance and threatening Social Security and Medicare.”
The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent has some sound advice for the president with respect to winning public support for a strike against the Assad regime: “…It would seem that if the administration wants to rally the public, the focus should be on less on persuading people that Assad is guilty of gassing his own people and more on persuading them that the response to it would have an impact and entails minimal risk.”
Ezra Klein’s interview with Rep. Brad Sherman sheds light on the same topic. Says Sherman “I would say it will require two things. One, he needs to quickly propose a different resolution that is extremely narrow. It needs to authorize only what he says he wants to do. If instead the lawyers and planners in the administration say they want a resolution that authorizes anything they might want to do, they’ll fail. Second, I think he’ll need to go on TV, in primetime. The active public is against this. I don’t know a member of Congress whose e-mails and phone calls are in favor of this.”
Bill Barrow of the Associated press reports on Democratic strategy in upcoming elections in the south: “As Democrats try to curtail GOP dominance in the South, the party’s top recruits for 2014 elections are trying to sell themselves as problem solvers above Washington’s partisan gridlock…They’re casting the Republicans’ anti-government mantra and emphasis on social issues like abortion and gay marriage as ideological obstacles to progress on “bread-and-butter” issues like public education, infrastructure and health care…That goes beyond their usual effort to distance themselves from President Barack Obama and national Democrats, and it’s the closest thing the Democratic Party has to a unified strategy in the region beyond simply waiting for demographics to shift in the long term to ensure they can compete with Republicans.”
At The Fix Sean Sullivan explains why “Why Lincoln Chafee’s decision not to run for reelection is more good news for Democrats
Also at The Fix, Chris Cillizza reports on “The era of the recall,” noting “The recall election, once reserved for forcing out elected officials accused of a crime, ethics violations or gross misconduct, has become an overtly political tool. Since 2011, voters in four states have successfully mounted petition drives to recall state legislators over new laws curbing the influence of public unions, or expanding the reach of background checks on gun purchasers…The number of recalls has spiked dramatically in recent years. Of the 32 successful recalls in the United States since 1911, one third — 11 — have taken place since 2011. Of the 21 recall efforts that succeeded in forcing a sitting elected official back onto the ballot, but failed at the polls, 13 have taken place in just the last two years.”
Here’s a headline for Dems to savor: “Ohio Republican Party Goes to War With Itself, Leaving 2016 in Doubt” by The Daily Beast’s Dennis Freedlander.

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