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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser reports that, “With the clock ticking towards two crucial deadlines, a new national poll indicates congressional Republicans would shoulder more blame than President Barack Obama for a possible government shutdown.” Steinhauser continues, “Only a third would consider President Barack Obama responsible for a shutdown, with 51% pointing a finger at the GOP – up from 40% who felt that way earlier this year,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.”
Those who believe that political ads don’t matter much should read Michael Barbaro’s New York Times article about “The commercial that changed the course of the mayor’s race.”
According to Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei, “An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide…The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes…And it made grants of $236 million – meaning a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election, second in total spending only to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, which together spent about $300 million.”
In his New York Times column, “That Threat Worked,” Nicholas D. Kristof credits President Obama with sound strategy in asking for support for military strikes in Syria. Kristof argues, “while it seems that neither Congress nor the public has any appetite for cruise missile strikes on Syria, it will be critical to keep the military option alive in the coming weeks or Russia and Syria will play us like a yo-yo.”
We knew the gender gap was a major factor in presidential elections. But now Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley report at Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “We went back and looked at hundreds of exit polls since 2004 in presidential and Senate races and found that 87.5% of statewide Senate and presidential races featured a clear gender gap, which on account of poll error we are defining as the Democratic candidate doing at least three net percentage points better with women than with men.”
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas is running a symposium on “middle-out economics,” exploring theory and policies based on the idea: “Where conservatives say investing in the top 1 percent drives growth, we say that investing in the broad middle does it.”
Steven Greenhouse and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times shed light on labor union problems with Obamacare. The authors quote Terence M. O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union, who explained “If the Affordable Care Act is not fixed and it destroys the health and welfare funds that we have fought for and stand for, then I believe it needs to be repealed…We don’t want it to be repealed. We want it to be fixed, fixed, fixed.”
PPP’s Tom Jensen has an interesting take on the PPP polling mess, flagged by Dave Nir of Daily Kos: “We did a poll last weekend in Colorado Senate District 3 and found that voters intended to recall Angela Giron by a 12 point margin, 54/42. In a district that Barack Obama won by almost 20 points I figured there was no way that could be right and made a rare decision not to release the poll. It turns out we should have had more faith in our numbers because she was indeed recalled by 12 points…What’s interesting about our poll is that it didn’t find the gun control measures that drove the recall election to be that unpopular. Expanded background checks for gun buyers had 68/27 support among voters in the district, reflecting the overwhelming popularity for that we’ve found across the country…And voters were evenly divided on the law limiting high capacity ammunition magazines to 15 bullets, with 47% supporting and 47% opposing it. If voters were really making their recall votes based on those two laws, that doesn’t point to recalling Giron by a 12 point margin…We did find on the poll though that voters in the district had a favorable opinion of the NRA by a 53/33 margin. And I think when you see the final results what that indicates is they just did a good job of turning the election more broadly into do you support gun rights or are you opposed to them.”
From the Gallup Poll conducted September 5-8: “…The 48% who name an economic issue as most important problem is down from 63% in the first month of this year. And, as Congress reconvenes to debate issues related to the nation’s debt and deficit, anxiety related to these issues has fallen dramatically…” Despite the Syria crisis, writes Gallup’s Andrew Dugan, “Nonetheless, the economy in general remains the No. 1 U.S. problem according to Americans, followed by jobs and unemployment, dissatisfaction with government, and healthcare.”

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