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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

CNN.com’s Deirdre Walsh reports that GOP moderates huddle as conservatives set agenda , noting that a “senior Republican familiar with the talks” says the effort may be small now, but it is expanding, and will grow as more Republicans hear from constituents back home that are hurting from the shutdown…”It’s Day 2 of the shutdown — we went from six or seven (members) to over 20 today…”
The New Republic’s Nate Cohn answers the question “Who Are the 17 Republicans Willing to End the Shutdown?” Cohn names names and adds, “Fifteen of the 17 representatives are from the mid-Atlantic or California. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most are from relatively competitive territory: Romney only won five of the 17 districts by more than 3 points…Perhaps because of their districts, these representatives are also relatively moderate–13 are among the 40 most liberal Republicans, as measured by DW-nominate. Eleven of the 17 representatives voted for the Senate’s fiscal cliff compromise last January…And perhaps as a result of their moderation, relatively few of these representatives appear vulnerable heading into 2014. Each of these candidates won by at least 7 points last November. The Cook Political Report only characterizes one seat as “lean Republican;” the rest are either “likely” or “safe” Republican.”
At the Week Keith Wagstaff reports on an emerging (we hope) trend in his post, “Blaming Republicans for the government shutdown: The end of false equivalence?: Even the Wall Street Journal editorial board is urging the GOP to throw in the towel
Sabato’s Crystal Ball guest columnists John Sides and Lynn Vavreck offer this insight about “persuadable voters”, gleaned from their book, The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election : “…We can look at what voters told us in December 2011 and then after the election in November 2012. The vast majority of these voters — about 87% — preferred Obama, Romney or some other candidate in December and reported voting for the same candidate in November. That suggests a lot of stability — which isn’t surprising given that most voters are partisans and partisans are increasingly loyal in presidential elections…But that also leaves 13% who shifted — some from Obama to Romney or vice versa, and most of the rest from being undecided or preferring another candidate to preferring Obama or Romney. That’s a lot more movement than the 5% shift that averaging the horserace polls would suggest…How is it possible that 13% shifted their votes but the horserace polls moved so little? The answer is that these shifts — between the candidates, into and out of being undecided — usually didn’t advantage one or the other of the candidates.”
Also at the Crystal Ball, UNC Charlotte Professor Emeritas Theodore S. Arrington performs “simple least square” regression calculations to determine ‘partisan bias’ in the upcoming House elections. He concludes, “Looking forward from the 2012 election result, this research finds that Democrats would have to get around 53% of the two-party national House vote to have a shot at winning a majority in the lower chamber.” Arrington adds, “This is not impossible, as they performed above this level in 2006 and 2008, but it makes the task of winning a majority of the House seats an uphill climb.”
GOP SHUT DOWN COSTS AMERICANS OVER $30 MILLION PER DAY. Howzat for a headline? At Daily Kos, Laura Clawson reports on the cost of federal park shutdowns inb surrounding communities: “The National Park Service is losing $450,000 a day in entrance fees and other revenue thanks to the Republican shutdown, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in park-related economic shutdown losses. The communities surrounding national parks will suffer, too, to the tune of $30 million a day…With vacationers banned from the parks, they won’t pass through towns by park entrances. That means business lost for hotels and restaurants, grocery stores, supply stores and more.” So much fore the GOP’s “friend of small business” meme. And none of the estimates affecting other government agencies thus far factor in the opportunity cost of not doing the peoples’ business.
Worse, yes worse, Josh Levs reports at CNN: “The government shutdown is “extremely damaging” to U.S. intelligence operations, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday…The shutdown “seriously damages our ability to protect the safety and security of this nation,” he told a Senate panel…Approximately 70% of employees were furloughed, he said.” So much for the Republicans’ cred for protecting our national security.
At Alternet, syndicated talk show host Thom Hartmann does a good job of explaining how the Boehner shutdown robbed the ACA exchange rollout of millions of dollars of free television publicity: “Every news organization in the country had prepared detailed packages and reports on what Obamacare is, how to sign up for it…and all the details…Obamacare experts were being lined up as guests for September 30 and October 1 on radio and television networks and stations across the country. Local stations planned their local versions of this, talking about their state programs…Those two days we’re going to be a big deal, programming wise. I know. I’m in the industry. We were planning it, too…All those programs on radio and television would have given the equivalent of millions of dollars worth of advertising to Obamacare, and caused tens of millions of young people to learn about the program, get excited about the program, and begin signing up right away.” Nearly all of those programs were blacked out by the shutdown.
Liberal Democrat though I am, I like this image crafted by Grover “The Pledge” Norquist, as reported by Talking Points Memo’s Igor Bobic: “Cruz said he would deliver the votes and he didn’t deliver any Democratic votes. He pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away.” More humane, at least, than drowning the baby in the bathtub.

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