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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Barbara Arnwine and Eleanor Smeal explain why “The war on voting is a war on women” at MSNBC.com: “According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 25% of eligible African-American voters and 16% of Hispanics do not have such an ID. In addition, 18% of people over the age of 65 do not have a current ID, and although most students have an ID card issued by their college or university, many do not have government issued-ID that would allow them to vote in these states…What is not commonly known, however, is that women are among those most affected by voter ID laws. In one survey, 66% of women voters had an ID that reflected their current name, according to the Brennan Center. The other 34% of women would have to present both a birth certificate and proof of marriage, divorce, or name change in order to vote, a task that is particularly onerous for elderly women and costly for poor women who may have to pay to access these records.”
Associated Press reports that “Va. removes 40K from voter rolls over Democrats’ objections.” In one affiidavit, “a preliminary review that found nearly 10 percent of the names given to him by the state for potential purging were, in fact, eligible voters,” according to AP.
From E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s WaPo column: “…I suggest that we allow ourselves a margin of hope in the wake of the decisive defeat of the extremists who closed down the government to accomplish absolutely nothing. It is a hope tempered by humility. Giant leaps ahead aren’t in the cards. But some important things changed for the better because of this battle….the most hopeful sign of all is that the shutdown reminded Americans that our country depends on an active, well-functioning government. This has emboldened Democrats to challenge the tea party’s sweeping anti-government bromides with an unapologetic case for the public sector.”
David Jarman at Daily Kos Elections makes the case for why we should “Blame gerrymandering, but blame ticket-splitting too.” As Jarman concludes, “If you see how increasingly sophisticated computer-aided gerrymandering, self-sorting, and declining ticket-splitting all interact and feed on each other, then you’re approaching a full-bodied theory on how polarization is increasing.”
At The New Republic, John B. Judis observes in “The Last Days of the GOP We could be witnessing the death throes of the Republican Party“: “There is a growing fear among Washington Republicans that the party, which has lost two national elections in a row, is headed for history’s dustbin. And I believe that they are right to worry…when the Republican Party becomes identified with the radical right, it will begin to lose ground even in districts that Republicans and polling experts now regard as safe. That happened earlier with the Christian Coalition, which enjoyed immense influence within the Republican Party until the Republican Party began to be identified with it… It took the Democrats over two decades to do undo the damage–to create a party coalition that united the leadership in Washington with the base and that was capable of winning national elections. The Republicans could be facing a similar split between their base and their Washington leadership, and it could cripple them not just in the 2014 and 2016 elections, but for decades to come.”
The American Prospect’s Paul Starr tries to get progressives back on the reform track in his post “Let’s Shut Down the Filibuster: Our 16-day long national nightmare is over. Now it’s time to think about reforms that will make the government more functional.” As Starr says, “…historically, the filibuster has hurt Democrats far more than it has helped them. Instead of perpetuating the minority’s ability to obstruct, the Senate’s Democrats should think mainly about laying the groundwork for a new era of reform. The cards are likely to come their way; the big question is how they are going to play their hand.”
From Paul Steinhauser’s CNN.com post “GOP, Boehner take shutdown hit in new CNN poll” : “According to the survey, 54% say it’s a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it’s a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year…the CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that more than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.”
According to Ashley Alman’s HuffPo report on a new PPP poll: “The survey, conducted by liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling and funded by MoveOn.org, is the third in a series of polls that indicate Democrats have a shot at taking back the House of Representatives in the 2014 election cycle…The results of the latest survey show that incumbent Republicans in 15 of the 25 districts polled trail generic Democratic candidates. When combined with the results of the previous surveys, the polls show that generic Democratic candidates lead in 37 of 61 GOP-held districts…When voters were informed their Republican candidate supported the government shutdown, 11 more districts flipped and one race became a tie.”
Good headline, bad rationale. Let’s call them “earned benefit programs.”

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