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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his MSNBC.com report “Wisconsin GOP aims to scrap weekend voting,” Zachary Roth explains “The measure, which passed the state assembly Thursday, would give municipalities two choices for early voting, known in the state as in-person absentee voting: they could offer it either from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks before an election; or at any time on a weekday, but not to exceed 30 hours per week, again in the two weeks before an election…That would mean a reduction in early voting hours for the state’s two biggest cities, Milwaukee and Madison–which are also its most important Democratic strongholds…Scrapping weekend voting will hit African-Americans particularly hard, Rev. Willie Brisco, who leads an alliance of Milwaukee churches, told msnbc…”A lot of people in our community are working two or three jobs, odd hours, having difficulty with childcare,” said Brisco. “So the weekend and the early voting reaches a lot of those people.”
Further evidence that the Republicans are getting increasingly brazen about voter suppression from Richard L. Hasen’s New York Times op-ed “Voter Suppression’s New Pretext“: “Says Texas: “It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.”
At The American Prospect Paul Waldman’s article title and subtitle puts the Obamacare nailbiting in a more sober perspoective: “Memo to Democratic Chicken Littles: The Sky Is Not Falling: Yes, this is a politically difficult moment for President Obama. But everyone needs to chill out.”
Former Bushie David Frum continues to risk excommunication from his party by suggesing, gasp, reasonable compromise, as in his latest post, “Why It’s Time To Start Talking About Reforming, Not Repealing, Obamacare” at The Daily Beast.
The Upton bill that has passed the House with substantial support from Blue Dog/moderate Democrats is a step backward in terms of policy. But, despite the Obama-bashing rhetoric accompanying it, the billl may be the first indication that the “Repeal Obamacare” lunacy of the Republican Party is slowly dissolving and being replaced by a more realistic movement for “reforms.” Meanwhile former speaker Pelosi provides a good soundbite, which Obamacare defenders can use: “I wish that my Republican colleagues could see how successful the Affordable Care Act is in California,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said. “I wish you could hear the stories of family after family after family being liberated and freed from the constraint of being job-locked because a family has a pre-existing condition.”
This new Zogby poll has Obama’s approval numbers down 3 points. But interestingly, he is holding steady with younger voters,” despite all of the GOP Obamacare fear-mongering directed at this demographic.
at HuffPollster, Jon Ward explores “What Does Obama’s Approval Rating Mean For 2014?,” quoting Sean Trende: “[P]residential job approval is still the most important variable for how his party fares in midterm elections, explaining about half of the variance. The relationship is highly statistically significant: For every point in job approval the president loses, his party loses 0.6 percent of its caucus….As I’ve said before, this election isn’t going to be about sixth-year itches or any such electoral mumbo-jumbo. It’s going to be about presidential job approval, supplemented by the state of the economy (which also affects job approval to a degree) and how overexposed or underexposed the president’s party is. Right now, the second factor provides a drag beyond the president’s job approval, while the third factor will work heavily to Democrats’ advantage on Election Day….It is still far too early to speculate about how many seats Democrats will lose (or perhaps gain) in the 2014 elections. But if Obama’s job approval is 40 percent on Election Day, gains would be unlikely, and Democratic losses in the low double digits — perhaps even as many as the 20 or so seats that would accompany losing 11 percent of their caucus, a la 1950 — would be plausible.”
If even half of the reports about the dangers posed by Fukushima pollution are true, Dems might be wise to prepare for nuclear power being a much more significant issue in the 2014 elections.
In his WaPo column, “Hillary Clinton faces a different Democratic Party,” Harold Meyerson has a thoughtful warning for Democratic 2016 front-runner Hillary Clinton: “And therein lies the challenge for Hillary Clinton: How to present herself on economic issues? The surest way she can alienate significant segments of her party — perhaps to the point of enabling a progressive populist such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to enter the race — is to surround herself with the same economic crew that led her husband to untether Wall Street and that persuaded Obama, at least in his first term, to go easy on the banks. The economy isn’t likely to be significantly better in 2016 than it is today, and Democratic voters will be looking for a more activist, less Wall Street-influenced nominee.”

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