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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From E.J. Dionne, Jr.’s column on the Murray-Ryan budget deal: “The bad news is not only that the proposal unconscionably lets unemployment insurance lapse for millions, which will cost the economy some 300,000 jobs next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It also comes very close to enforcing a spending freeze after this year….This is not a good deal. It is, at best, a necessary deal, given the alternatives available in a political system whose priorities have been twisted away from the needs of the struggling majority. It’s this majority that has to make the noise

Dem oppo researchers should check out the Winter 2014 issue of Democracy Journal, which includes insightful articles about the current clout of the tea party. As editor Michael Tomasky explains in his introduction to the issue: “Theda Skocpol tells us why the movement has some staying power. Alan Abramowitz shows why the GOP leadership won’t cut it loose any time soon. Christopher Parker weighs in on whether, and how, the movement might outlast President Obama. Sean Wilentz enters the debate over its historical roots. Leslie Gelb and Michael Kramer consider the Tea Partiers’ impact on Republican internationalism and U.S. foreign policy. And Dave Weigel weighs the chances of a Tea Party candidate winning the 2016 GOP nomination.”

According to a new AP/GfK poll conducted 12/5-9, “Democrats have a slim edge as the party Americans would prefer to control Congress, 39 percent to 33 percent. But a sizable 27 percent say it doesn’t matter who’s in charge.”

A Gallup Poll conducted 12/5-8 found that “The Republican Party’s favorability has improved slightly to 32% from an all-time low of 28% in October during the government shutdown, while 61% now view the GOP unfavorably. The Democratic Party — on the defensive recently for the flawed rollout of the healthcare website — maintains a favorable rating of 42%. But a majority of Americans, 53%, now see the party unfavorably, up from 49% in October.”
David Freedlander’s Daily Beast post “It’s DINO Hunting Season as the Democrats Gird for Their Own Civil War” spotlights and probably overstates the divisive potential of the rift between Dem progressives and conservatives.

But Richard Eskow of the Campaign for America’s Future argues at HuffPo that “It’s a fight to determine whether that party will represent the public’s interests unsparingly in the years to come, or will continue to be swayed by corporate interests.”

This Third Way study doesn’t indicate that Dems have a lot to worry about in terms of attrition in voter registration, with a 1 percent overall decline. But it does spotlight some key states where Dems have slipped and must do better, including PA, NH, NC and FL.

The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent provides a couple of perceptive observations: “Here’s a point that keeps getting lost…Inequality is already a disproportionally huge issue among Democratic base voters, and they believe overwhelmingly that government can — and should — do something about it…A new poll captures this nicely. The Bloomberg survey found that huge majorities of Americans say the U.S. no longer offers everyone an equal shot, and that the gap between the rich and the rest is getting bigger….if Dems can keep the focus on actual policies in response to GOP screams of “class warfare” (a war cry that seems to make centrist Dems quake in fear), inequality could prove more favorable political turf for them.”

Chri Cillizza’s post “The best campaign of 2013” offers this interesting observation about mobilizing women voters in the McAuliffe campaign for VA Governor: “…the McAuliffe campaign invested heavily (and early) in efforts to turn out drop-off female voters as well as those in the black community and those aged 18-29.”Our drop-off universe was disproportionately young, disproportionately minority, very heavily disproportionately female. But particularly young people, and particularly younger women, the way you get them is over the Internet,” McAuliffe campaign manager Robby Mook told Reid.”

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