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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Despite the headline, “Uninsured Skeptical of Health Care Law in Poll,” New York Times article by Abby Goodnough and Allison Kopicki notes that “In addition, 64 percent of the uninsured and 54 percent of the general public said they thought providing access to affordable health care coverage for all Americans was the responsibility of the federal government…At the same time, only 37 percent of the general public and 33 percent of the uninsured said the law was so flawed that it should be repealed. That marks a slight shift since the CBS News poll in November, when the federal insurance marketplace was still plagued with technical problems and 43 percent of Americans said the law should be repealed.”
Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan report at The Fix that, despite skepticism about the implementation of the health care law revealed in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, “…When you ask people whether they would rather see Obama or the GOP in charge of that implementation, 42 percent pick Obama, while 37 percent pick Republicans. That’s actually the biggest advantage Obama has had on that question since 2010 — marginally bigger than the narrow three-point difference for Obama in September, before the botched rollout.”
Dems have an excellent chance to pick up an important governorship, with PA Republican incumbent Tom Corbett trailing two of his potential Democratic opponents by 12 points each in a new Quinnipiac poll.
At Time Swampland, Jay Newton-Small explains the minimalist “House Republican Strategy for 2014 Victory: Think Small, Do Little.”
From Robert McCartney’s WaPo wrap-up of the Virginia election: “First, in statewide elections, it’s now beyond doubt that Democrats start with a significant advantage. It turns out the 2009 GOP landslide, led by Gov. Bob McDonnell, was an exception fueled by the initial, tea party-led backlash against President Obama…Since then, Democrats have won five straight statewide elections: for president and U.S. Senate in 2012, and for governor, lieutenant governor and now attorney general in November. Democrats hold every statewide elective office for the first time since 1969.”
Also at The Fix, Chris Cillizza spotlights “the Ad Every Democrat Should Be Afraid of.” Clever ad that it might be for this political moment, if Obamacare’s cost savings and success stories are more widely understood by the public by next November, the ad could look like yesterday’s sour grapes.
At Hotline on Call, Alex Roarty reports that “The White House’s out-of-the-blue decision to name Sen. Max Baucus the next ambassador to China means the state’s Democratic governor must appoint a replacement long before next year’s Senate election. And that will fundamentally change one of 2014’s biggest battleground races: Instead of a free-for-all, open-seat battle, Democrats will get to rally behind a better-entrenched incumbent seeking a full term.”
If you are looking for a bellwether House district special election, try FL-13 coming up in March. As Crystal Ballers Kyle Kondik and Larry J. Sabato explain, “If ever there was an apparent bellwether special election, the one coming up in FL-13 this March would seem to be it. The district went 50%-49% for President Obama in 2012, quite similar to his 51%-47% national edge over Mitt Romney. Not only that, but the district is located entirely in Pinellas County, which can fairly be described as one of the key presidential swing counties in the entire country (Obama won this Tampa-area county with 52% of the vote in 2012). The seat, held for decades by the late Rep. Bill Young (R), is probably a necessary part of any future Democratic House majority.” All of the usual caveats about unique local issues and over-generalizing about one election apply, as Sabato and Kondik point out.
Apparently not.

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