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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

An interesting tidbit from a New York Times story, “G.O.P., Though Deeply Split, Has Election Edge, Poll Shows” by Megan Thee-Brenan and Jonathan Martin, about an otherwise ho-hum NYT/CBS News poll showing the GOP having a less-than-m.o.e. lead over Dems: “At least one Republican leader is faring far worse in the public mind than Mr. Obama. Speaker John A. Boehner had an approval rating in the poll of just 26 percent. More notable, perhaps, was that it was just a bit higher, 33, percent, among Republicans.” The report also notes that “most Americans agree more with Democratic policy positions.”
According to Andy Sullivan’s Reuters post “Insight: How Obama alums aim to turn Texas toward the Democrats,”: “Turnout analysts say that Hispanics made up a disproportionate share of those who stayed home that year. Democrats also see opportunities to win over suburban white women who may feel alienated by the Republican Party’s rightward drift and support of cuts in education.”
Republicans kill another veterans benefits bill.
At the Rachel Maddow Show web page, Steve Benen (via Zachary Roth) notes the key statistic that explains Republican voter suppression in Ohio: “In 2008, black voters were 56% of all weekend voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s largest, even though they made up just 28% of the county’s population.” Further, adds Benen, “Mike Brickner, a spokesperson for the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, told msnbc, “By completely eliminating Sundays from the early voting schedule, Secretary Husted has effectively quashed successful Souls to the Polls programs that brought voters directly from church to early voting sites.”
According to Anna M. Phillips’s Tampa Bay Times Post , “Early voters may hold key in U.S. House District 13 election,” early voting is even more pivotal in parts of Florida: “Of those who have voted in this election, nearly 80 percent are age 55 and up. And though voters over the age of 65 make up about a third of the district’s electorate, they account for more than half of the people who have sent in mail ballots thus far…Two years ago, absentee voters in this district surpassed Election Day voters by more than 60,000 people.”
Now Canadian right-wingers are trying to copy Republican voter suppression policies.
Dems looking for some good messaging points challenging GOP economic policy should check out WaPo’s The Monkey Cage, where Larry Bartels pulverizes the Ryan-Rubio cliches about the free market being the most potent antidote to poverty: “…One of the clearest lessons of the past 50 years is that, in the modern American economy, we do not “rise or fall together…Virtually none of the gains of economic growth have gone to the bottom 40 percent of American households. Their real incomes, before taxes and transfers, are no higher than they were 40 years ago. Our “best anti-poverty program,” the free market, has done nothing at all to improve their lot…Republicans held the White House for most of the past 50 years, and they presided over even slower growth for poor and middle-class families than Democrats have…Far from being “incapable” of alleviating poverty, federal programs are responsible for much or all of our progress on that score since the 1960s.”
Meanwhile, the GOP war on labor unions in PA is gathering steam, with Republican Gov. Tom Corbett pledging to sign legislation designed to severely restrict organizing rights. Democratic U.S. Sen Bob Casey explains the stakes, “I think we have to be cognizant in states where this kind of threat was underestimated, it didn’t turn out very well for workers,” Casey said, citing the cases of Michigan and Wisconsin, where GOP-controlled legislatures passed similar right-to-work laws. “The real goal here is political and ideological, to weaken workers’ right to fight for better wages and benefits.”
Clearly, America needs a lot more of this.

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