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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Jeremy W. Peters and Michael D. Shear report at The New York Times that “Democrats, as Part of Midterm Strategy, to Schedule Votes on Pocketbook Issues.” The authors explain “The White House and congressional Democrats are preparing to step up attacks on Republicans over pocketbook issues like the minimum wage in the most aggressive and coordinated move yet to try to reverse the Republican momentum that threatens their control of the Senate in the final two years of the Obama presidency…The plan calls for bringing at least 10 different bills to a vote. In addition to the Minimum Wage Fairness Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, others that are likely to be voted on include a Bring Jobs Home Act that would create tax credits for costs associated with bringing production back to the United States, an act to fund the nation’s infrastructure repair needs and one to make it more difficult to pass laws that raise the Medicare eligibility age.”
At Time magazine Jay Newton-Small explains why, in light of the George Washington University poll noted below: “Democrats are betting on a message of income inequality, which the poll shows is popular with voters. In the survey, Democrats lead Republicans when it comes to voters’ confidence that they’ll stand up for the middle class, 54% to 36%, and on representing middle class values, 52% to 39%.”
Also at the NYT, Jonathan Weisman’s “In Mississippi, It’s G.O.P. vs. Tea Party” probes the “last major battlefield in the clash between the Tea Party and the G.O.P. establishment.”
Bloomberg’s Julie Bykowicz explains how “Kochs, Rove, Chamber Fine-Tune Strategy to Beat Democrats.” Bykowicz rolls out the formula for their victory in FL-13: “The Republican collaboration included a synchronized television- and web-ad plan, a battery of anti-Sink mailers and a last-minute recorded voter appeal by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky to suffocate support for a third-party candidate who threatened to draw votes from Jolly.”
Here’s the major ingredient missing from the recipe for turning the Lone Star state purple, then blue: “In Texas, which is home to nearly one in five of all U.S. Hispanics, just 39 percent of Hispanics who were eligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election cast a ballot. That’s compared with 48 percent of eligible U.S. Hispanics, 61 percent of eligible white Texans and 64 percent of eligible white Americans…Twenty-five percent of Texas Hispanic voters said they were contacted by campaigns or organizations encouraging them to vote in 2012, the report said. The national average was 31 percent…In Texas, where 38 percent of residents are Hispanic, both major political parties are actively pursuing Hispanic voters, 56 percent of whom identified as Democrats in 2012. Hispanics are expected to be a plurality of the state population by 2020.”
Labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan makes a pitch that the time is right for a little voter turnout experiment: “Can’t one blue state, just one of them, try compulsory voting by initiative and see if it sets off a constitutional chain reaction? After all, the states are supposed to be “laboratories for experiment.” That’s why we have 50.”
So, “What If Republicans Capture the Senate?” At The Atlantic Norm Ornstein explains what is at sake, and it’s a horrible scenario: “A winning midterm would encourage the GOP’s worst impulses toward obstruction, hearten the 2016 presidential field, and bottle up Obama nominees…First, the real downside. Start by imagining what the GOP zeitgeist will be if the party picks off six, seven, or eight seats. My guess, the same as after the 2010 midterms: “Man, did that politics of obstruction work like a charm! Let’s double down on it and take the whole enchilada in 2016!”
Geoffrey Skelley argues at Sabato’s Crystal Ball that “Democrats’ increased reliance on young voters may lead them to struggle in midterm elections in the near future…Since the first national exit poll was taken for a midterm election in 1978, only once (in that first survey) has the 18-to-29 age group made up a larger portion of a midterm electorate than voters who were 60 or older…While Obama’s reelection in 2012 proved that Democrats can make up ground with strong support from the youngest voting cohort, the party could not turn those supporters out in 2010 and probably won’t be able to in 2014 either, given the historical pattern.”
A new World Health Organization report, flagged by Hunter at Kos, indicates that 1 out of every 8 deaths is caused by pollution. Since Republicans have no anti-pollution policies and embrace knee-jerk deregulation, Democrats might be able get some traction by making them explain how they would address this crisis.

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