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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Re the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending “the total amount any individual can contribute to federal candidates in a two-year election cycle,” Adam Liptak reports at TheNew York Times that “The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will very likely increase the role money plays in American politics.” Dems should highlight the decision as a wake-up call to voters that a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate will obstruct any hope of restoring balance to the Supreme Court — and make America’s legal system even worse for everyone but the wealthy.
A majority of the current Supreme Court may be in the pocket of the GOP. But at least American voters are consistently opposed to unlimited campaign spending. As Megan Thee-Brenan reports, also at The New York Times, “A Gallup poll conducted in June found that 8 in ten Americans, if given the opportunity, would vote to limit the amount of money candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives could raise and spend on their election campaigns…Unlike the Supreme Court’s decision, which was split along ideological lines, the public’s views are cohesive. The poll found that broad majorities of all Americans, regardless of their political philosophy, party identification, age, education, sex or income level, preferred limits on campaign donations.”
A The Pew Research Center Jens Manuel Krogstad discusses why “Hispanics punch below their weight in midterm elections.” Says Krogstad: “A record 24.8 million Hispanics are eligible to vote in 2014, according to February Census figures, up from 21.3 million in 2010…Hispanics made up a larger share of the electorate in 2010 than in any previous midterm election, representing 6.9% of all voters, up from 5.8% in 2006. In 2010 House races, Hispanics favored Democrats over Republicans by 60% to 38%…Nearly half (49.3%) of Cuban-origin Hispanics voted, compared with just 28.7% of Mexican-origin Hispanics…Among registered voters who didn’t vote in 2010, one-in-four Hispanics chose “too busy, conflicting work or school schedule” as the reason they did not cast a ballot. About the same percentage of non-voters overall chose the same reason. Nearly twice as many Hispanics as non-voters overall said they forgot to vote, 13.3% to 7.5%.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr. has some good questions his colleagues in the MSM ought to be addressing at this political moment: “From now on, will there be more healthy skepticism about conservative claims against the ACA? Given how many times the law’s enemies have said the sky was falling when it wasn’t, will there be tougher interrogation of their next round of apocalyptic predictions? Will their so-called alternatives be analyzed closely to see how many now-insured people would actually lose coverage under the “replacement” plans?”
At Rothenblog Nathan L. Gonzales explains why “Why Republicans Have Trouble Electing Women to Congress.” At present, “only 73 Republican women, including 17 incumbents, have filed or are expected to file to run for a House seat in 2014 — a 33 percent decrease from 2012.”
Greg Sargent reports that Democrats are renaming Republican Paul Ryan’s budget “The Koch Budget,” and it is “bought and paid for by Charles and David Koch,” and “forces seniors to pay more while providing tax breaks for billionaires like the Kochs.” Further, says Sargent, “if Dems have their way, they will be able to use it in statewide races, where the electorate may be somewhat more diverse, to galvanize core supporters and draw a sharp economic contrast in the eyes of swing constituencies.”
Democrats big push for a minimum wage hike may help Rep. Gary Peters hold on to the Senate seat. As Patrick O’Connor writes at Wall St. Journals’ Washington Wire: “In Michigan, where Mr. Peters is locked in a tight race with likely Republican nominee Terri Lynn Land, the Democrat needs to rally the party’s core constituencies. Mr. Obama won the state by 10 percentage points in 2012. The fall ballot measure raising the minimum wage from $7.40 an hour to $10.10 should give Democrats in union-heavy Michigan another reason to vote in November.”
Skeptical though they are about Dems’ chances in the Senate and House elections this year, Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik say “we suspect a modest net Democratic gain of one to three governors’ mansions.”
Oodles of boo hoo out there from the poor one-percenters, with Chas Koch the latest case in point. You can’t do much better, though, than Joan Wash’s take-down at Salon.com, “Billionaires’ crybaby club: Someone get these whiners a bottle!

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