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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

“House Democrats, battered by Koch brothers ads and facing a grim outlook for the midterms, are providing the clearest indication yet of how they plan to respond: By shoring up imperiled incumbents and only the most promising challengers, but most likely leaving some of the party’s upstart hopefuls to fend for themselves…House Majority PAC, a leading Democratic super PAC and one of the biggest players in congressional races, will begin placing its first round of TV ad reservations, according to an outline first shared with POLITICO. Of the 24 districts the group is reserving commercial time in, 18 of them are occupied by party incumbents. The ads will begin running around Labor Day, when the midterm sprint begins in earnest,” writes Alex Isenstadt in “Dems’ midterm strategy: Triage” at Politico.
The Fix’s Sean Sullivan offers some one-graph summaries of “The top 11 Senate races of 2014.”
Christopher Ingraham’s Wonkblog article about a new Pew Research report, “How Democratic and Republican morals compare to the rest of the world” contains few surprises. But the observation of one of the article commenters is instructive: “What I don’t understand is why this poll ONLY focused on the “morality” of so-called “social issues.” I find it morally unacceptable that there are people in the US who are still without adequate health care. I find it morally unacceptable that the District of Columbia in the alleged “greatest democracy in the world” is still without representation in our Congress. What about the consistently growing chasm between the very rich and the working class in this country? What about capital punishment? What about war? THESE are the real moral questions we shold be asking.”
Also at Politico, Andrew Rustuccia illuminates the difficulties facing Dem candidates who haven’t yet taken a position on the Keystone pipeline.
At The Pittsburgh Courier Zenitha Prince explains voter suppression, Ohio-style: “This year, alone, the Ohio General Assembly has passed and Gov. John Kasich (R) has signed bills that shave days off the early voting period and completely eliminates “Golden Week,” a brief window when voters could register and vote early on the same day; prohibits anyone but Secretary of State Jon Husted from mailing unsolicited absentee ballots to voters and makes it more difficult to count provisional ballots…Husted has also set statewide, uniform early voting hours that contain no evening or Sunday hours, making it more difficult for working Ohioans to vote early and negating “Souls to the Polls,” an initiative of the faith community to mobilize their congregations to the polls on Sundays…One study showed that African-Americans in Cuyahoga County voted early at 26 times the rate of White voters, accounting for ¼ of overall voter turnout but ¾ of early in person voter turnout.”
But the Charlotte Observer’s Jim Morrill notes how Democrats are fighting early voting restrictions in N.C.: “Early voting starts across North Carolina on Thursday, and nowhere will voters have more opportunities to take advantage of it than in Mecklenburg County [which includes Charlotte]…County election officials have expanded the number of early voting sites beyond what is required by the state’s new voting law. No county in the state will have as many hours in which to cast an early ballot…Mecklenburg will offer more than six times as many early voting hours as it did in the 2010 primary. But under the new law, those hours will come over fewer days…At the same time, 38 mostly rural counties have asked for and received permission to reduce the number of early voting hours.
At The Boston Globe, however, Derrick Z. Jackson writes, “In Wisconsin, won twice by Obama, conservative Governor Scott Walker signed one law ending weekend early voting and another that allows election observers to come as close as three feet to registration and check-in tables…Such proximity could easily intimidate voters and encourage poll workers to slow down the processing of voters.”
Tom Skubick shows how midterm turnout politics plays out in the race for Governor of Michigan: “Gov. Rick Snyder holds a 50%-37% edge with those over 65. Factor in those between the ages of 45 and 65, his advantage is 45%-38%…Democratic challenger Mark Schauer wins the 18-44 vote, but if most of them don’t vote, so what…The same ominous situation exists with minority voting. Mr. Schauer wins the African-American vote 57%-12%. But again, Mr. Schauer must motivate those voters to show up on November 4th.”
Simon Maloy’s Salon.com post “GOP’s purple-state problem: How a Virginia Medicaid battle augurs huge risks for the party” encapsulates the challenge facing Republians — and the edge smart Democrats are tapping: “Right now it’s hard to see how the GOP comes out on top here. Either they stick to their guns and explain over and over why they’re denying coverage to the uninsured poor, or they cave and risk the ire of deep-pocketed small government zealots.”

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