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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The buzz keeps building for Thomas Picketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century,” which “is being discussed with equal fervor by the world’s top economic policy makers and middle class Americans who wonder why they haven’t gotten a raise in years,” as Rana Faroohar reports at Time in her post “Here’s Why This Best-Selling Book Is Freaking Out the Super-Wealthy.” Picketty’s book is now number 1 at Amazon, and Paul Krugman terms it a “magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality” in The New York Review of Books. Krugman and Brooks have opposing op-eds about the book at the Times.
If you’re looking for a lighter read, try Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida Charlie Crist’s memoir, “The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.” See also Molly Ball’s profile of Crist in The Atlantic, which offers some insights about political strategy in the Sunshine State, as well as Crist’s politics.
NYT’s “Southerners Don’t Like Obamacare. They Also Don’t Want to Repeal It” by Sabrina Tavernise and Allison Kopicki notes that “The findings in the four states — all with political races that could tip the balance of power in the Senate — underscore the complex and often contradictory views of Mr. Obama’s principal domestic legislation four years after it became law.”
At Bloomberg Businessweek Joshua Green’s “Here’s Why Obamacare Will Help Democrats and Hurt Republicans” offers this observation: “I think the health-care law will still prove to be a net plus for Democrats in many races–a few this fall, and many more in future elections…Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, on Tuesday declared the law an “indisputable success” and said 413,000 Kentuckians had gained private or Medicaid coverage through Kynect. As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes, Beshear has a 56-29 approval rating. But Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican running for reelection, remains wedded to the notion of repeal. Now, Democrats in the state are going after him for wanting to abolish not Obamacare, but Kynect.”
At Politico Emily Schultheis reports that “Democrats race to embrace Obamacare in Pennsylvania primary.” Here’s an ad for PA Democratic gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz:

At The American Prospect Harold Meyerson notes, riffing on a recent NYT/Kaiser Family Foundation poll of four southern states, “The word on Americans–one bit of conventional wisdom that is nonetheless true–is that they are ideologically conservative and operationally liberal. They are opposed to big government but support actual universal government programs like Social Security and Medicare…Confronted with Obamacare, conservative Americans have taken this paradox to new heights. They intensely dislike the program, but they like what it actually does.”
At the NYT Upshot Nate Cohn explains why Dems shouldn’t get too euphoric about recent polls showing a rebound breaking their way in the southern states.
The Crystal Ball’s Kyle Kondik meditates on the power of gaffes to transform elections, and concludes that most of the time they don’t matter all that much — at least in this cycle (with three notable exceptions)…so far.
Also at The Crystal Ball, Geoffrey Skelley explains why veterans don’t vote all that differently from non-veterans. Disproportionately white, male and southern, as a group they tend to tilt more toward Republicans, despite being repeatedly screwed by GOP members of congress over the years.

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