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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Democratic Senator Kay Hagan has a few strong cards to play in her campaign to keep her seat from GOP challenger Thom Tillis, as Jason Husser points out at the Monkey Cage: “The GOP quickly moved to pass many controversial measures — including restrictions on abortion facilities, requirements of voter photo identification, elimination of teacher tenure and implementation of a less progressive tax code. Tillis presided over the NC House of Representative when these measures passed.” Then there is the recent coal ash spill into the Dan River from a Duke Energy facility. “Knowing about the coal ash spill doubles the chance that voters will feel unfavorably toward Tillis and significantly reduces their chance of feeling favorably toward him,” notes Husser, citing an Elon University poll of rv’s.
And among the comments following Reid Wilson’s WaPo post on Tillis: WJdad2 says “Tillis and McCrory are going to saddle ratepayers with the Duke cleanup costs,” notes Tillis’s other “accomplishments” include: Voter suppression legislation; 500,000 poor without insurance to spite Obama; 46th in teacher pay. . . Lower than Mississippi; Teacher pay plan proposal to pit new-hires against veteran teachers to bust morale; ALEC Board member; Bought and paid for with Koch and Rove support; Tax plan that yields lower taxes for the rich and net higher for the rest of us; The shortest unemployment compensation duration in the country “. . . Another commenter, bobnpvine1 adds “he pushed thru the dumbest legislation in the country that allows college kids to carry concealed guns and allows the same for bar patrons…”
As for the voter suppression legislation that Tillis engineered as NC’s speaker, Al Hunt writes in his column “Voter Suppression Is the Real Racist Rage” that “In addition to the photo ID requirement, North Carolina also curbed registration drives for young voters and cut back early voting, disproportionately exercised by minorities, by one week…The Americans Civil Liberties Union, which opposes these laws, asked two professors to gauge the impact; they concluded that 900,000 North Carolinians voted in that now-eliminated early week and estimated that the compressed voting schedule could drive at least 18,000 potential voters to give up in frustration. In 2008, Barack Obama carried North Carolina by 14,000 votes…Some Democrats think these restrictions could cause a backlash, energizing black voters in North Carolina and other states.”
And at Daily Kos Jed Lewison chronicles’ Tillis’s opposition to the minimium wage increase, followed by his evasive walkbacks on the topic. Lewison suggests “Instead of giving him a chance to dodge the issue by asking about raising the minimum wage, reporters should ask Tillis whether he supports it in the first place. If he doesn’t support it, that’s information voters deserve to have, and if he does support it, then the logic of his arguments against raising it fall apart.”
Maya Rhodan reports at Time that “About 25 percent fewer Latino voters will turn out to vote in the 2014 midterm elections than did in the 2012 presidential race, according to new projections released by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)…But the total Latino vote is still projected to be higher than it was in the last midterm election in 2010, not because a greater share of Latino voters will be voting, but rather because the total Latino population has grown in the last four years…That would be 18.8% higher than the turnout during the 2010 midterm election…”
From President Obama’s speech at a L.A. fund-raiser for Democratic candidates: “We believe in pay equity; they say, no. We believe in a higher minimum wage; they say, no. We believe in making sure that we’re investing in our infrastructure and putting people back to work, and investing in innovation and basic research that can unlock cures for things like Alzheimer’s; their budget takes us in the opposite direction. We believe in early childhood education to make sure that opportunity for all actually means something, that it’s not just a slogan; they say, no. We think climate change is real. Some of them say it’s a hoax, that we’re fabricating it. And the biggest challenge we have is not just that there’s a fundamental difference in vision and where we want to take the country, not just the fact that they continue to subscribe to a top-down approach to economic growth and opportunity and we believe that the economy works better when it works for everybody and that real growth happens from the bottom up and the middle out.”
Michael Tomasky makes a tight case that Dems should boycott the Benghazi circus.
At CQ Politics Kyle Trygstad’s “How a Democrat Could Win a Senate Seat in Georgia” frames the challenge Dems face in Georgia this year: “Behind the scenes, a coordinated effort between Nunn and gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter, the grandson of President Jimmy Carter, is based in a growing number of offices in the state, where senior field operatives are building the groundwork for a voter registration and contact operation…As Senate Democrats work to make the midterm electorate in battleground states more closely resemble a presidential cycle, they have to do better than that in Georgia, where President Barack Obama lost by 7 points without putting up much of a fight.”
Here’s a fun question for Republicans who support making voting harder in the U.S., and express their admiration for Putin.

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