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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s WaPo column “An election campaign with too little focus on economic concerns“: “The nature of the public discussion has been a strategic advantage for the GOP…Bread-and-butter concerns are the stuff of Democratic victories because the polls show that most voters still think of the GOP as more protective of the interests of the wealthy than of their own. The less we hear about economics, the better it is for Republicans.”
At Politico and the Crystal Ball Larry J. Sabato has the definitive (for the moment) update on 36 governor’s races in 2014, and notes “the governorship map leans slightly toward Democrats because a few GOP executives elected in the 2010 Republican landslide are vulnerable in blue or competitive states.”
…And Laura Clawson’s Daily Kos post “Chris Christie isn’t the only governor to rob worker pensions to balance a budget” provides some ammo for enlarging that edge, particularly with high-turnout seniors.
In starker-than-ever contrast to their opposition, Matthew Yglesias offers “7 reasons the Democratic coalition is more united than ever” at Vox.
A couple of good quotes from “Giddy Dems’ new strategy: Watch the GOP implode” by Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Carrie Budoff Brown: “”The narrative has changed,” said Democratic National Committee communications director Mo Elleithee. “To the extent that this election is a referendum on who has broken Washington and left the middle class twisting in the wind, the spotlight is focused squarely on House Republicans.”…”From the Democratic perspective, it goes to the heart of the contrast between Democrats and Republicans” on economic issues and which party will fight for the middle class, said Obama pollster Joel Benenson. “That is something Democrats in tough districts and swing districts should be able to run on and capitalize on.”
In his Upshot post, “Why Hispanics Don’t Have a larger Voice,” NaTe Cohn expo;wins: “The explanation for the gap starts with the most basic rules of voter eligibility. People must be over age 18 to vote, and 28 percent of American Hispanics are under 18, compared with 22 percent of non-Hispanics. Voting-age adults must be United States citizens to vote, yet only 69 percent of adult Hispanics are citizens, compared with 96 percent of adult non-Hispanics.”
But Dems are in good position with Latinos who can vote, as Ronald Brownstein argues in his take at The Atlantic: “Eric Cantor’s Loss Is Hillary Clinton’s Gain: The majority leader’s loss means Republicans won’t take up immigration reform before November–and maybe not before 2016. That’s good news for Democrats.” Brownstein adds further, “…it’s a stiff bet for Republicans to gamble 2016 on holding Clinton below the 39 percent of whites Obama carried in 2012…In that meager showing, Obama lost white women by 14 percentage points, the biggest deficit for any Democrat since Reagan’s second landslide in 1984. As the first female presidential nominee, Clinton might easily do better, perhaps much better. And because Obama already fell so far with white men, there might not be much further for her to fall. Simultaneously, the power of the Clinton name equips her to continue generating lopsided margins with minority voters–unless Republicans find ways to reach them.”
An important step toward reinvigorating the labor movement. Meanwhile, here’s a good film on the topic.
Hmmm. Paul Rosenberg is on to something in his Salon post “Ugly, paranoid, divisive politics: The GOP are all Know-Nothings now” likening the Republicans’ current nativist leaders to Scorsese’s “Bill the Butcher.”

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