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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Voter registration is the antidote to voter suppression,” writes Ben Jealous, former president/CEO of the NAACP, at msnbc.com. “…The average margin of victory in Georgia over the last three elections was minimal: just over 260,000 votes. So what would it take to give voters of color in Georgia a voice?…a massive wave of voter registration could shake up the political dynamic. If organizers were to register 60% of unregistered black voters in the state – and those voters then turned out at previous levels – it would create a corps of 290,000 new black voters. That is 30,000 more than the average margin of victory for a governor in the state. Moreover, a voter drive that registered 60% of unregistered black, Hispanic and Asian voters would create 369,000 new voters of color, or 109,000 more than the margin of victory…most of the 13 “Black Belt” states would be similary disrupted by a massive wave of voter registration. In South Carolina, registering 40% of unregistered voters of color would be enough to upset the balance of power. In North Carolina, registering 10% would do the trick.”
The Nation’s John Nichols makes a persuasive case in his post, “Why Scott Walker Will Never Be President.” As a result of Walker’s alleged efforts to circumvent campaign finance laws, “Walker’s presidential prospects look less realistic even than those of his mentor, scandal-plagued New Jersey Governor Chris Christie…Walker has a paper trail that is unlikely to read well on the 2016 campaign trail…Walker might have trouble getting past the 2014 election.”
Albert R. Hunt has an encouraging word for Dems in his New York Times article, “Democrats’ Strategy to Keep the Senate“: Hunt is much-impressed with the creative leadership demonstrated by Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. Michael Bennett, “Along with his savvy campaign executive director, Guy Cecil, he is recalibrating traditional strategy to stave off this challenge. The focus is less on big television advertising and more on old-fashioned voter mobilization with cutting-edge new technologies…The central components of success are raising enough money and then recruiting a sizable volunteer force — volunteers are more effective than paid canvassers — to work their own neighborhoods and precincts to register voters and get them to vote…They have databases to identify prospects with all of their demographic essentials and possess the techniques to contact and influence them…Thus, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and affiliates plan to spend about $60 million on these mobilization efforts, or about one-third of the budget, almost 10 times what the D.S.C.C. spent in 2010.” As Bennet puts it, “It’s precinct politics with 21st-century technology.”
At The National Journal Andrea Drusch asks “Can North Carolina’s Latinos Help Democrats Hold the Senate?” and notes that, while Latinos were only 2 percent of the NC electorate in 2012, Republican Thom Tillis is so bad on issues of concern to Hispanics, that they could provide Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s margin of victory.
Slate’s Reihan Salam has your nightmare of the day: “Teatopia: What would actually happen if Tea Partiers controlled Congress and Rand Paul was president?” It’s a once-over-very-lightly exercise, giving tea party racism a free ride and avoiding any discussion of the likely environmental disaster that would ensue if industry had its Libertarian way with environmental regulations. Ditto for health and safety and consumer protections. Still, anything that gets people talking and thinking in more depth about the disturbing real-world consequences of the tea party/Libertarian “free market” vision is probably a good thing.
At The New Republic Ruy Teixeira and Gary Segura have a takedown of “The Myth of the “White” Latino: Sloppy analysis of Census data is giving the Republican Party false hope.” In addition to the complex and sloppy census methodologies, the authors note, “Whatever the reason some Latinos call themselves white, it’s been far less relevant to their social status than how the white majority sees them…It also matters little in determining elections. Over the last 25 years, there has been a rapid growth of pan-ethnic identity among Latinos, more closely linking populations differentiated by national origin and generation into a more coherent and organized whole. This identity has resulted in growing political mobilization and unity. While the increase in Latino political participation has been frustratingly slow, their growing power has proven pivotal in places like California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida. Latinos–even those calling themselves white–vote overwhelmingly and increasingly Democratic. How they responded to a single Census question doesn’t change that.”
It’s High Noon for Medicaid expansion in VA, and Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is ready to take executive action in the absence of any spirit of compromise from the GOP-controlled legislature.
Facing South’s Sue Sturgis takes a by-the-numbers look at “Unions as a remedy for growing income inequality.” Among her stats: “Of the 100 U.S. counties with the greatest income inequality, number in the South: 77; Rank of the South among the nation’s least-unionized regions: 1; Of the five states where union membership is growing the fastest, percent in the South: 100; Percent by which union membership grew last year in Tennessee: 25; In Georgia and Alabama: 22.2; In South Carolina: 19; In Virginia: 13.2.”
Guess which state has America’s healthiest kids. Hint: Nearly 99 percent of children in the state have health insurance.

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