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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Abby Smith reports at The Hill that “Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said Wednesday that unmarried women are the “absolute centerpiece” of the 2014 midterm elections for his party…Greenberg joined Women’s Voices Women’s Vote founder Page Gardner on a press call with reporters to release the results of a new national survey, which found that, with the right messaging, Democrats could pick up votes from the rising American electorate and shift the vote in their favor from a -1 to a +3 margin….According to the Democracy Corps/Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund survey, the rising American electorate responds best to an empathetic “in your shoes” messaging framework. And when unmarried women are exposed to this messaging, they shift from +17 to +31 Democratic margin and increase their turnout by 10 percent. In a congressional race that is neck-in-neck, Greenberg said that messaging could make all the difference for Democrats…His survey found that unmarried women voters respond positively to an economic agenda that caters to their interests, focusing on policies that help working mothers, secure equal pay, raise the minimum wage and make college more affordable.”
From Daniel Kreps’s post on the return of Rock the Vote at Rolling Stone: “Rock the Vote will once again be a merging point of music, pop culture, politics and technology as they strive to reach their goal for the midterm elections: Registering 1.5 million people — including 400,000 young people and 200,000 Latinos — to vote. RTV will also seek to kickstart an advocacy campaign to fight back against punitive laws that have made access to polling more difficult for certain citizens, focusing their efforts on states where voting rights are threatened like Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.” Here’s RTV’s new website, with a gateway link to voter registration forms for the entire nation.
Deficit spending to boost employment is an economic policy of proven effectiveness. But it remains politically problematic. Ruy Teixeira observes in Danny Vinik’s TNR article “Hillary Clinton’s Biggest Vulnerability: Her Economic Agenda“: “The public is not Keynesians or anything close to it. They don’t understand the relationship between spending, debt and growth. And, therefore, it’s the hardest sell.”
At Reuters Opinion Janal S.Nelson writes, “Congress must act swiftly to move the Voting Rights Amendment Act forward with a hearing in the House and, ultimately, a vote for its passage…The amendment is designed to restore crucial elements of the landmark act and strengthen its safeguards against racial and language discrimination in voting. It updates the formula for identifying jurisdictions that must receive federal oversight by relying on voting violations within the past 15 years as a trigger. It demands crucial advance notice and disclosure of any changes in election law nationwide, increases deployment of federal observers and expands Washington’s ability to suspend potentially discriminatory state laws pending litigation.”
Chris McDaniel may be the new poster boy for sour grapes. But he isn’t the only Republican still marinating in bile over his upset loss to Sen. Thad Cochran, as Emily Arrowood and Olivia Kittel report in their Media Matters roundup of recent comments by wingnut talking heads.
Michael Tomasky makes the case that Dems who were rooting for McDaniel as an easier Republican to defeat in the general election should be glad Cochran won.
Crystal Ball’s Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley add credence to the argument that Black voters “saved Cochran’s bacon.”: “Cochran’s victory margin of about 6,400 votes may well have been provided by African Americans, who were recruited by Cochran’s campaign and who realized the incumbent senator was a better choice for their interests than McDaniel. There was a relatively strong positive correlation of r = .64 between the black population percentage of Mississippi counties and turnout change.”
This New York Times editorial makes an excellent point: Thad Cochran should show his gratitude to African American voters by supporting legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act.
Yes Sarah, a third party is a swell idea. Call it ‘The Bitter Tea Party.’

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