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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Nation’s Ari Berman asks (via Moyers & Company) “Where Are the GOP Supporters of Voting Rights?” It’s a good question, and one which should leave the so-called “mainstream” Republicans, especially Thad Cochran, feeling more than a little ashamed. Double ditto for the conservative pundits whose silence on GOP voter suppression would shame Pravda columnists during the cold-war heyday.
Conservative campaign consultant Steve Adler, whose company furnishes the rVotes technology to some Republican candidates, explains “How a tiny GOP data firm helped David Brat win” at Campaigns & Elections, and notes “One of the most significant advantages Brat had against his entrenched and well-funded Republican opponent was, ironically, the same core, grassroots technology Democrats have been using for over a decade…In extreme cases, a razor sharp grassroots effort can make $200,000 more powerful on Election Day than an opponent’s $5 million.”
Sure, Cochran’s Mississippi upset was rooted in extraordinary circumstances, that can’t be so easily replicated, as Ed Kilgore notes below. But still, a Democrat has to hope that African American voters, who know that their voting rights are under an all-out assault by Republicans, will now be more inspired to turn out and make a difference where they can.
Here’s an interesting color-coded map of the “shrinking congressional battleground” showing ad spending in competitive districts by political party.
Anthony Man reports in the Florida Sun Sentinel that Democrats are optimistic about the November election, and with good reason. He quotes Florida congressman Ron Klein: “I’ve never seen the Florida Democratic Party be as strategic as they are about how you dissect Floriida.” State party chairwoman Allison Tant “promised the “biggest field program in Florida Democratic Party history.” Man adds, “she said 15 field organizers have already been hired and more are coming.”
At The New York Times Jeremy W. Peters reports on Democratic campaigns for Native American votes, a rural and sometimes pivotal constituency in several states, including Alaska, Montana, the Dakotas and Nevada.
Also at the NYT, Paul Krugman writes on the enduring folly of tax cuts as panacea, with Kansas as the latest disastrous example.
I recognize these typologies in some people I know. But I have to doubt their durability and utility. Almost by definition, most swing voters combine these traits in unpredictable ways for limited periods of time. But I agree with author David Jarman that Pew Research at least tries to probe the complexity of political attitudes.
A “left-wing tea party” brewing in the states?

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