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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At The New York Times Jackie Calmes writes “The June jobs report — showing 288,000 new hires, the unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent and positive revisions to the April and May jobs numbers — gave the White House and congressional Democrats grounds for optimism.” Calmes notes Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics : “All the signs are pointing toward strong payroll growth…It’s increasingly very difficult for the naysayers to argue that it’s not very good out there.” Shepherdson predicted that by November, the unemployment rate would be below 6 percent. Despite the usual cautionary notes about the jobs report being just a snapshot and the President’s lagging approval ratings, adds Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, “An improving economy is a twofer…It raises the president’s approval ratings, altering the environment in ways that help us, and directly improves the prospects of each Democratic candidate.”
Georgia Republicans appear to be nervous about The New Georgia Project, which “is working methodically to register 120,000 Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters in the state – the biggest voter registration drive in 20 years,” explains former NAACP head Benjamin Todd Jealous. Elizabeth Rawlins of WTOC writes that “the Secretary of State’s Office does not recognize the New Georgia Project as a non-profit organization.” Yet, it is part of Third Sector Development, a legitimate nonprofit.
Michael Tomasky makes the case for paid family medical leave as the centerpiece of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
NYT’s Jackie Calmes also has an excellent update on Democratic efforts to leverage single women voters for the midterm elections. Calmes explains why: “Half of all adult women over the age of 18 are unmarried — 56 million, up from 45 million in 2000 — and now account for one in four people of voting age. (Adult Hispanics eligible to vote, a group that gets more attention, number 25 million this year.) Single women have become Democrats’ most reliable supporters, behind African-Americans: In 2012, two-thirds of single women who voted supported President Obama. Among married women, a slim majority supported Mitt Romney.” However, “In the 2012 presidential election, 58 percent of single women voted. This fall that could slide to 39 percent, a one-third drop, according to projections from the nonpartisan Voter Participation Center, which for a decade has focused on unmarried women.” Calmes notes that Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan sums up her re-election strategy as “heels on the ground.”
Toward that end, DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward has announced the launching of a new voter-mobilization program, “Rosie,” (recalling ‘Rosie the Riveter’), which stands for “Re-engaging Our Sisters in Elections.” also, reports Calmes, the Voter Participation Center has already provided registration materials for single women in 24 states, including NC, and will follow up through the fall. In addition, Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood’s action “will spend $3 million each on their top priority: Ms. Hagan’s race.” Calmes notes, “Of Planned Parenthood’s 140,000 members statewide, 50,000 joined since Republicans took power in 2011.”
Dems have an interesting candidate for Texas A.G., who has a pretty good name for the statewide race, Sam Houston. Even better, he is running against a Republican with serious ethics problems, state Sen. Ken Paxton, who has been fined by the Texas State Securities Board “for acting as the unregistered representative of an investment adviser,” reports Edgar Walters at The Times.
Speaking of dicey Republicans, check out this Daily Kos report on Maine’s twisted Governor LePage. if Maine voters don’t dump him, maybe they need a new state motto, along the lines of “Crazy in the pursuit of politics is no vice.”
It comes too late for this year. But going forward Nicholas Kristoff’s idea to make July 4th a day of celebration of public investments as an expression of what Americans can do when we are united around solving problems merits support. Anything we can do to illuminate and publicize the numerous benefits of public works is worth the effort. As Kristoff concludes, “after all, there’s not much point in saving on taxes to buy a Porsche when the roads all have potholes.”
Regarding infrastructure upgrades, Kos’s Laura Clawson spotlights President Obama’s challenge: “Well, there’s some things we could be doing right now that would make a huge difference. When I was at that bridge in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., yesterday, we were talking about the fact that we’ve got $2 trillion of deferred maintenance: roads, bridges, an air-traffic control system that’s creaky, an electrical grid that wastes too much energy and is highly inefficient, and we could be putting hundreds of thousands of folks back to work right now and not only put a big boost to the economy in the short term, but also lay the foundation for economic competitiveness in the long term. That creates a lot of middle-class jobs. The challenge we have is not that we don’t know what to do. The problem is that we’ve got a Congress right now that’s been saying no to proposals that would make a difference.” And I would add that getting our internet infrastructure up to other nations’ standards would also be a worthy project for America’s unemployed.

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