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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Mason Adams has an interesting Politco post, “Do Democrats Need a Bubba Strategy? The party shouldn’t give up on NASCAR voters, says Dave “Mudcat” Saunders.” Adams calls Saunders the Democrats’ “bubba whisperer.”One of Saunders’ insights: “The greatest problem in America is the disintegration of the middle class,” Saunders says, and “unless you’re super-rich, you probably feel like you’re getting screwed. That feeling transcends geography…America’s become more concentrated. There are as many rednecks–or let me say it like this, rural-thinking people–on Route 1 in Alexandria as there are in all five coal-producing counties of Virginia.” Saunders argues that Democratic candidates “don’t have to be from the culture,” but they do have to respect it and show some appreciation for it…”It’s just too easy to say if you go out to the culture you’ll get them. Democrats have to understand the culture,” says Saunders. “They have to understand what people go through.”
Emily Deruy’s Fusion.net post “Will Confusion Over Voter ID Laws Hurt Youth Turnout?” sheds light on a cornerstone strategy of the NC GOP.
At Sabato’s Crystal Ball Alan I. Abramowitz analyses the Pew Research report on polarization in political opinion, and finds: “Both parties are less popular today than they were 30 or 40 years ago, but that’s almost entirely due to a decline in ratings of the opposing party by Democratic and Republican identifiers…ratings of the opposing party have declined substantially, falling from the upper-40s during the late 1970s and 1980s to the mid 20s in 2012…Between the late 1970s and 2012, the proportion of Democrats with a positive opinion of the Democratic Party and a negative opinion of the Republican Party increased from 32% to 71%, while the proportion of Republicans with a positive opinion of the Republican Party and a negative opinion of the Democratic Party increased from 39% to 65%.” All of which lends credence to the argument that turning out the base merits more party resources than persuasion.
The Latino coalition “‘Movimiento Hispano’ to Engage, Increase Latino and Millennial Voter Turnout for Midterm Elections,” reports Michael Oleaga at The Latin Post. Oleaga notes, “Movimiento Hispano’s goal is to get “historical numbers” of Latino turnout at voting locations. The campaign aims to register more than 52,000 Latino voters and mobilize over 100,000 Latino voters.”
Greg Sargent explores the ramifications of President Obama going big and loud with unilateral action to ease deportations.
Fans of political invective should not miss Charles Pierce’s latest Esquire post (via Reader Supported News). Pierce burns NYT columnist, “His Eminence Ross Cardinal Douthat” a new one, in response to Douthat’s “Pecksnifian dweebery” in warning gay people “that they ought not to celebrate their right to marry quite so … gaily” and “crowing just a bit over the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby.”
Dems should be more vocal as advocates for voting rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s the right thing to do, and the number of people with such disabilities, plus their families, is not small.
Also at the Crystal Ball, Geoffrey Skelley takes a look at “2014 Races Where Third-Party and Independent Candidates Could Impact Outcomes,” and provides capsule descriptions of the situation in races for AK Senate; HI Governor; ME Governor; MT Senate; NC Senate and SC Governor. Regarding the marquee NC Senate race, Skelley notes, “Now the question is, could Libertarian Sean Haugh impact the outcome in the Tar Heel State? Early surveys seem to show him doing exactly that — Haugh is polling at around 9% in the polling averages and attracting national attention with some homemade YouTube videos. History has shown that non-major party candidates with large early support typically fade as November gets closer. However, it’s possible that Haugh winds up becoming a “none of the above” option for voters who are particularly dissatisfied with the major-party candidates, as aforementioned Libertarian Robert Sarvis did in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial contest between now-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and former state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli…But in a very tight race, Haugh’s take might be consequential.
One of the better headlines of the week.

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