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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From John Harwood’s New York Times article, “Democrats Seize on Social Issues as Attitudes Shift“: “Now the values wedge cuts for Democrats….Democrats profit politically — among young voters, college graduates, single women, blacks and Latinos — from the sense that they welcome these cultural shifts while Republicans resist them…”That’s why people are voting for us these days — not for our economic prowess,” said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster. “They all reflect an underlying attitude. It’s openness, it’s tolerance, it’s respect for others and who they are.”
At The L.A. Times Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Ascara explain why “Obamacare loses some of its campaign punch for Republicans.”
CNN’s Dan Merica reports: “For the first time, a majority of Americans said they disapproved of their representative and thought they were part of the problem in Washington, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll out Tuesday. The poll found that 51% of Americans disapprove of the way their own member of Congress is handling his or her job, while 41% approve.” It’s a significant change, as Merica notes: “For decades, most Americans approved of the way their member of Congress was handling his or her job, but disapproved of the legislative body as a whole.”
For a map updating Crystal Ball’s assessment of the 2014 governorship races, click here. Accompanying article here.
At Gannett’s Baxter Bulletin Dick Polman reports “We’re on track for record-low midterm turnout this November, at least based on the voting evidence collected thus far. According to a new report by the non-partisan Center for the Study of the American Electorate, turnout in the first 25 statewide primaries was so anemic — down 18 percent from the early primaries in 2010 — that we’re “likely to witness the lowest midterm primary turnout in history…Bill Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former Clinton White House adviser, tells NPR, “Gridlock is at an all-time high. The productivity in Congress is at an all-time low, and many Americans are asking themselves, ‘How much difference does it make who the people are, and what the party balance is, if nothing seems to change, election after election?'”
If Democrats needed another reason to get their midterm elections act together, Charlie Cook has it in his Government Executive post on “The Lessons of the 2010 Midterm Elections“: “While this year’s midterms won’t change the course set in 2010, what happens in the 2018 and 2020 gubernatorial and state legislative elections will be huge in establishing who controls redistricting in 2021, and which governors can veto or influence where the lines are drawn. For Democrats, those elections will determine whether they are going to be shut out of controlling the House for a second straight decade, or whether there will be a fairer fight for dominance of the lower chamber.”
Re Eric McWhinnie’s “10 States Most Dependent on the Federal Government” at the Wall St. Cheat Sheet, eight of the moochers delivered electoral votes for Romney and eight have government-bashing Republican governors.
Economist Jared Bernstein writes at The Upshot about findings from “the provocative new paper by the economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson that rigorously examines how the economy has performed under presidents since the 1940s.”: “The American economy has grown faster — and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics — when the president of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican…The two looked at key macroeconomic variables averaged over 64 years (16 four-year terms), from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Mr. Blinder and Mr. Watson focus mostly on the 1.8 percent annual difference in real G.D.P. growth. That is, over the full study, real G.D.P. growth averaged 3.33 percent per year. But under Democratic presidents the economy grew 4.35 percent and under Republicans 2.54 percent…Under Democratic presidents, the economy also spent fewer quarters in recession; added more jobs and more hours worked; and posted larger declines in unemployment and higher corporate profits than under their Republican counterparts. Stock market returns were a lot higher under Democrats as well, but because equity markets are so volatile, that difference is not statistically significant. (By the way, since March 2009, the S.&P. stock index is up 160 percent).”
Surely the good people of northern Alabama deserve better than this.

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