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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Molly Parker’s “Democrats roll out new strategy to motivate folks to the polls” at the Southern Illinoisian” describes the challenge Dems face in Illinois — and a template Dems can use in other states: “…5.1 million Illinoisans voted in the last presidential election, compared to 3.6 million that voted in the last midterm election. That means some 1.5 million people sit out midterm elections. Of those 1.5 million, roughly 1.2 million of those non-voters are Democrats…so-called “drop-off voters” have been identified in every county and every precinct in the state. Party leaders are going door-to-door and asking these folks to sign a card pledging to vote in November. The cards will be mailed back to them before the election as a reminder of their pledge, in addition to three separate mailers they will receive…” She quotes Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin: “”If we bring theses people out, a large portion of these people out, we’re going to win elections.”
At Daily Kos Jeff Singer’s “Want to make sure every vote counts? Get involved in these key races for secretary of state” spotlights often-overlooked, but critically-important election contests, which deserve more attention from Democratic political operatives.
At the Atlantic Molly Ball’s “Inside the Democrats’ Plan to Save Arkansas–and the Senate” notes “To beat the odds, across the country Democrats have mounted an ambitious political organizing effort–the first attempt to replicate the Obama campaign’s signature marriage of sophisticated technology and intensive on-the-ground engagement on a national scale without Obama on the ballot. The effort is particularly noticeable in states like Arkansas and Alaska, which have small electorates and which haven’t been presidential battleground states for a decade or more. (In 2004, John Kerry initially tried to compete in Arkansas, but pulled out of the state three weeks before the election and lost it by 10 points.) In Arkansas, campaigns traditionally begin after Labor Day; this year, the airwaves have already been blanketed with campaign ads, from both the candidates and deep-pocketed outside groups, for months…This year marks Democrats’ attempt to roll out the program on a national scale. Dubbed the Bannock Street Project, after the Bennet campaign’s Denver headquarters, it will, by the time the election is over, comprise a 4,000-employee, $60 million effort in 10 states. The voter-contact metrics recorded in each state are uploaded in real time to the Washington headquarters of the senatorial committee. While such efforts are commonly described as turnout operations, Matt Canter, the committee’s deputy executive director, says there’s more to it than that. “This is about much more than [get-out-the-vote],” he tells me. “This is not just identifying supporters and turning them out. This is actually building sustained voter contact programs through multiple face-to-face conversations that can persuade voters to change their minds and vote Democrat.”..Democrats believe they have a technological edge in their ability to use data to model and target voter preferences. Republicans, who have invested heavily in technology since 2012, are working to catch up. But on a basic level, turning out voters relies on the simple arithmetic of the application of resources–bodies on the ground, close to their communities, tirelessly recruiting volunteers who will work to activate their neighbors and family and friends…”
Re the recent UNH/WMUR poll showing Scott Brown down just two points from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Blumenthal, Ariel Edwards-Levy and Rachel Lienesch say “Stop Freaking Out Over The Results Of One Poll.”
At Forbes, pollster John Zogby concludes from a new Zogby Analytics poll that “In 2010, it was older, whiter, and more conservative voters who turned out, while many of the Democrats’ base voters stayed home. Thus far in 2014, it looks like Democrats may show up at the polls and independents may just stay home because they don’t like either party.”
Susan Davis illuminates why “Alaska becomes crucial frontier for Senate Democrats” at USA Today.
It appears that President Obama’s “economic patriotism” meme may have sturdy legs. Americans are at long last ready to take a stand against corporate ex-pats exploiting U.S. taxpayers, then skipping out on the bill. Anne Tucker’s “Curbing Corporate Inversions Through Public Pressure for Economic Patriotism” includes this observation: “Feared negative public reaction tipped the scales in favor of remaining a U.S. company for Walgreens, with market pressure nearly causing the opposite result. Public pressure for economic patriotism and corporate stewardship must be a part of any permanent solution. It will mitigate market-based profit maximization pressures. Brand identity and consumer loyalty are not subject to the kind of loopholes that riddle the tax code or the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C.” It’s a great slogan for Democratic candidates looking for creative ways to call out their Republican opponents’ refusal to protect American jobs. UPDATE: This report suggests Burger King may also need to be challenged on its “economic patriotism.”
The National Journal’s Scott Bland and Adam Woolner report on the larger contributions to pro-Democratic Super-PACs to help Dems hold their senate majority.
The “voting with your wallet” app gets a lot of diss, but I’m thinking Buypartisan is a good tool for identifying companies which fund Republicans. Sure it’s maybe too much of a hassle to use for groceries and everyday purchases. But for bigger ticket items like stocks, phones, cell services services and cameras etc., why not? If Google and Facebook are supporting ALEC, or Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile support Ted Cruz, why should Dems give them any play?

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