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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Politico has obtained an internal Republican report commissioned by two conservative groups: Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network, which says “although Republicans have tried to improve outreach to female voters, women still believe the party is “stuck in the past” and “intolerant.” Forty-nine percent of women polled for the report looked on the GOP unfavorably. Only 39 percent felt that way about the Democratic Party,” reports Marina Fang at HuffPo. “The report drew its conclusions from focus group discussions and a poll of 800 registered women voters. In top issue areas, such as health care, the economy and education, the poll found that Democrats held a huge advantage. For example, when considering which side “wants to make health care more affordable,” the women surveyed chose the Democratic Party by a 39 percent margin. They also said that a policy of equal pay for equal work would “help women the most.”
It’s not just the federal level. The GOP does major damage to women’s health and rights at the state level, according to this report by People for the American Way.
In his article “Politicians and Billionaires: Pledging Allegiance to Each Other in Secret” at HuffPo, Mike Lux chronicles the squalid doings at the Koch Bros/GOP ring-kissing grovelfest, at which Mitch and other Republican candidates gush shamelessly about their benefactors and brag about screwing over working people.
At The New Republic Brian Beutler explains why Democrats shouldn’t be suckered by Republican denials that they will shut down the government in retaliation for President Obama expanding a program which would defer deportation of low-priority immigrants: “the people who orchestrate government shutdowns never admit to the explicit nature of their threats. Last year, conservatives adamantly denied that they were preparing to shut down the government unless President Barack Obama agreed to spoil his own signature initiative, and they deny that’s what they did to this day. Instead, they insist that President Obama and Harry Reid shut down the government out of their own misplaced devotion to Obamacare, as if it were not already a law on the books.” Beutler adds that Mitch McConnell, among others, is “threatening to use the appropriations process as leverage to extract concessions. That’s a government shutdown fight. And no matter how he plays it, he will unleash forces he and other GOP leaders have proven incapable of restraining. They can’t control the plot…Nobody’s saying a government shutdown will definitely happen. But a confrontation is very likely, and Republicans in Congress are the reason. Even if they never say the words “government shutdown.”
In another TNR post, Beutler floats an interesting idea for Dems in the event of a big 2016 win: “…if the wave materializes, they should be prepared to use the threat of aggressive, opportunistic redistricting as a source of leverage, to entice Republicans into supporting some kind of non-partisan redistricting system, ideally in every state.”
From The Princeton Election Consortium’s “Senate Democrats are outperforming expectations” by Sam Wang, who picked every single 2012 Senate victor (33 races) correctly: “The PEC polling snapshot has mostly favored Democrats. Starting from June 1st, Democrats have led for 61 days and Republicans for 26 days, a 70-30 split. During that period, the Senate Meta-Margin has been D+0.24±0.57%. Assuming that the June-August pattern applies to the future, I can use this Meta-Margin, and the t-distribution with 3 d.f., to predict the future, including the possibility of black-swan events. The result is that the November Senate win probability for the Democrats (i.e. probability that they will control 50 or more seats) is 65%.
I would argue that President Obama has nothing to worry about in much-hyped polls showing, for example, that only 36 percent say his “approach to foreign policy and national security” is “about right.,” compared to more than half earlier in his presidency. The questions and response menu of such polls are so vague as to be nearly worthless. Obama is a centrist on the interventionist/isolationist continuum, and his party is not likely to suffer because of it in the midterms.
How can any political leader seriously argue that “Illinois’ new same-day voter registration statute is a Democratic “trick,” especially Chris “The Bridge” Christie? 2014 may go down in U.S. political history as the emblematic year when Republicans outed themselves in a huge way as shameless advocates of voter suppression. In fact, reports David Sirota at International Business Times, “most of the 11 states with same-day registration laws currently have Republican governors.”
It’s just a snapshot, but this poll should make Karl Rove and Reince Priebus choke on their Cheerios.

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