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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In the Daily Tarheel Blair Burnett notes that the 2010 turnout of voters between ages 18-29 in NC was 23.5 percent — less than half of their 2012 turnout rate of 56.5 percent. Burnett quotes UNC junior Caroline Moretz, who has a clue for NC Dems: “I like to be informed, but I don’t really ever engage in local politics,” Moretz said. “Now that I see people in the Pit asking me if I’m registered to vote, I’ll think about voting (in November).” Burnett says the youth cohort is about 20 percent of NC voters, and “November’s elections could be decided by that demographic.”
“An estimated one-third of all ballots will be cast before the traditional Election Day on Nov. 4,” according to John Harwood’s New York Times article, “Voting Restrictions Are Key Variable in Midterm Elections.” Harwood adds, “Eight states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, have narrowed early voting times, and three of them feature Senate races crucial to Republican hopes of capturing a majority…In Georgia, where Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, is seeking the Senate seat of the retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, state officials have cut early voting to 21 days from 45. In West Virginia, where Representative Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, aims to flip the seat of Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election, officials cut it to 10 days from 17…North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is seeking re-election, has also shrunk early voting to 10 days from 17. To the chagrin of students, local officials eliminated early voting sites on the campuses of North Carolina State and Appalachian State…”
Meanwhile in Wisconsin a group of young activists is getting creative about facilitating voting, as Jason Stein reports at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “The group’s name, Vote (Mostly) Online, captures its goal: get young people voting by helping them do as much of the voting process online as state law allows. That’s a challenge in Wisconsin, a state where the 1,852 municipalities — each with their own clerk — make it difficult to connect voters statewide with the correct ballots…the website for facilitating absentee voting in Wisconsin is one of several projects started by a trio of serial technology entrepreneurs…The website will then ask users for the information needed to request an absentee ballot from their clerk. Vote (Mostly) Online will then complete and print out the official request forms and send them to voters, who will verify them, sign them and mail them to their clerk using an enclosed envelope with the correct address and postage. The clerk will then in turn send the voters their absentee ballots for them to fill out and return.”
Associated Press reports that a coalition of faith groups called Isaiah is pushing what it calls an “equity agenda” to launch a drive “to get 56,000 voters to Minnesota polling places this fall.”
I dunno about this gambit. But weird stuff works sometimes, and there isn’t much to lose in this particular instance.
Chris Cillizza asks at The Fix “Our Senate model is moving in Democrats’ direction all of a sudden. Why?” Cillizza adds “…Democratic candidates are currently overperforming how past history suggests they should be doing in a number of races. In a trio of states that has caused significant movement in the odds in Democrats’ favor over the past month [GA, IA, LA]…”
At The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky makes a persuasive case for “the Democrats’ best hope for November: that enough voters in enough key states are sicker of the Republicans than of them.”
Emma Roller’s National Journal article “Inside the Strangest Job on the Campaign Trail” provides an interesting look at how the Democratic and Republican gaffe tracker units work. For now, at least, Dems seem to have the edge in funding and organization.
About the same odds of this happening anytime soon as a snowball’s chance in hell.

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