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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Steven L. Schweizer asks at The Monkey Cage “Is a Democratic realignment afoot in the middle class?,” and answers “Meanwhile, the political partisanship of the middle class is trending Democratic. Data from the General Social Survey show that, since 2004, the self-identified middle class has moved toward the Democrats (see these charts). These shifts are particularly pronounced among those ages 18-39, men, the college educated, whites and Protestants…My argument naturally shares some affinities with other proponents of a pro-Democratic realignment, such as John Judis and Ruy Teixeira. But I see this realignment as being driven in part by groups not typically considered part of the “rising American electorate” — such as whites and men within the middle class. The emerging Democratic coalition is broader and deeper than many have suggested, and it is less reliant on the support of the poor, urbanites, minorities, women and highest-educated.”
Democrats Counting on an Early Voting Advantage,” writes Emily Schultheis at The National Journal: “More than a third of the 2014 electorate is expected to cast ballots early this year, and they’re starting to do it very soon…Democrats have enjoyed a ground-game advantage in past elections, and have put $60 million behind their field efforts in 10 key Senate states–two facts they’re counting on help tip the scales toward them in a year when the electorate will be whiter and more conservative than in presidential years. But Republicans aren’t ceding the ground game, and they have made significant investments–including an additional $8 million last week–of their own to help with early-vote turnout and field operations…Of the nine Senate races rated as toss-ups by The Cook Political Report–Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina–seven currently have significant early-vote programs, which consist of some combination of of no-excuse-necessary absentee voting and at least a week of early in-person voting.”
Patricia Murphy writes at The Daily Beast about the battle for control of the offices of Secretary of State across the country. Notes Murphy: “As the jobs have gained prominence and power, so has the pressure for the two parties to win them. Republicans currently dominate the breakdown, with 27 GOP secretaries of state in the 47 states that have the position. Democrats believe reversing that ratio is key to expanding ballot access in the short term among traditionally friendly constituencies like low-income seniors, women, and minorities, as well as setting the table for the 2016 presidential elections by having Democratic elections officials in place in key swing states.”
From “How Democrats Could Gain Power This Fall” by Perry Bacon, Jr. at NBC News: “Polls show Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Florida, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and even deeply-red Kansas could upset Republican incumbents. Many of these key races are in blue states, and the rising unpopularity of President Obama does not hobble Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls as much congressional candidates, who must say if they will vote for or against his agenda…If they win, these Democratic candidates could implement major policy changes on the state level, such as expanding Medicaid and further entrenching Obamacare, increasing the minimum wage, joining forces with the Obama administration on reducing U.S. carbon emissions and rolling back GOP-backed provisions that Democrats say make it harder to vote.”
Only 5 percent of Republican “insiders” say they believe Obamacare will be the top issue in November, according to a National Journal poll.
At The Upshot Nate Cohn opines in his post “Why Democrats Can’t Win the House,” “Democrats often blame gerrymandering, but that’s not the whole story. More than ever, the kind of place where Americans live — metropolitan or rural — dictates their political views. The country is increasingly divided between liberal cities and close-in suburbs, on one hand, and conservative exurbs and rural areas, on the other. Even in red states, the counties containing the large cities — like Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis and Birmingham — lean Democratic.”
At Slate.com John Dickerson adds: “In the election of 2014, only a small number of seats are in a position to act as a proving ground for a battle of ideas. The Center for the Study of the American Electorate suggests that this might be the lowest midterm turnout in history. The number of people who will participate in states with elections that will determine control of the Senate is even smaller still. The House represents a national election of sorts, since all 435 members are up for re-election, but of that group only 30 (6 percent) are in races that are considered up for grabs.”
In his post “The GOP’s fear of higher voter turnout,” David Sirota notes at The Everett Herald-Tribune, “According to data compiled by the think tank Demos, average voter turnout is more than 10 percent higher in states that allow citizens to register on the same day that they vote. Demos also notes that “four of the top five states for voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election all offered same-day registration.” There was some evidence in Wisconsin that same-day registration boosted Democratic turnout, but the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison reports that “Republican areas also saw heavy use of the state’s last-minute registration law.” The registration system been also been adopted by such deeply Republican states as Wyoming, Idaho and Utah.”
I’m glad somebody’s thinking. In “A Quacked-Up Strategy to Stop Terrorism” at The Democratic Daily, Walter Brasch riffs on the whole Duck Dynasty/Sean Hannity ‘convert ’em or kill ’em’ strategy conservative luminaries are peddling. A teaser: “…Make sure every soldier also has a duck call. I recommend Duck Commander’s Homeland Security duck call. It’s only about $150 each, or about $1.5 million retail if both regiments are at full strength. This sale will help spur the American war economy. The soldiers will use the quackers to lure and mesmerize the ISIS fighters…The Robertson clan needs to be on the front lines as decoys. Because the clan looks like terrorists, the ISIS terrorists will think long-haired, bearded scarf-wearing camouflaged Robertsons are kin-folk.”

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