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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The New York Times editorial board outlines a workable program for increasing midterm voter turnout to healthy a level, which includes the following key elements, some of which “are being tested on a broader scale”: Better use of data; more paid workers and volunteers; big registrations drives and; reducing voter barriers. In terms of numerical goals, write the Times board members, “According to Catalist, a data analysis company, the groups with the biggest declines in turnout between 2008 and 2010 were voters younger than 30, down nearly 35 percentage points; black and Hispanic voters, down 27 points each; and single women, down 26 points. Those groups have historically been the most resistant to the right’s message of lower taxes, sharply reduced spending on social programs and job creation, and tighter restrictions on women’s reproductive rights.”
Policy.Mic’s Peter Moskowitz proposes “6 Easy Ways the Government Could Turn Around Our Abysmal Voter Turnout.”: Same-day registration; longer hours at polling places; expand early voting; vote by mail; online voting and; make elections interesting. My hunch is that the last one is more up to the candidates and parties than government.
At Daily Kos Denise Oliver Velez reports on the effort to suppress the student vote and the coalitions rising up to resist it, including National Voter Registration Day, coming up on September 23rd.
Politico tries to trash Democratic leaders’ push for reforms to slow “tax inversions” — U.S. businesses relocating to other countries as a tax dodge. The post notes, however, that “Polling does, in fact, suggest that when you explain what inversions are to voters, they don’t like them. In fact, they pretty much hate them…A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll this week showed that 59 percent of registered voters support Congress taking action to “penalize and discourage” inversion transactions.”
Further, as Jeff Sommer reports in The New York Times: “In the end, Walgreen decided that the outcry over tax inversions was too much to bear: Gregory D. Wasson, the Walgreen C.E.O., decided to go ahead with the Alliance Boots merger — but not with a tax relocation overseas. “We had to consider the consumer backlash,” Mr. Wasson said in a meeting with employees in August. “We had to consider the political backlash.”
Read Jeremy W. Peters’s NYT article, “Building Legacy, Obama Reshapes Appellate Bench” to better understand “one of the most significant but unheralded accomplishments of the Obama era” — and a good message point for mobilizing Democratic turnout.
The low expectations in this headline are understandable. But isn’t the more important part of the story found in the lead sentence?: “Americans by a 3-to-1 margin support President Barack Obama’s decision to take military action against the Islamic terrorist group called ISIS, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll conducted after the president’s primetime speech on Wednesday.”
Sean J. Miller of Campaigns & Elections magazine has an interview with Democratic political ad strategist Martha Mckenna, in which she explains her firm’s view of the virtues of animated ads: “We like to make animated spots. An animated spot might be a little bit more expensive than using stock footage; we put the price tag on it because it’s liable to stand out more than another spot would. They are really time-intensive. It’s a lot of time and energy for the artist. It’s one thing to bring words on paper and video together; it’s another thing to animate a 30-second spot. So we have learned a lot about ways to do what we think are really creative spots within a tight budget. We recognize, as former campaign managers, that money is hard to raise and so we really look for efficiencies wherever we can, so our production costs often come in lower in the range of what other firms charge…”
It’s hard to understand why, but serial voter suppression advocate Mike Huckabee is apparently leading the baggage-laden field of GOP 2016 contenders. Looks like a lot of room for a dark horse to blast through the pack.

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