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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Polls show stat ties in U.S. Senator and Governor’s races in GA, despite Republican voter suppression. Dems also competitive in state-wide races for Lt. Gov and Secretary of State.
Jennifer De Pinto has an update on early voting at CBS News, which notes “Thirty-six states plus the District of Columbia have some form of early voting, that is, allowing many people to vote before Election Day without needing an excuse to do so. Eight of these states feature races for the U.S. Senate that CBS News is calling competitive…The portion of voters who cast their ballots early has been on the rise. Ten years ago, fewer than a quarter of ballots were cast early nationwide for president, but that figure climbed to 35 percent in 2012 (representing about 45 million votes) and 30 percent in the 2010 midterm elections…Among the eight Senate battleground states, Iowa is the first to kick off early voting on Thursday. Next up, Georgia begins early voting on Oct. 13; Kansas on Oct. 15; Alaska, Arkansas and Colorado on Oct. 20 (although mail ballots may be sent out earlier); Louisiana on Oct. 21; and North Carolina on Oct. 23.”
RCP hosts a freewheeling chat with Joe Trippi and Karl Rove, and both of them seem to agree that the battle for majority control of the U.S. Senate is in toss-up territory.
At The Upshot, Nate Cohn notes, “It does help to have an advantage in advertising, but the Democratic edge is extremely modest in most states. The Democratic share of television advertisements exceeds 60 percent only in Georgia, and it is not large enough to account for any meaningful disparity between the state and national polls.”
Whoopsie-Daisy slip-up at the Republican Governor’s Association reveals which corporations are giving their candidates the secret big bucks. As Jonathan Weisman reports at The New York Times, “The most elite group, known as the Statesmen, whose members donated $250,000, included Aetna; Coca-Cola; Exxon Mobil; Koch Companies Public Sector, the lobbying arm of the highly political Koch Industries; Microsoft; Pfizer; UnitedHealth Group; and Walmart. The $100,000 Cabinet level included Aflac, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Novartis, Shell Oil, Verizon Communications and Walgreen.”
The New York Times editorial board opines on the ‘long lines’ technique of voter suppression favored by Republicans: “In South Carolina, the 10 precincts with the longest waits had more than twice the percentage of black registered voters, on average, than the rest of the state…Florida has no standards for machines or poll workers, but the study found far fewer poll workers in heavily Hispanic areas. That contributed to an average delay in the most populous counties of 53 minutes — a wait that encouraged people to walk away and discouraged them from returning in the future… an outcry that the move would disenfranchise low-income and black voters…Several counties in North Carolina have moved or closed minority election stations…These changes are in addition to the cutbacks on early voting and burdensome ID requirements that have been imposed by Republican lawmakers to reduce the turnout of people who are likely to vote Democratic, including minorities and the poor. Many state and local officials see voting as a partisan game they can manipulate and will continue to do so unless challenged in court, or until Congress steps in and makes voting a universal right that cannot be infringed.”
The massive climate change march notwithstanding, Gail Collins notes, also at The Times that “Only 3 percent of current Republican members of Congress have been willing to go on record as accepting the fact that people are causing global warming. That, at least, was the calculation by PolitiFact, which found a grand total of eight Republican nondeniers in the House and Senate. That includes Representative Michael Grimm of New York, who while laudably open-minded on this subject, is also under indictment for perjury and tax fraud. So we may be pushing 2 percent in January.”
Re the mass climate change march, Mark Hertsgaard’s post at The Nation asks a great question. But the best answer may be that big demonstrations alone won’t do it, unless they are followed up with voter registration and GOTV campaigns, specifically targeting young voters in midterm elections.
Michael Tomasky gets two thumbs up (the list and the order) for his well-reasoned short list at The Daily Beast, “Five Awful GOP Governors Who Need to Go.” Lots of quotable zingers here.

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