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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At VOXXI Tony Castro explains “The midterm paradox of the US Latino vote,” noting a new Pew Research study which finds that “It comes as a disappointing paradox that though a record 25.2 million Latinos are eligible to vote in these midterm elections — comprising 10.7 percent of eligible voters nationwide — they only make up a small share of voters in the many states with close Senate and gubernatorial races this year…Specifically, in the eight states with the closest Senate races, just 5 percent of eligible voters on average are Latinos and average substantially under half of the national average.”
With respect to the TX governor’s race, however, Wendy Davis’s campaign is betting substantial resources on turning out the Latino vote, reports Gromer Jeffers, Jr. at the Dallas News. Davis describes “her voter turnout program as the “most significant field operation that state has ever seen.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s column on “The Blue Collar Imperative” notes “The elections in Georgia and Kentucky are different in important ways, but one lesson from both is that Democrats can’t win without a sufficient share of the white working-class vote.” Despite oft-cited concerns about racial resentments among white workers, “race is not the only thing going on. Andrew Levison, the author of “The White Working Class Today,” says it’s important to distinguish between racial feelings today and those of a half-century ago. “It’s not 1950s racism…It’s more a sense of aggrievement — that Democrats care about other groups but not about the white working class.” Dionne adds “younger members of the white working class are more culturally liberal than their elders. They are also more open to a stronger government role in the economy, as Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin of the Center for American Progress have shown.” Further, “Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, says this points the way toward arguments that progressives need to make in the future: “We have to expose the unholy alliance between money and politics,” she says. “Concern about inequality is unifying, it’s cross-partisan, and it’s not ideological.”
The Wall St. Journal’s Janet Hook and Patrick O’Connor discuss the “Democrats’ New Senate Move: Backing Long-Shot Candidates.”
“On Friday, two Democrats running in key Senate races called for a temporary travel ban from countries battling Ebola: Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Georgia’s Michelle Nunn,” reports Sean Sullivan at Post Politics. Furher, “A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that shows 67 percent of Americans would support restricting entry to the United States from countries fighting dealing with an Ebola crisis.”
In the CA state legislature, “Democrats’ hope of Senate supermajority could rest with 2 districts,” according to Patrick McGreevy’s L.A. Times post.
At The New Yorker Jelani Cobb’s “Voting by Numbers” shares some interesting data, including that “black women had the highest voter turnout of any segment in the country in 2008 and 2012” and “A Gallup poll conducted in July found that sixty-three per cent of respondents believed that we would be better off with more women in elected office. (The partisan divide on the question was noteworthy: seventy-five per cent of Democrats agreed with the sentiment; forty-six per cent of Republicans did.)”
In his post, “Dems Take Comfort from Early Voting Numbers,” The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent offers some encouraging data for Democrats re the IA Senate race: “The DSCC says that…over 170,000 Iowans have already voted in 2014, a 63 percent increase over 2010…A DSCC official emails: ‘Among those ballots cast, nearly 7,000 more registered Democrats have voted than registered Republicans. Our models show that Bruce Braley has a lead of over 15,000 votes among those who have already voted, thanks to a 25-point lead among the unaffiliated voters who have already voted…The recent Des Moines Register poll also showed Braley leading among early voters. But here’s the key nuance. The DSCC official says its model shows Dems are bringing in significantly more non-2010 voters than Republicans.”
From Stephanie Simon’s Politico post “GOP Schooled on Education Politics“: “Accusing Republicans of cutting programs for students while giving tax breaks to the rich motivates diffident voters more than similarly partisan messages on reproductive rights, the economy or health care, veteran Democratic political strategist Celinda Lake found in a series of focus groups and polls…Lake’s research, commissioned by MoveOn.org, included a survey of 1,000 Democratic voters who said they weren’t sure they’d bother to vote in the key states of North Carolina, Michigan, Kentucky, Colorado and Iowa. Coupling the education theme with talk about the middle class falling behind was “nearly a slam dunk with these targets,” Lake wrote…Democratic strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg came to a similar conclusion after polling 2,200 likely voters in battleground states. They found that unmarried women in North Carolina and Georgia were particularly swayed by messages about expanding access to early childhood education. In Iowa and Colorado, affordable college loans hit the mark. Combining those issues with an appeal to raise the minimum wage, they wrote, creates a “powerful, populist opportunity to shift the vote.”

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