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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which re-earned its name by correctly picking winners in 97 percent of 2014 midterm contests, offers “14 From ’14: Quick Takes on the Midterm” by Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley. I doubt, however, that the three Marks, Begich, Udall or Pryor would agree with #14, though.
It might be wise for Democrats to study this race as a possible template for winning future house races.
At The Fix Aaron Blake explains “How urban voters failed Democrats in 2014.” Says Blake: “According to numbers crunched by Gene Ulm of the GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, turnout in the most rural one-third of U.S. House districts was down 34 percent from 2012. In the middle third — think suburbs and exurbs — it was down 38 percent…And in the one-third most urban districts on the United States, it was down nearly half, 47 percent.”
Thomas B. Edsall has a New York Times op-ed exploring possible reasons for “The Demise of the White Democratic Voter.
From Donna Brazile’s post-mortem on the election: “Tuesday was a bad day for Democrats, but not for Democratic policy priorities. For now, Democrats need to rethink the strategy for winning in 2016 — starting with rebuilding and re-tooling the party at the grassroots level, educating our candidates on handling the media, and having our values articulated in a distinctive, clear brand. If we don’t, we risk losing when the stakes are much larger.”
Greg Sargent has a warning at the Plum Line: “Democrats’ electoral disaster puts Obamacare in serious peril.” Sargent explains: “In the wake of the 2014 elections, roughly two dozen of these states have legislatures that are under GOP control. Nearly as many have GOP governors — meaning they are under total Republican control…GOP control will make states less likely to set up their own exchanges after a bad SCOTUS ruling…More conservative states were initially less likely to set up exchanges, so they were obviously more likely to end up on the federal exchange. But now that a SCOTUS ruling against the law looks like a real possibility, we’re looking at a new and ominous set of long-term consequences that could result from the Democrats’ electoral disaster.”
I wish this was true, but I have doubts.
Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson opines that “The right economic message can get the Democrats back on track.” A teaser: “Economic messages are serious business for Democrats. Republicans tend to win elections not when their own economic messages are plausible (such instances are too few to be statistically significant) but when the Democrats’ economic pitch fails to persuade many voters. Such was surely the case last week.”
WaPo’s Catherine Rampell provides some disturbing examples which indicate that “Voter suppression laws are already deciding elections.”

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