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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

NPR’s Pam Fessler has an update on the counter-offensive against voter suppression: “There are many such proposals among the 1,200 voting bills already introduced in state legislatures this year…There are also proposals in Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, New York and Oregon to do something completely new — automatically register eligible citizens to vote, unless they opt out…Underhill says there are also many measures that would expand early and absentee voting…”Right now, there are 37 states that offer such an opportunity for their voters,” she says. “But that leaves another 13 states that don’t have one of those options. And it looks like there is legislation in nine of those.”
So how important is same-day registration? At The Daily Pennsylvanian Dan Spinelli reports, “A study conducted by the public policy organization Demos concluded that states with same-day voter registration average a 10 percent greater turnout than states without the policy. According to the study, same-day registration especially increased voter turnout among blacks. In North Carolina, which recently eliminated its same-day registration program, 41 percent of voters who registered on the 2012 Election Day were black, compared to just 20 percent of the population.”
In not-absolutely-all-Republicans-are-into-voter suppression news, here we have a, gasp, Republican, OK state Sen. David Holt, pushing for expanding early voting hours, online registration (20 states now have it) and, get this — all mail elections by 2020 (3 states now have it, CO, OR and WA). Interestingly, the conservative Oklahoman editorial board supports his proposals.
Legislative obstruction is not such a bad thing — when it prevents harassment of immigrants under the cover of “homeland security.”
Yes, it’s early and it’s only one poll. But even in the wake of Jeb Bush’s big media offensive, Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida reports that “A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows former Gov. Jeb Bush and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a virtual tie in a hypothetical 2016 presidential race in Florida. The poll gave 44 percent to Clinton and 43 percent to Bush…the poll also shows the Democrat Clinton leading another native son, Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, by a margin of 49 percent to 39 percent in Florida.”
Heady days for Koch brothers’ fav WI Gov. Scott Walker, who now leads in IA, NH and Drudge polls in quest for GOP presidential nomination. But he lags in FL, OH and PA polls.
But Walker’s “boots on the ground” “anywhere and everywhere” interview with Martha Raddatz is likely to bring some blistering heat from opponents in his own party, as well as progressives. Conor Friedersdorf adds at The Atlantic, “the GOP consensus on foreign policy remains sufficiently ill-considered that even thoughtless comments often go unchallenged within the party…This shortcoming may well hand Election 2016 to Democrats.”
Just in time for 2016, here comes a new era of political video ads, custom-tailored for facebook.
Greg Sargent puts the latest GOP noise about repealing Obamacare into the context of the upcoming Supreme Court decision King v. Burwell. “The repeal vote is a reminder that the only consensus GOP position on health reform is to blow up Obamacare and replace it with nothing. That could have important implications for King v. Burwell…today’s repeal vote — symbolic or not — confirms, doing away with Obamacare subsidies for everyone in the country who is receiving them is the actual consensus GOP position.” Could be a very tough sell in 2016.

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