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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Re the ruling by a federal judge in Texas against President Obama’s executive order shielding immigrants from deportation, Greg Sargent notes “nothing significant has changed. Republican leaders still need to decide whether they are going to agree to fund the Department of Homeland Security cleanly, while dropping their effort to use DHS funding as leverage to roll back Obama’s actions. And if they do decide to do that, they will still need Democratic support to get it through the House, which would enrage conservatives.” Republicans hope that their shutdown threat will help persuade a half-dozen moderate Democratic Senators to support them. Sargent adds, “Today’s CNN poll finding that a majority would blame Republicans over Obama for any such shutdown — by 53-30 — once again shows that shutdown fights institutionally favor presidents over Congresses.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s post, “Can the GOP superego win the day?” has several insightful nuggets on the topic, including this one: “Most Republicans realize that one of the biggest obstacles to their building a majority in presidential elections is the fact that Latino Americans have come to feel that the GOP just doesn’t like them very much. As the party’s now much neglected “Growth and Opportunity Project” autopsy after the 2012 election put it, “if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”…In any event, Republicans hold the patent on government shutdowns, so they can forget about shifting responsibility for any interruption in services at the Department of Homeland Security to the president or the Democrats.”
Stephen A. Nuno reports at NBC News, “The Latino National Survey is considered one of the most reputable academic studies of Latinos and includes over 8,600 completed interviews on a wide range of political topics. When it comes to party identification, the LNS reports that among Latino registered voters, 61 percent say they are Democrats while 22 percent identify as Republican and 17 percent as Independent.”
“The fact that vast sums of money were being spent by liberal and conservative groups along with the national parties on the same small set of Senate races probably limited the impact of such spending. Not only was one side’s spending generally matched by the other side’s spending, but the sheer volume of spending probably exceeded the point of diminishing returns in many of these states.” from Alan I. Abramowitz’s Crystal Ball post “Why Outside Spending is Overrated.” Abramowitz conducts a regression analysis to measure the impact of spending and other variables and concludes, “Republicans made major gains in the 2014 Senate elections but the findings reported here indicate that outside spending by conservative groups had little or nothing to do with those gains. The main reason why Republicans did very well in 2014 was that Democrats were defending far more seats than Republicans and many of those seats were in states that normally favor Republicans based on recent presidential voting patterns.”
Chris Kent of The Breeze, James Madison University’s newspaper, reports on a student-led initiative to get a polling site on campus, like Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, George Mason University and Liberty University all have. No doubt less enlightened states than VA lack such on-campus polling sites. Meanwhile, what is needed is a national law that facilitates on-line voting for out-of-state students and could be accessed anywhere. A young friend at the University of Georgia tells me that he is certain many of his friends who skipped the midterm elections would gladly use such a site. Maybe a nation-wide student movement could help get such a law.
Apropos of our recent staff post, “2016 A banner Year for Democratic Women?“,” do read Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s New York Times article, “Proof That Women Are the Better Dealmakers in the Senate,” citing a Quorum study, reported by Mariel Klein, which found, “Over all, women were far more likely than men to work across the aisle. Quorum found the average female senator co-sponsored 171.08 bills with a member of the opposite party; for the average male senator, that figure was 129.87.”
At The Hill, Jesse Byrnes reports, “Six in 10 Americans want a higher minimum wage while one-fifth are opposed to such a plan, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll released Thursday…Sixty percent also favor requiring employers to offer paid sick leave, including about half of Republicans polled.”
According to Crowdpac, which provides numerical scores for candidates on the basis of the political contributions they received, their speeches and votes, the Democratic presidential candidate field for 2016 thus far ranges across a more narrow ideological spectrum than was the case in 2008, reports Derek Willis at The Upshot.
Well this is rich, wingnuts bashing Jeb Bush for, gasp, honoring Hillary Clinton for her public service. As Tim Alberta reports at National Journal: “ForAmerica, a conservative grassroots group with a Facebook following of more than 7 million members, released the video Thursday morning. It shows footage of Bush awarding Clinton, the former secretary of state, with the Liberty Medal at a ceremony hosted by the National Constitution Center.” Of course they work in a Benghazi reference to try to shame JB.

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