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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At WaPo’s Wonkblog Lydia DePillis and Jim Tankersley explain that “To Fix inequality, Democrats are Pushing Unions,” including Democratic economic moderates, like Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin, as well as the more progressive wing. One or the more interesting quotes in the article: “Some of us have been saying for a while that the right wing has a much greater appreciation for what unions do than Democrats and progressives do,” says Steve Rosenthal, a progressive campaign consultant who served as political director of the AFL-CIO for seven years.
Mike Lillis reports at The Hill that “Nancy Pelosi, Democrats chart their own path for 2016,” which raises concerns about message fragmentation. All of the “big tent” constituencies have to find a way to articulate their concerns in the context of the mothership message, “Democrats are the party for working families. Republicans are for the rich elite.”
In her Salon.com post “The Democratic Party is facing a Catholic apocalypse,” Patricia Miller writes: “There’s no “Catholic vote” in terms of Catholics representing an electoral bloc that votes according to what their bishops tell them, or in lockstep with the tenets of their religion. Yet winning Catholic voters has been essential to almost every presidential victory in modern times. And the defection of Catholics voters has played a role in some of the most consequential congressional turnovers in recent history — from 1994 to 2014 — making Catholics the ultimate swing voters. And for Democrats, that could be bad news.
At HuffPo Michael McAuliff reports that “Tom Cotton, Arkansas Rep., Took Student Loans, Voted Against Them.”
Seth Freed Wessler’s NBC News post, “Middle-Class Betrayal? Why Working Hard Is No Longer Enough in America” is a good read for Democratic candidates wondering how to connect with discontented younger voters.
Ditto for Anne Fisher’s “American Millennials are among the world’s least skilled” at Fortune.com. Fisher notes, “Researchers at Princeton-based Educational Testing Service (ETS)…administered a test called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). Sponsored by the OECD, the test was designed to measure the job skills of adults, aged 16 to 65, in 23 countries…When the results were analyzed by age group and nationality, ETS got a shock. It turns out, says a new report, that Millennials in the U.S. fall short when it comes to the skills employers want most: literacy (including the ability to follow simple instructions), practical math, and — hold on to your hat — a category called “problem-solving in technology-rich environments.”
Chris Cillizza explains that “In 2016 race, an electoral college edge for Democrats”: “…if you add up all of the states that are either “safe” for the eventual Democratic nominee or “favor” that nominee, you get 217 electoral votes. (A candidate needs to win 270 to be elected president.) Do the same for states safe or favoring the Republican standard-bearer, per Gonzales’s rankings, and you get just 191 electoral votes.” I was expecting for a larger lead.
Dara Lind’s Vox post, “Don’t say “papaya” in Miami, and other lessons for wooing Latino voters” has some excellent tips for Democratic campaigns.
As the nation cranks up for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration tomorrow, this seems like a good video to get the juices flowing. Dropkick Murphys Frontman Ken Casey explains the band’s blistering take town of WI Gov. Scott Walker, who tried to use their song, “I’m Shipping Out to Boston” at an Iowa confab, (@ScottWalker @GovWalker please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you !!! Love, Dropkick Murphys),” reported by Matt Juul at Boston.com…Casey said. “If you don’t know that our politics and lyrics are certainly Democrat — and certainly pro-working class and organized labor — it is who we are. That’s what we’ve been during our time as a band, so for Scott Walker, there are plenty of bands out there to choose from, just don’t choose us.”

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