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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In the New York Times Magazine, Jason Horowitz discusses “Do the Democrats and Israel Have a Future Together?” But the more interesting question might be “will the Administration’s policy toward Israel affect support for Democrats in the 2016 elections?” Not much, would be my guess.
CNN Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta reports findings of a new CNN/ORC poll: “The new poll finds 53% saying things are going well, 46% badly. That’s the highest share saying things are going well that CNN/ORC polls have found during Obama’s time in office…Assessing Obama’s presidency overall, 50% consider his time in office a success, 47% a failure. And for those who say his time in office has been a failure, 37% say that’s been because of his own actions, while just 9% attribute it to Congress blocking the President from action…Nearly two-thirds (63%) disapprove of the Democratic leaders in Congress, while 74% disapprove of the Republican leadership. That’s worse than in March 2011, when 64% said they disapproved of GOP leadership a few months after the party took control of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
From HuffPollster: “Support for gay marriage has become the majority opinion, and voters now also say they’re more likely to reject a presidential candidate opposed to gay marriage than one who backs it — something gay marriage advocates hope marks a political tipping point for 2016. In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, more than a third of voters say they don’t care what position a candidate takes on the issue, but those who do care say they favor gay rights by an 8-point margin. Thirty-four percent of voters say they’d prefer a presidential candidate to support gay marriage, and just 26 percent say they’d prefer a candidate to oppose it.”
Here’s a good resource for Democratic campaigns — a quick guide to metro areas with the highest and lowest rates of L.G.B.T. residents.
I’m assuming John F. Harris overstates Hillary Clinton’s reaction to media probing about the emails fuss in this Politico post. Clinton has handled as much hostile questioning over the years as any elected official, and done pretty well. Still, even the most savvy political leaders get a little thin-skinned once in a while. Clinton and other Democratic candidates at every level should periodically review videos of their body language, tone and other temperament cues in pressers and interviews and get some guidance about it from media pros.
Kim Willsher’s “‘Abandoned’ French working class ready to punish left’s neglect by voting for far right” at The Guardian indicates that French progressives are struggling with some of the same internecine conflicts that plague the American left. It will be interesting to see how a progressive party with a strong identity and tradition of solidarity navigates against the rapidly-rising nativist right. And only the French could coin the term, “Bobos” (bourgeois bohemians) for a political demographic. (Correction: Looks like David Brooks invented the term in his 2001 book, “Bobos in Paradise”)
Once again, it appears that the MSM has gotten suckered by the conservatives’ manipulation of the terms of debate. “Mandatory” or “compulsory” voting are loser terms. Nobody wants to be forced to do anything, even vote. Call it a “voter incentive” or whatever, but the concept that just might resonate better is, “No, you don’t have to vote. But you do have to pay a small fee ($50 fed or state tax surcharge?) for the luxury of sitting on your ass and allowing your fellow citizens to do the work — and absorb the cost in time & money — needed to maintain democracy.” Coupled with strong protection against voter suppression, that’s an easier sell.
On April 7 the voters of Ferguson, MO will have a unique opportunity to provide an emblematic example of the game-changing power potential of the African American electorate, reports Mariah Stewart at HuffPo.
The follies begin today.

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