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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, the majority rejected a lower court decision that upheld redrawing of state legislative districts packed African American voters into a small number of districts. Justice Anthony Kennedy voted with the progressives. Ian Millhiser reports at ThinkProgress: “Though the Court’s decision in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama does not necessarily ensure that the state’s maps will be struck down, it rejects a lower court’s reasoning which upheld the unusual, racially focused method the state used in drawing many of its districts.”
Sue Sturgis of Facing South has a by-the-numbers take on “The fight to restore the Voting Rights Act,” including this look at voter suppression, Texas-style: Number of days Texas officials waited after the Shelby ruling to announce that they would implement that state’s strict photo ID law, previously blocked by Section 5 because of its discriminatory racial impact: 0…Number of registered Texas voters without proper photo ID, according to early assessments: 600,000 to 800,000…Number of those voters who are Latino: over 300,000.”
Marking the fifth birthday of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama zinged the GOP’s response, as NYT’s Michael D. Shear reports: “We have been promised a lot of things in these past five years that didn’t turn out to be the case,” Mr. Obama said. “Death panels, doom, a serious alternative from Republicans in Congress…When this law was passed, our businesses began the longest streak of private sector job growth on record. Sixty straight months. Five straight years. Twelve million new jobs…It’s working, despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law.”
Huffpollsters Ariel Edwards-Levy, Janie Valencia and Mark Blumenthal note that “In 2014, our computation of the NCPP [National Council on Public Polls] statistics finds a rate of error in final week polls (2.2 percentage points) slightly higher than in 2006 or 2010, but slightly lower than 2002….While polling averages in Senate races appeared to miss by more than usual, broader measures of polling error were roughly in line with previous midterm elections, and the 2014 Senate polls collectively predicted the correct winners in all but one race.”
CT Gov. Daniel Malloy, Incoming chair of the Democratic Governors Association, has some provocative thoughts on Democratic messaging strategy going forward. As Buzzfeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro reports, quoting Malloy: “You put together that [the GOP] is the party that wants to control your body, wants you work 35 or 40 hours per week and live in poverty, and, by the way, doesn’t want you to have access to health care,” he said. “You put those three things together? That’s a pretty powerful argument…Accept the Republican Party model that you’re constantly in an election,” Malloy said. Democrats “thought they could take a vacation” when they needed constant, persistent campaign-style messaging.”
Poll analyst Alfred J. Tuchfarber writes at Sabato’s Crystal Ball that Dems face six major challenges in the 2016 elections, including African American turnout after Obama, the rarity of Dems winning three presidential elections in a row and the increasing influence of high-turnout white seniors, among others.
At The Charleston Gazette, James A. Haught has a stat-rich profile of religious commitment in America. One nugget: “Those who don’t attend church generally are more tolerant of gays, more welcoming of blacks and Hispanics, more supportive of women’s right to choose, more approving of the public safety net. In other words, they tend to back compassionate progressive values — and they have become the largest single group in the Democratic Party base…Sociologist Ruy Teixeira predicts they will boost Democratic politics in coming decades and turn America more liberal. But they’re somewhat less inclined to vote. A couple of years ago, Dr. Teixeira wrote about America: “In 1944, 80 percent of adults were white Christians. But things have changed a lot since then. Today, only about 52 percent of adults are white Christians…By the election of 2016, the United States will have ceased to be a white Christian nation…”
National Journal’s Andrea Drusch previews a potentially-divisive Democratic primary in the race for U.S. Senate, featuring a “young, charismatic centrist,” Rep. Patrick Murphy vs. Alan Grayson, “one of the party’s foremost firebrands.”
Dems have a thin range of available leaders in IN for the 2016 open U.S. Senate seat — with one big exception. So, Run Evan Run!

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