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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From “Voter turnout during 2014 midterm elections ‘especially low among Latinos’” by Nicole Rojas of International Business Times: “Latino Decisions’ Matt Barreto points to data from the state of Florida as particularly crucial. Florida had a 50.5% state-wide voter turnout but only a 36.5% Latino voter turnout. According to Barreto, if Latino voter turnout had matched state-wide voter turnou, an additional 276,000 Latino votes would have been cast…”Given the Florida governor’s election was decided by just 64,000 votes, those additional 276,000 Latino votes could have proved critical,” Barreto wrote…All states where complete data was available showed a significantly lower Latino voter turnout than overall turnout.”
Paul Waldman explains at the Plum Line “Mike Pence just handed gay Hoosiers and liberals a significant victory,” noting: “Up until now, Pence has been saying that the law was not intended to give businesses in Indiana the right to discriminate against gay people. Now he’s saying that he wants to put that explicitly within the law itself. That’s a huge win for gay people who don’t want to be discriminated against, and makes it more likely that the next state that passes a law like this one — and there are similar bills pending in multiple states — will include a similar clarification.”
NYT’s Jennifer Steinhauer explains how “Rights Measures Expose Divisions in G.O.P.’s Ranks.” She quotes Michael D. Tanner a senior at the Cato Institute: “”There is no doubt that the continued opposition of gay rights is an electoral loser,” he added. “Younger Republicans are as pro-life as older Republicans, but gay rights is a huge generational shift and Republicans are going to have to find a way to deal with that issue.” Steinhauer adds “Now, 52 percent of Americans support gay marriage, according to a Pew Research Center poll, compared with 40 percent who oppose it; in 2001, Americans opposed it by a 57 percent to 35 percent margin in the same poll.”
In her article, “State GOP strategy makes them sound like Democrats,” Sandra Chereb of the Las Vegas Review Journal illuminates Republican strategy in the NV legislature — in a state where Dems have a 62,000 edge in registered voters.
President Obama’s “economic approval rating” is now in “net positive territory,” with an impressive increase among self-described “independents,” explain Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill at the Washington Post. “Obama’s approval rating today is 11 points higher among independents than it was last October and his economic approval is 15 points higher.”
Kali Holloway’s “WATCH: 10 of the Most Fear-Mongering Political Ads in Recent History” at Alternet discusses the psychology behind some of the worst offenders — and why they worked.
At Sabato’s Crystal Ball Kyle Kondik notes a slight tilt favoring Democratic candidates for Governor in IN and MO in 2016. At this point Kondik sees only two toss-ups of 15 governor’s races, MO and WV. He rates 3 states “Safe R,” vs. none safe for Dems. But Dems have an edge with 4 states “Leans D,” compared to 2 states “Leans R.”
National Journal’s Alex Roarty reports that Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, “one of the Senate’s most vulnerable members in 2016,” is pegging his re-election hopes on foreign policy concerns — which pleases Democrats who believe the economy is still the overriding concern of swing voters.
At Roll Call Emily Cahn adds “The most vulnerable include Sens. Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, who are running in states President Barack Obama carried by at least 5 points in 2012.” Also at Roll call, Alexis Levinson and Niels Lesniewski note “Of the 34 senators up for re-election in 2016, 24 are Republicans, several in highly competitive swing states. Just two Democratic incumbents are running in competitive states. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to secure the majority.

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