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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At The Atlantic Russell Berman reports on “The Invisible Democratic Majority: A new study finds broad support for the party among the general public in 2014, even as it was resoundingly defeated at the polls.” Berman explains, “A study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that, over the course of 2014, American adults were far more likely to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, by a margin of 48 to 39 percent. But in November, GOP candidates for the House of Representatives garnered millions more votes than their Democratic rivals, amassing a cumulative advantage of 51 to 45 percent. A decisive Democratic edge in the general population translated to a distinct Republican advantage at the polls…The survey of more than 25,000 adults throughout 2014–a much broader sample than traditional opinion polls–found that Democrats retain a wide advantage among younger Americans.”
Nate Cohn has some bad news for Sen. Rand Paul at The Upshot: “…You could argue that the libertarian wing of the Republican Party barely exists at all. According to a large Pew Research survey in 2014 of 10,000 respondents, 11 percent of Americans and 12 percent of self-identified Republicans considered themselves libertarian. They met a basic threshold for knowing what the term meant. But there wasn’t much “libertarian” about these voters; over all, their views were startlingly similar to those of the public as a whole…The likeliest explanation is that “libertarianism” has become a catchall phrase for iconoclasts of all political stripes.”
Joan McCarter’s Kos post, “Rand Paul, putting telecom profits over an open internet since 2011” flags his record on an issue that should prove unpopular with, well everyone who ain’t rich.
From Steve Holland’s Reuters post: “A majority of Americans believe businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs in the wake of controversies in Indiana and Arkansas over gay rights and religious freedom, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Thursday…The poll, conducted April 6 to 8, also found that 52 percent of Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry, far more than the 32 percent who oppose it…The survey results suggest a split over the issue between Americans and some of the politicians who represent them…Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services, while 28 percent said they should have that right. And 55 percent said businesses should not have the right to refuse to hire certain people or groups based on the employer’s religious beliefs, while 27 percent said businesses should have the right.”
Some interesting stats from Shawn Kemp at Media Post: “Facebook says it saw 43 million unique individuals engage in political discourse during the midterms, despite the fact that the U.S. had its lowest midterm-election voter turnout since the early 1940s. Moreover, according to research by Pew, voters were three times more likely to track political candidates on social media, jumping from 6% in 2010 to 16% at the midterm….Most importantly, Pew finds that voters who are active online are more likely to engage in traditional political campaign activities, such as donating money or volunteering.”
Kathleen Wallace reports at Counterpunch on “…an open records lawsuit…in Sedgwick County filed by a Wichita State University statistician, Beth Clarkson. She wants the paper tapes from the Kansas voting machines. She became curious after a paper from Francois Choquette and James Johnson, two statisticians who noted strong statistical evident of election manipulation during the 2012 elections. She didn’t believe their findings at first so she checked their data and also looked at other elections they hadn’t analyzed. She found the same oddities that they did…Clarkson wants an explanation why there is a pattern that shows the percentage of Republican votes increase in a predictable manner as the size of the precinct increases. These things shouldn’t follow anything that resembles a formula…..right?”
At Campaign for America’s Future Gloria Totten’s post “The Weak Link: Winning State Elections” takes stock of 2014 and illuminates the really bad news for Dems: “Wisconsin imposed “right-to-work.” Nevada suspended prevailing wage rules for school construction projects. South Dakota lowered the minimum wage by a dollar an hour for workers under age 18. Many states are slashing funds for public education and social services. Several are legalizing the carrying of guns on college campuses or abolishing the 80-year-old requirement of a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Utah brought back firing squads as a means of execution. Even the Indiana “religious liberty” battle didn’t have a happy ending: the law they passed is not a good one, it’s just less bad…The GOP gained more than 300 state legislative seats in the 2014 elections. Republicans now control 69 of the 99 state legislative bodies in the U.S…while Democrats control only 30. That’s the most legislative chambers Republicans have ever held…Put another way, there are now 25 states where both the legislative and executive branches are entirely controlled by Republicans…In contrast, there are only seven states with a Democratic legislature and governor…” Totten has some good ideas for turning it around at her post.
NYT columnist Thomas B. Edsall sees an upside for Republicans regarding their large , bickering field of GOP presidential candidates: “The Republican Party in 2016 will need to persuade the general electorate that it is not locked into a moribund belief system. If Republican positions are subject to vigorous debate, past dogma will not stifle the party’s growth, especially if Republicans can demonstrate their willingness to consider a multiplicity of candidates and a diversity of views. In these circumstances, the airing of the party’s dirty linen and the exposure of its internal schisms have the potential to enhance the party’s prospects, not diminish them.”
At Salon.com Heather Digby Parton explains “What Tom Cotton’s warmongering reveals: It’s still Dick Cheney’s GOP: Bad news, America: The neocon playbook is getting plenty of use these days.”

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