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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Michael Tomasky’s Daily Beast column, “Hillary and Liberals: Here’s the Deal” cuts to the chase “What I’m talking about here is not just a handful of policies. I’m talking about the bulk of the Reagan-Gingrich-Bush legacy. Obama could not undo it because he had to deal with the Great Recession. But eight more years of a Democratic presidency can do exactly that–undo it, across a whole range of fronts…This and nothing else is the basis of the deal. This election isn’t about Clinton’s personality or vision or lack of it or anything else that’s directly about her. It’s about having the chance to undo what conservatism has wrought for two generations. I can assure you–smart conservatives understand these to be precisely the stakes, if the Democrats win two more straight presidential elections.”
So how does the public feel about the decline in union membership? For the answer, check out the latest Pew Research Center report on the topic, which notes “The public expresses mixed views of the longterm decline in union membership on the country: 45% say this has been mostly a bad thing, while 43% see it as mostly a good thing…However, the effects of the decline in union membership on working people is seen in more negative terms: 52% say the reduction in union representation has been mostly bad for working people, compared with fewer (40%) who say it has been mostly good. The balance of opinion on this question is about the same as it was in a 1994 NBC/Wall Street Journal survey that asked about the previous 20 years…48% hold a favorable view of unions, while somewhat fewer (39%) say they have an unfavorable view. Opinions of unions have recovered from lows reached in 2010 and 2011.”
At the L.A. Times Cathleen Decker explores reasons for “Why Don’t More Women Run for Office?
From Valeriya Metla’s “What Part Will Hispanic Voters Play in the 2016 Elections?” at Law Street: “Statewide, eligible Hispanic voters amount to around 40.1 percent in New Mexico, 27.4 percent in Texas, 26.9 percent in California, 20.3 percent in Arizona, 17.1 percent in Florida, 15.9 percent in Nevada, 13.2 percent in New York, 12.8 percent in New Jersey, and 10.3 percent in Connecticut. Again, Hispanic voter turnout during the midterms was lower than that of other ethnic groups and nationwide. For example, in Florida, only 36.5 percent of Hispanic voters showed up to vote in the 2014 midterm elections, while the overall voter turnout was at 50.5 percent. Despite low turnout, however, Hispanic voters have the ability to strongly affect American elections.”
At The Fix Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza have “The top 10 Senate races of 2016, ranked.” They see the states most likely to change the party affiliation of their Senators, in order, as: IL; WI; FL; NV; PA; CO; NH; OH; NC and IN.
‘Poorer than thou’ seems to be the current mantra of GOP presidential wannabes. It’s all about creating a compelling narrative, as Jeremy W, Peters explains in his New York Times article, “G.O.P. Hopefuls Now Aiming to Woo the Middle Class,” quoting National Review writer Charles C. W. Cooke, who says “Probably the idea that is most attractive to an average voter, and an idea that both Republicans and Democrats try to craft into their messages, is this idea that you can rise from nothing.” And in the case of the Republicans, ‘be about nothing, save tax cuts for your rich chums,’ he could have added.
At The Upshot Justin Wolfers explores the data revealing the power of place in upward mobility. As Wolfers writes of the strategic implications, “This puts the issue of fixing our failing neighborhoods squarely on the political agenda,” a priority Democratic candidates who want to win elections should be able to articulate.
From Dorian T. Warren’s “How to Truly Eradicate Poverty” at The Nation: “…Underneath the frozen surface of partisan rancor and stale ideological arguments, powerful currents are moving the country towards a new consensus for change…This moment calls for an aspirational program that can galvanize energy, animate a broad-based coalition and provide a foundation for concrete action that will put the voice and agenda of struggling Americans…at the center of a new national debate. At its core is a simple and achievable idea: government should take action to create millions of good new jobs in emerging sectors, guarantee decent wages and benefits for all who want to work, and ensure equity in the labor market for women and people of color.”
Drawing from Michael Bader’s “More than Bread and Butter: A Psychologist Speaks to Progressives About What People Really Need in Order to Win and Change the World,” Daily Kos’s Meteor Blades has a provocative question, “Do progressives need to make better emotional ties when organizing?

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