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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

The Map: 11 Angles on the Electoral College” by Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley provides a riveting read for anyone interested in 2016 political strategy, as well as political map junkies. My overall take-away is that Dems are going to have to screw up really bad to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this time out.
As a bonus, the same guys have “The 2016 Results We Can Already Predict,” in which they i.d. the likely 2016 toss-up states as: CO; FL; IA; NH; NV; OH; and VA. The only “Leans R” state is NC; The only “Leans D” states are WI and PA. The rest are all “likely” or “safe” one party or the other.
From an ABC News report by Chris Good and Rick Klein comes a reality check on the fuss about the number of presidential debates: “In 2004 and 2008, the DNC similarly sanctioned six debates, but thanks to advocacy groups and media outlets organizing their own debates and forums, the actual number of debates ballooned to over 20 in each year.” Any effort to restrict debate is likely doomed to failure of one sort or another. Strategic concerns about overexposure are probably futile in today’s media environment anyway.
Yet another indication that Dems ought to be able to get a bigger bite of the high-turnout senior vote.
At The Atlantic Gillian B. White probes a question of political consequence: “What Does ‘Middle Class’ Even mean?” Her article has the disturbing subtitle, “The gap between the richest and poorest in the U.S. is so wide that more Americans have started to assign themselves to lower socioeconomic groups.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr. explains why “Populism could divide the Grand Old Party,” and notes “a steady but little-noticed trend: Americans are becoming less conservative. In the fall of 2010, the Times/CBS poll found, there were twice as many self-described conservatives as liberals: 19 percent of Americans called themselves liberal, 38 percent called themselves conservative. In the latest poll, liberals stood at 25 percent, conservatives at 33 percent. In less than five years, a 19-point margin has shrunk to eight points.”
You probably knew that the U.S. record on voter turnout is not so hot, compared to many democracies. But 31st out of 34 countries studied is an embarrassment for a nation which fancies itself ‘the world’s greatest democracy.’
Memo to the good people of Iowa’s 4th congressional district: Is this really the best you can do?
Here’s why such neo-McCarthyite rants by Rep. King, Sen. Cruz and others are not going to get much traction.

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