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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his Wall St. Journal column TDS founding editor William Galston reports on “The Democratic Party’s Economic Divide: Hillary Clinton will have to navigate the center-left split on growth and the role of government.” Galston summarizes the views of Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who seeks consensus between the party’s centrists and left flank: “Although the private sector must take the lead in promoting economic growth, there is a role for government–creating a nurturing environment for investment and entrepreneurship, improving education, promoting trade, helping families save for college, bringing down health-care costs, strengthening retirement security, and yes, increasing the minimum wage.”
At In These Times Jacob Swenson-Lengyel explains “Why Radicals Like Bernie Sanders Should Run As Democrats, Not Independents.” The author provides several perceptive observations, including “The two major political parties, we are told, have been and will be the parties of capital. For this reason, we are counseled to avoid defilement at the hands of the Democrats and to take on other uncorrupted pursuits. But it is vain to fetishize purity at the cost of power. Better to step onto the field of struggle and risk defilement than relegate oneself to the sidelines.”
The Amtrak tragedy provides yet another indication that America’s decaying transportation infrastructure is becoming a major public safety issue. But the tragedy also should encourage public support for infrastructure upgrades that can create needed jobs across America, As The Nation’s John Nichols puts it, “Safety concerns can and should motivate investment. But so, too, should concerns for job creation and economic development.
Good to see that HuffPo has joined the Transparency Initiative of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) which requires participants to disclose the methodological details associated with reports on their opinion surveys. Among commercial media, only HuffPo and WaPo have made the commitment thus far.
HuffPollsters Ariel Edwards-Levy, Mark Blumenthal and Janie Valencia have a thorough post-mortem on the UK election polling failures.
A Princeton Survey Research Associates poll for Vanderbilt University shows overwhelming support (64 percent of TN RVs surveyed) for “Insure Tennessee,” a plan “which uses federal money made available through the Affordable Care Act to help pay for insurance for low-income Tennesseans,” reports Dave Boucher of The Tennessean.
In the latest Reuters Poll, “President Barack Obama’s signature policy, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, was opposed by 53 percent of almost 21,000 Americans surveyed, and favored by 47 percent…But 60 percent of the roughly 1,800 survey respondents who have coverage through Obamacare favored the law. Within that group, almost two-thirds were satisfied with the healthcare they were getting, including 73 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans,” write Steve Holland and Susan Cornwell.
David A. Graham comments at The Atlantic on the impact of African American mortality on U.S. elections, specifically a new study which indicates that, if African Americans had the same mortality rates as whites, the electorate would include about one million more African American voters. At Vox, Andrew Prokop notes that, without the mortality discrepancy, Al Gore would have likely won Florida’s electoral votes in 2000 — and the presidency.
Ohio Republicans try to bring back the poll tax — in drag.

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