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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

A succinct summary of the importance of President Obama’s release of a new rule expanding eligibility for overtime pay — and a good message point for Democrats — from E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s syndicated column: “To much bellyaching from Republicans and business groups, Obama is putting forward new rules that would make up to 5 million more American workers eligible for overtime pay. He’s doing this by ending a scam through which employers designate even relatively low-paid workers as managers to get around the law, which requires an overtime premium after 40 hours per week…Under the current rules, as Obama wrote this week in The Huffington Post, workers earning as little as $23,660 a year can be robbed of overtime by being given supervisory or managerial designations. The new regulation would raise the threshold to a more plausible $50,440 a year.”
Another affirmation that courses in civics and government help improve voter turnout.
Jeffrey M. Jones reports on new Gallup poll findings bearing good news for Democrats: “In the second quarter of 2015, Democrats regained an advantage over Republicans in terms of Americans’ party affiliation. A total of 46% of Americans identified as Democrats (30%) or said they are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party (16%), while 41% identified as Republicans (25%) or leaned Republican (16%). The two parties were generally even during the previous three quarters, including the fourth quarter of 2014, when the midterm elections took place.”
Ralph Nader challenges all presidential candidates to support a $15 minimum wage. But only Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders have thus far expressed their support of the increase. Nader notes, “Almost all of the Republican candidates support keeping the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour.” Nader provides good message points in favor of the measure: “A 2014 study by the Center for American Progress showed that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cause a six percent drop in welfare enrollments, saving the American people over four billion dollars a year…It’s time for the candidates from all parties to reject the corporate dogma that allows companies to pay exploitative wages and force their employees onto public assistance. ”
National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar sees Dems in good position to regain a Senate majority in 2016: “For this cycle, the map is difficult for Republicans, who are defending many more seats than their Democratic counterparts. Of the nine most-competitive Senate seats, seven are held by Republicans–and six feature sitting Republican senators. Eight of the races are being held in states that President Obama carried twice.” Kraushaar also argues that “Republican Senate candidates face the harsh reality that their party’s presidential nominees have a bigger impact on their reelection than their own campaigns.”
At Brookings William A. Galson and Elaine Kamarck make the case for “More builders and fewer traders: A growth strategy for the American economy,” which could be a potent message for Democratic candidates in projecting an economic vision.
A little nugget from Kerry Eleveld’s Daily Kos post, “Jeb’s taxes reveal a wealthy man who thrived in the great recession and donated little,” quoting Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin and Michael C. Bender “Jeb’s taxes reveal a wealthy man who thrived in the great recession and donated little”: “From 2007 to 2013, the Bushes gave a total of $431,056 to charity, or about 1.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. In 2011, Romney, who is much wealthier than Bush, donated more than 29 percent of his income to charity. The Obamas donated 14.8 percent last year.
A few short weeks ago I figured that the GOP had probably bottomed-out with Hispanic LVs. But it now seems Trump’s immigrant-bashing and better than expected poll numbers among Republican respondents could damage the GOP brand even more with Latino voters.
Meanwhile, Simon Malloy just puts it out there at Salon.com with “GOP’s baffling Trump cowardice: A party too timid to denounce a bigoted gasbag.”

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