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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From “Latino turnout in congressional elections is low and falling” by Matthew Yglesias at Vox: “Overall turnout in 2014 was the lowest in a generation. Black turnout actually increased slightly over this period, but white turnout has fallen and Latino turnout has fallen a lot even as the Latino share of the population rose considerably…And this, to be clear, is turnout among eligible voters — i.e., US citizens over the age of 18. The overall Latino population in the United States is disproportionately likely to be too young to vote, so Hispanics are even more underweighted in actual congressional politics.”
At Daily Koz Leslie Salzillo flags a study by the CDC’s Violence Policy Center ranking the 50 states according to state firearm deaths in 2011. Guess which political party controls all of the top ten. As for the bottom ten states, where Americans are safest from firearm deaths, eight are solid blue states, with one (IA) purplish and one red (WI).
Washington Post syndicated columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. explains why “Americans are polarized but ambivalent.” Dionne notes “…the Pew Research Center released findings that should alarm Republicans. Its survey found that only 32 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Republican Party — down nine points since January — while 60 percent had an unfavorable view. For Democrats, the numbers were 48 percent favorable (up two points) and 47 percent unfavorable.” Dionne cites TDS and adds, “One key finding, from pollster Stan Greenberg: Such voters are “open to an expansive Democratic economic agenda” but “are only ready to listen when they think that Democrats understand their deeply held belief that politics has been corrupted and government has failed.” This calls for not only “populist measures to reduce the control of big money and corruption” but also, as Mark Schmitt of the New America Foundation argued, “high-profile efforts to show that government can be innovative, accessible and responsive.”
Zogby, NBC/Marist, Economist/YouGov and CNN/ORC polls show Trump still leads in GOP race.
Not to be outdone in awful taste by Trump, Huck tries a little grotesque bomb-throwing of his own, and draws this response: “Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable,” said Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. “Mike Huckabee must apologize to the Jewish community and to the American people for this grossly irresponsible statement.”
Dartunorro Clark reports on a new app at the Albany Times Union, via Government Technology: “Electorate literally puts information on elected officials into the palm of your hands,” Krans said. “The biggest impact comes when we marry easily accessible voting information with the power of existing social networks…[It] allows registered voters…to find out information on local, state and federal elected representatives. Additionally, it allows users to verify and link their voting record with their Facebook account to display their full voting record and history, see upcoming elections and endorse candidates and also see who their Facebook friends have endorsed.”
Laura Lorek of siliconhillsnews.com reports more “High Tech and Low Tech Solutions to Low Voter Turnout,” and notes “To encourage people to be more civically engaged and to vote is one of the latest challenges the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation took on. On Wednesday morning, the foundation announced the winners of its Knight News Challenge on Elections. The foundation received more than 1,000 submissions and awarded $3.2 million to 22 winners. “Ten of the winners will receive investments ranging from $200,000 to $525,000 each, while 12 early stage ideas will receive $35,000 each through the Knight Prototype Fund,” according to the Knight Foundation.” Loren adds, “The largest grant for $525,000 went to a project titled “Inside the 990 Treasure Trove” by the Center for Responsive Politics and Guidestar. The project seeks to better inform the public about who is funding campaigns through a partnership with Guidestar to reveal the sources of so-called “dark money.”
The Berkeley News reports on a new study “Does the American Dream Matter for Members of Congress? Social-Class Backgrounds and Roll-Call Votes,” from the Political Research Quarterly. Among the findings: “Having a working-class background tends to make members of Congress (especially Democrats) more liberal,” explained Grumbach. “There are other factors that make legislators more liberal, too, such as coming from a district with liberal voters, or being nonwhite or female — but coming from a working-class background is especially impactful.”…Grumbach observed that “almost all members of Congress are upper-class and held elite occupations before being elected to seats in Washington, D.C…Few Republicans with working-class experiences get elected to public office, and upper-class Republicans in Congress do not back government support programs for the working class as often as Democrats even if they did grow up in families of modest financial circumstances.”
Betsy Woodruff’s “The Walker Slayers Dish: How They Beat Him” may come in handy.

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