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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Vox Matthew Yglesias takes a peek into the #NRORevolt dust-up, and sums up the GOP’s dilemma thusly: “The strategy favored by much of the party elite — including George and Jeb Bush, John McCain, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, most of the business community, and the RNC in its official 2012 postmortem — is to try to neutralize the immigration issue in the Latino community and then win votes from more affluent or more religiously devout Hispanics. The alt-right/identitarian/Trump strategy is to do the opposite, and make increasingly explicit appeals to ethnic nationalism to try to make whites more uniformly loyal to the GOP.”
O’Malley and Chafee should probably hang around for a debate or two to see if some exposure helps, but so far neither has gotten any traction. So the question arises, could Biden’s entry help Clinton avoid the “coronation” stigma — if she wins? Clinton already has a ‘doing-better-than-expected’ opponent in Sanders. Since Biden has impressive approval ratings in recent polls, would a 3-way race strengthen the Democratic ticket, or conversely, escalate the risk of a divisive convention?
It’s a little early for “Plan B” talk among Democrats, but please, let’s rule out Gore or Kerry scenarios, which would jettison any hope of Dems being perceived as the party for the future.
And grand strategies aside, there are unforgiving filing deadlines approaching quite soon, as Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley report at Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
The Fix’s Phillip Bump has caveats aplenty regarding recent polls indicating Trump doing better-than-expected with Latino and African American voters.
From Kate Linthicum’s “Why the big Latino voting bloc is nowhere near as large as it could be” at the L.A. Times: “In the 2014 midterm election, only 27% of eligible Latinos voted, compared with 46% of whites and 41% of African Americans, according to U.S. census data…Last year, 33% of Latinos eligible to vote were 18 to 29, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, compared with 18% of whites, 25% of African Americans and 21% of Asian Americans. The Latino population is also heavily concentrated in two places, Texas and California, that have not been swing states in presidential elections for decades. Nearly half the country’s Latino eligible voters live in those two states. Because Democrats can usually count on winning statewide races in California and Republicans in Texas, neither party in those states has had an incentive to invest the huge sums necessary to register and turn out lots more Latino voters. By contrast, a large percentage of the black population lives in swing states that have been a heavy focus of voter registration efforts.”
“identity Crisis” seems a bit melodramatic, even for a headline — the term better fits the GOP these days. Kraushaar’s National Journal article more accurately describes the ferment of a healthy political party.
In her Huffpo Pollster article, “Wages of Win: The Public and the Minimum Wage Debate,” Kathleen Weldon notes, “Recent polls indicate that, despite ongoing concerns about very large increases in the minimum wage, there is considerable support even for candidates who favor a $15 minimum. A 2015 NBC/WSJ poll found 48 percent of registered voters said such a position would make them more favorable toward a candidate, 38 percent less favorable, and 13 percent said that position would make no difference. Continued support for some form of minimum wage increase appears to give Democrats a strong issue in the 2016 campaign.”
You too can “play in the political prediction market.”

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