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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

It looks like the GOP has a new poster-boy for voter suppression, even though he was demoted to the ‘kiddie table.’ This despite the fact that “New Jersey currently ranks 39th in the country in both percentage of eligible voters who are registered and percentage of voters who actually cast a ballot” and the fact that the “2015 elections likely saw lowest voter turnout in N.J. history.”
Regarding the abysmal voter turnout in Kentucky’s gubernatorial election, Benjamin Knoll writes at Kentucky.com: “One clear option is Election-Day registration (EDR) where voters can show up and register on the spot before going into vote. Studies have shown that it boosts turnout by anywhere from three to four percent. There is very little downside and 11 states plus the District of Columbia have already implemented it…Another option would be to extend poll closing times past 6 p.m. After all, Kentucky has one of the earliest poll closing times in the entire United States. One piece of research by three political scientists at the University of California found that states with poll closing times after 7 p.m. have about a three percent higher turnout rate than those that close before 7 p.m…Perhaps the most effective option would be to consolidate state and federal election cycles in Kentucky, a practice currently done by 45 other states (only Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia hold state-level officer elections in odd-numbered years).”
Duke University Political Scientists John B. Holbein and D. Sunshine Hillygus present evidence in the American Journal of Political Science that preregistration of 17-year old voters increases youth voter turnout.
As reported in The Connection, an Arlington, VA-based newspaper, here’s a voter turnout template which may merit replication: “The turnout drive by VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement), a multi-faith citizens power organization, cited a 24 percent increase in voter turnout in Precinct 30 (Nauck neighborhood) from the November 2011 election — the last off-year election with a comparable ballot. It also led to a 12 percent increase in turnout in Precinct 43 (Arlington Mill neighborhood), VOICE leaders said…The voter turnout campaign targeted primarily infrequent voters, enlisting more than 100 volunteers to knock on doors, talk to voters at bus stops, and call voters Nov. 1-3. The aim was to raise turnout by at least 5 percent from November 2011 in these two precincts…Noting that VOICE exceeded its goal almost five-fold in Precinct 30 and more than doubled it in Precinct 43, the Rev. Dr. James E. Victor, Jr., of Mount Olive Baptist Church said, “We learned that, when you make the effort to truly engage people around their hopes and dreams, Arlington’s residents will respond and vote.”
National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar argues that “Donald Trump’s Huge Debate Blunder: By embracing lower wages, Trump risks losing some support from his rock-solid working-class base.”
A few final thoughts regarding the GOP’s last presidential debate: Tony Monkovic reports some bad news for Rubio at The Upshot that “Of the 12 general election winners in the last 100 years who weren’t already president, every Republican was older than the oldest Democrat.” And, I hope Democratic ad makers are doing a good job of compiling Trump’s bully-boy rants, a rich motherlode for Democratic ads, should he get the GOP nomination. Best quote about the GOP debate came from E. J. Dionne, Jr.: “The GOP hopefuls often sounded as if they were addressing a convention of Mercedes owners.”
Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor, Sabato’s Crystal Ball explains their “Ratings Change: Louisiana Gubernatorial Race Now a Toss-Up.”
Sanders scores “landslide margins” iover Trump, Bush in McClatchy-Marist poll, reports Brent Budowski at The Hill. “Sanders has a lead over Trump that could be so huge that he would win a landslide victory in the presidential campaign, with margins that would almost certainly lead Democrats to regain control of the Senate and could help Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives…”
A chuckle from The Onion.

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