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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Sean McElwee probes “The truth about the white working class: Why it’s really allergic to voting for Democrats” at Salon.com. Among McElwee’s findings, “I examined raw vote shares among working class whites, and then vote shares among working class whites in the South (the former 11 states of the Confederacy) and non-South. Immediately, it is obvious that a key divide is the South/non-South distinction: only 28 percent of Southern working class whites identify as Democratic, compared with 40 percent of non-South working class whites.” McElwee also makes a strong case that Dems have failed to register, educate and turn out low-income voters in their base.
Syndicated Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. observes, “One of the tasks of political analysis is to make sense of conflicting information, and a new book by Stanley Greenberg, who was a political scientist before he became a Democratic pollster, does not shy away from the messiness of our social and electoral landscape. My Dickensian “best of times, worst of times” analysis is drawn partly from Greenberg’s new book, “America Ascendant.” In it Greenberg sees Republicans in a long-term demographic “death spiral.” But the book is also unsparing in acknowledging that Democratic weaknesses among older white and rural voters leave the GOP “almost unopposed in nearly half of the states.””
It may be wishful thinking on the part of Republican strategists, but there is already talk in at least one conservative e-rag that the “GOP establishment to back Hillary if Trump nominee.”
But has the long-awaited tanking of Trump finally begun? It looks like his Trumped-up African American pastors endorsement extravaganza has been scaled back.
Trump has denied that he recently mocked a physically-disabled reporter. But these two photos from the incident raise doubts. People with disabilities, their families and friends include a hefty part of the voting public. In 2010 there were more than 56 million disabled people in the U.S, according to the Census.
At Daily Kos Steve Singiser considers an interesting question:, “Another barrier to Democratic down-ballot majorities: Are Democratic voters more ‘bipartisan’?” and notes, “there is more to the gradual decline of Democratic support at the state legislative level than mere gerrymandering. This week, we explore the possibility that Democrats are hamstrung, even if slightly, by a tendency of their “soft” supporters being more willing to reach across the aisle and support legislative Republicans than the converse. Indeed, we have heard much about asymmetric polarization. The decline in split-ticket voting (which has been well documented), it appears, may be happening asymmetrically, as well.” Singer and Kos crunched relevant data and found that only 13.4 percent of state legislative seats are in ‘split ticket’ legislative districts, with 62 percent held by Republican officeholders occupying seats carried by President Obama in 2012. Only 38 percent were Democratic officeholders in districts carried by Romney in 2012.
Michael Tomasky’s Daily Beast post, “The GOP’s Climate Moderates Are Losing” explains that the few GOP presidential candidates who address climate change seriously have no real chance of nomination — which should help Democrats turn out and win young voters.
Does Rand Paul’s dismal performance as a presidential candidate make his senate seat vulnerable? Joseph Gerth reports at the Louisville Courier Journal that Democrats are shopping around for a challenger. “Talk in the party has largely settled around actress Ashley Judd and state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry, and there are some in the party who are holding out hope that some wealthy business person who’s not been involved in politics before will step forward.” Despite recent Democratic Kentucky Democratic losses, state party Chair Patrick Hill adds, “”We have some strong candidates who might be able to take advantage of some excitement on the national level.” John Cheves of the Lexington Herald Leader reports that the just re-elected Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes “has declined to say if she’ll make another run for higher office, such as challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in his re-election bid next year.” If Clinton is nominated the Democrats’ 2016 candidate, however, she will certainly consider running to take advantage of the possibility of a strong turnout of women.
Hunter Walker explains why “The shooting at Planned Parenthood put GOP 2016 hopefuls in a ‘politically uncomfortable’ position” at Yahoo.com.

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