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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From Sean McElwee’s “The GOP’s stunning election advantage: How Republicans captured Congress–and how Democrats can win it back: A remarkable new study highlights the crucial role turnout plays in Republican victories“: “CCES data suggest that 23 percent of of nonvoters in 2010 and 27 percent of nonvoters in 2012 said they didn’t vote because they weren’t registered, the most frequently cited reason of all. Among those who only voted in presidential years, disliking the candidates, lack of information and business were the top reasons for not voting in midterm elections. Among the small group (4 percent) of Americans who only voted in midterms, busyness and disliking the candidates were the top reasons for abstaining…Both data sources suggest that core voters are older, whiter, richer and better educated than nonvoters and presidential-only voters. This leads to different partisan identification: nonvoters were mostly either Independents (30 percent) or Democrats (43 percent). Presidential-only voters tilt the most strongly toward the Democrats, with 53 percent saying they are Democrats and only 32 percent identifying as Republican… According to CCES, nonvoters prefered Obama to Romney by a margin of 52 percent to 32 percent, and presidential-only voters preferred him 60 percent to 37 percent. However, core voters preferred Romney over Obama, 49 percent to 48 percent. If presidential elections were decided by core voters, Romney might well have won.”
In his NYT op-ed, “A User’s Guide to the Dark Art of Politics,” Democratic strategist Bret Di Resta illuminates the importance — and the art — of good opposition research.
Robert Reich’s “What to Do About Disloyal Corporations” at HuffPo makes a persuasive case for removing a broad range of economic incentives for companies like Pfizer, which leave the U.S. to avoid taxes. Reich’s argument is succinctly stated in a way that Democratic candidates could articulate in connecting with American workers who are concerned about export of jobs. One of his soundbites: “If Pfizer or any other American corporation wants to leave America to avoid U.S. taxes, that’s their business. But they should no longer get any of the benefits of American citizenship — because they’ve stopped paying for them.”
Bill Moyers and Michael Kinship take no prisoners in their HuffPo post “The GOP on the Eve of Destruction” and provide Democrats with an eloquent summation of Republican damage to our society. “…The Republicans seem to have made up their minds: they will divide, degrade and secede from the Union…They will do so with bullying, lies and manipulation, a willingness to say anything, no matter how daft or wrong. They will do so by spending unheard of sums to buy elections with the happy assistance of big business and wealthy patrons for whom the joys of gross income inequality are a comfortable fact of life. By gerrymandering and denying the vote to as many of the poor, the elderly, struggling low-paid workers, and people of color as they can. And by appealing to the basest impulses of human nature: anger, fear and bigotry.”
At The L.A. Times David Lauter and Evan Halper explain “How the San Bernardino attack has reshaped the political debate — and the 2016 election.”
Patrick Healy and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times peel back the layers of demagogic rhetoric that define Trump’s messaging and find…a demagogue. “Several historians watched Mr. Trump’s speeches last week, at the request of The Times, and observed techniques — like vilifying groups of people and stoking the insecurities of his audiences — that they associate with Wallace and McCarthy…”His entire campaign is run like a demagogue’s — his language of division, his cult of personality, his manner of categorizing and maligning people with a broad brush,” said Jennifer Mercieca, an expert in American political discourse at Texas A&M University.”
Rising xenophobia in wake of Paris massacre boosts right-wing in Ipsos-Sopra poll.
Mark Murray reports at MSNBC.com on findings from a new MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll regarding political attitudes following the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino: “Americans are split on their biggest worry, with 36 percent saying it’s a terrorist attack and 31 percent saying it’s gun violence, according to a new MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll…Another 17 said their biggest worry is being a victim of police brutality. The results break down along partisan and racial lines: 60 percent of Republicans say being a victim of a terrorist attack is their biggest concern, versus just 22 percent of Democrats who say that… Conversely, 40 percent of Democrats single out being a victim of gun violence as their biggest worry, compared with just 20 percent of Republicans saying that. And 41 percent of African Americans indicate their biggest concern is being a victim of police brutality, versus just 11 percent of whites who say that.”
And Oscar Williams-Grut spells out “Here’s where terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda get their money” at Business Insider.

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