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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

So which measures to reduce income inequality attract the most support? Suzy Khimm reports at The New Republic: “A recent study conducted by economists from Princeton, Harvard, and University of California, Berkeley professor Emmanuel Saez–one of the most prominent researchers on inequality–put the political challenges of the issue in sharper relief. Based on a survey of 10,000 Americans, the study found that those who received more information about inequality were more likely to believe that economic disparity was a problem. At the same time, “they show no more appetite for many government interventions to reduce inequality”–such as an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and food stamps–“with the notable exceptions of increasing the estate tax and the minimum wage…The study hypothesizes that Americans are more comfortable with government solutions when they’re narrowly targeted or otherwise limit government involvement. That suggests that any kind of broad government intervention will be a hard sell to the broader public, even if the public believes the scales are unfairly tipped because of government policies.”
At The Monkey Cage Kyle Dropp’s “This new tool puts 50,000 poll questions and 100 demographics at your fingertips” reports on an early Xmas present for political opinion wonks: “This year, we at Morning Consult have addressed that problem by building out a platform called Morning Consult Intelligence. This free platform allows anyone to search and analyze over 50,000 current and historical survey questions from top polling organizations.”
Bill Cotterell, correspondent for the Tallahassee Democrat has an insightful update on Democratic electoral prospects in Florida. Among Cotterell’s observations: “Democrats figure to pick up two, maybe three, seats in the Florida congressional delegation under the redistricting plan approved last month by the state Supreme Court…When a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans in registration has 17 Republican and 10 Democratic members of the U.S. House, that’s no accident. Not coincidentally, Republicans are the controlling party of both chambers of the Legislature – the same people who fought the “Fair Districts” amendments all the way…All things being equal – which they’re not – Democrats would probably deserve a 14-13 majority in the state’s congressional delegation and Florida’s two U.S. Senate seats would be equally divided – which they are – by the parties.”
As for the sleazier tactics Republicans use to suppress pro-Democratic votes in the Sunshine State, check out Spencer Woodman’s excellent post at The Intercept, “Thanks to Republicans, Nearly a Quarter of Florida’s Black Citizens Can’t Vote.” Woodman explains, “No other state has a larger number of disenfranchised citizens than Florida, where more than 1.5 million people have lost the right to cast a ballot on Election Day, according to the Sentencing Project, a nonprofit prison reform group. Nationwide, nearly 6 million Americans are barred from voting due to felony convictions. Although most states restrict the voting rights of imprisoned felons, Iowa currently is the only one that joins Florida in imposing a lifelong disenfranchisement on ex-felons.”
Tony Monkovic reviews the pros, cons and realities of strategic voting at The Upshot, and notes “Research shows that the rate of so-called party-crasher voting in primaries is generally low. Voters in open primaries, in which you can vote in the primary of either party, are more likely to pick a candidate they like. He notes one failed example: “…Radio host Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” to help Hillary Clinton defeat Barack Obama did not prevent an Obama presidency.”
Hard to wrap your head around it now, but there was a time when the GOP hoped to benefit from the Muslim vote in the U.S. David A. Graham has the story at The Atlantic.
A new AP/GFK poll indicates Trump’s xenophobic take on immigration is shared by too many, even though the poll was conducted before his latest call for a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.: “…54 percent of Americans, including about three-quarters of Republicans, about half of independents and over a third of Democrats, said the United States takes in too many immigrants from the Middle East…By contrast, 46 percent of Americans, including 6 in 10 Republicans, slightly under half of independents and 3 in 10 Democrats, said the U.S. takes too many immigrants from Latin America…Just 28 percent of Americans said the same of immigrants from Europe, with little variation by party identification.”
If Trump wins the GOP nomination, what would his Republican rivals do? The New York Times editorial board offers this clue: “After his remarks on Muslims, how many of Mr. Trump’s rivals have said they would reject his candidacy if he won the nomination? As of Wednesday, none.”
You probably can guess who says “I. Will. Never. Leave. This. Race.”

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