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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In must-read of the day for political junkies, Jim Rutenberg reports on “The New Attack on Hispanic Voting Rights” at The New York Times: “…Even now, Hispanic citizens are registering and voting at levels that are not much better than those of blacks near the end of Jim Crow — a 38.8 percent turnout in Texas in 2012, according to the Census Bureau, as opposed to more than 60 percent for both blacks and ”Anglos,” the widely used informal term for non-Hispanic whites…”
You won’t be surprised by a new WaPo/ABC News poll indicating that Americans fear “lone wolf” terrorist attacks. But I’m a little surprised that the same poll found that “regarding a specific national ban on assault weapons, 53% of Americans oppose such a policy, up from 42% in a Post/ABC poll in 2013, and the highest in Post/ABC polling since 1994.,” as David Wright reports at CNN.
At the Northern Kentucky Tribune, Col Owens, chair of the Kenton County Democratic party, has an interesting post-mortem on the recent election in that state, in which Democratic candidate for governor Jack Conway was badly beaten. Owens acknowledges the merit in some of the reasons given for Conway’s defeat, including “weak candidate, not good at schmoozing…wrong strategy, too much emphasis on fundraising, not enough on voter contact…too little of a ground game, did not reach out to our base or get out the vote,” etc.. But Owens also provides some suggestions to Dems for getting a better youth turnout in the future: “…We must look to where new converts can be won: young people. Many/most young people believe most of what we believe. But they do not affiliate, and many do not vote…They want education opportunities without huge debt…They want health care – polls show they favor keeping the Affordable Care Act…They want clean air to breathe, and safe water for drinking and for playing in…They want freedom from discrimination, intolerance and hatred…Most accept gay marriage, and believe abortion is a personal matter…They want effective transportation and communication – they want things to work…They want to be able to retire without being impoverished…They want the U.S. to be strong and to lead, but not to be engaged in endless war…When I review this list, what seems clear to me that most of these folks should be Democrats.”
More evidence that a Trump independent candidacy would doom Republicans next year.
But why should he go all indy, when trends are going his way. As conservative political analyst and InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery recently noted, “In my years of polling these presidential races for the GOP nomination I have never seen one candidate so dominate the contest for so many months in a row. That said, Mr. Trump could face his first stumbling block in Iowa. The caucus there is known for its unusual and often out-of-step results. That said, Trump’s lead in states in the Southeast is powerful and appears to be gaining speed, based on other polls OpinionSavvy conducted this week in other neighboring states…”
Why Trump’s “chaos campaign” (a former Secret Service agent agrees with Jeb Bush) is starting to look more like the Jerry Springer Show.
Philip Bump explains at The Fix, however, why “When it comes to the polls, cellphones are not Donald Trump’s friend.” — a good read before you bet the ranch on Trump winning it all.
Al Tuchfarber, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati and founder of the Ohio Poll, opines at Crystal Ball that “Trump has alienated many other Republican candidates and their followers. As second and third tier Republican candidates drop out after poor performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, it is unlikely that Trump will pick up many of their voters. Rather, those votes will mostly go to other top tier Republicans, both outsiders (Ted Cruz) and insiders (Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush)…Trump’s “ceiling” appears to be hovering at 25% to 30%. This is too low to do well in the winner-take-all Republican contests starting on March 15 in states like Florida and Ohio. There are several other winner-take-all contests throughout the rest of the primary season, requiring majorities or big pluralities to win significant numbers of delegates…It is nearly impossible to say now who will get the Republican nomination, but it is unlikely to be Trump…”
Bump also has a story that will keep the GOP’s climate change-denying spin-doctors busy: “For 2015 not to be the hottest year on record, December will have to be impossibly cold; It’s Not Going to Happen.”

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