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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Facebook may be rife with bickering between the supporters of Sanders and Clinton, but the candidates displayed impressive civility at last night’s Democratic forum, even as they put the heat on each other. Eric Bradner’s “6 takeaways from CNN’s Democratic town hall” at CNN Politics provides a good synopsis.
Looking forward to tonight’s Democratic debate in NH, Trip Gabriel, among other NYT political reporters, observes: “After Mrs. Clinton overwhelmingly — even shockingly — lost millennial voters in Iowa by 70 points to Mr. Sanders, I’ll be watching to see if she turns the focus from her résumé — a misty past beyond the recall of voters under 30 — toward the future, offering an optimistic vision of what she hopes to accomplish. Conversely, because Mr. Sanders lost seniors in Iowa by 43 points, I want to see if he tailors his message to try to bridge some of the gap.”
The Republican presidential candidate field just shrunk by two more candidates, with Sen. Rand Paul and former Sen. Rick Santorum bailing out, eliminating the need for a “kiddie table” going forward.
Trump and Rubio crank up the shameless Muslim-bashing in NH, blasting the President for daring to affirm religious tolerance and freedom at a Baltimore Mosque.
At U.S. News Matthew Dickinson writes, “In the pivotal state of New Hampshire, which holds its first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 9, roughly 44 percent of voters are not affiliated with either major party. This makes them eligible to vote in either party’s primary – but not in both. In contrast, Democrats make up about 26 percent of registered voters, and Republicans 30 percent. While Sanders’ core constituency is the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, New Hampshire polls indicate that he runs particularly strong there among younger voters, those who did not vote in the 2008 or 2012 New Hampshire primaries and among independents. Trump tends to do better among lower-educated blue collar workers, but like Sanders polls indicate he also does slightly better among undeclared voters and among those who did not vote in the two previous New Hampshire presidential primaries. In short, both candidates are positioning themselves as political outsiders running against the party establishment, and as a consequence, they are partly trying to appeal to the same group of independent voters.”
WaPo’s Phillip Bump addresses an interesting question, “Should Bernie Sanders get credit for making the Democratic party more liberal?” I agree with Bump that the trend was well underway before Sanders’s candidacy, but credit him with driving the party’s policies a notch or two to the left.
Hats off to one of the greatest Democratic House members, Rep. Elijah Cummings, for putting the cause of safe, affordable medicine before advancing his political career. His continued service in the House insures that Democrats will have a uniquely strong and eloquent voice challenging Republican extremism on all major issues.
Scott Keyes has an important read at ThinkProgress, “Study Finds Republican Voter Suppression Is Even More Effective Than You Think.” As Keyes expliains, “In a new paper entitled “Voter Identification Laws and the Suppression of Minority Votes”, researchers at the University of California, San Diego — Zoltan Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi — and Bucknell University — Lindsay Nielson — used data from the annual Cooperative Congressional Election Study to compare states with strict voter ID laws to those that allow voters without photo ID to cast a ballot. They found a clear and significant dampening effect on minority turnout in strict voter ID states…the researchers found that in primary elections, “a strict ID law could be expected to depress Latino turnout by 9.3 points, Black turnout by 8.6 points, and Asian American turnout by 12.5 points.” And that’s just one of their voter suppression techniques.
His campaign has $100 million, and this is the best he can do?

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