washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Brookings William Galston sheds light on the ideological value that undergird’s Trump’s enduring strength among Republican voters in opinion polls: “Trump enjoys a large advantage in public support, moreover, despite ranking at or near the bottom on most of the personal characteristics that voters value in prospective presidents–honesty and trustworthiness, caring about people’s needs and problems, sharing their values, and having the right experience. He leads in only one area–strong leadership qualities. It speaks volumes about the current mood among Republicans that the desire for strength appears strong enough to trump all other considerations, even among voters who prize piety and humility.”
Dems can be forgiven a smidgeon of schadenfreude at the utter failure of Jeb Bush’s quest for the GOP nomination, given his role as president’s brother/Governor of Florida in the 2000 election. At Mother Jones Pema Levy’s post, I’ll Be the Judge of That: How Jeb Bush Perpetuated the Sunshine State’s War on Black Voters provides a recap on the effects of ex-felon disenfranchisement in Florida for those who have forgotten: “The 2000 presidential election was ultimately decided by a 537-vote margin in Florida. More than 500,000 ex-felons were barred from the polls, including at least 139,000 African Americans, who vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates. Their exclusion almost certainly changed the outcome of the race. The beneficiary, of course, was Jeb Bush’s brother…Under Jeb Bush, Florida undertook a second voter purge–again with a sharp racial skew–in 2004, the next presidential election year. Of the 48,000 people on the second list, 22,000 were black. Just 61 people on the list were Hispanic, at a time when Florida Hispanics, including the Cuban community in Miami, voted solidly Republican. After the media made the list public, and with a potential lawsuit looming, Bush abandoned the purge…According to Edward Hailes, a lawyer with the US Commission on Civil Rights, the number of African Americans wrongfully expunged from the rolls who would have voted for Al Gore was 4,752–nearly nine times greater than the 537 votes that handed George W. Bush the presidency…Ultimately, Bush approved just one-fifth of the 385,522 applications for civil rights submitted during his eight years in office.” Of course felon disenfranchisement was just one element of voter suppression in FL in 2000, in addition to the Brooks Brothers Riot, finagling with voter machines, “lost” registration forms, misinformation and other shenanigans, all under the watch of Governor Jeb Bush.
At The Nation Sean McElwee highlights “The GOP’s Class Divide on Austerity; Even inside the GOP, the working poor don’t support the austerity politics of the party’s elites.” McElwee analyses from the 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Study of more than 50,000 respondents.
In his weekly Syndicated column, E.J. Dionne, Jr. observes, “A good case can be made — and has been made by progressives throughout Obama’s term — that if Democrats said that everything was peachy, voters who are still hurting would write off the party entirely…But ambivalence does not win elections. Running to succeed Ronald Reagan in 1988, George H. W. Bush triumphed by proposing adjustments in Reagan’s environmental and education policies, but otherwise touting what enough voters decided were Reagan’s successes…Democrats need to insist that while much work remains to be done, the United States is in far better shape economically than most other countries in the world. The nation is better off for the reforms in health care, financial regulation and environmental protection enacted during Obama’s term…If Clinton, Sanders and their party don’t provide a forceful response to the wildly inaccurate and ridiculously bleak characterization of Obama’s presidency that the Republicans are offering, nobody will. And if this parody is allowed to stand as reality, the Democrats will lose.”
Peter Dreier’s post “Nine Battleground States that Could Flip the Senate — and the Supreme Court” at The American Prospect puts the 2016 stakes in clear perspective: “If the Democrats win the Senate and a Democratic president gets to replace Scalia and appoint three other justices, they will cement a liberal majority for at least two or three decades. If either Clinton or Sanders wins the White House, Justices Ginsburg (who will be 83 next year) and Stephen Breyer (78) might retire to allow the president to pick their younger successors. Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes votes with the court liberals, will be 80 in 2017. If he retires and a Democrat selects his replacement, the court could find itself with a 6-3 liberal majority, with only Chief Justice John Roberts (currently 61 years old) and Justices Clarence Thomas (67) and Samuel Alito (65) remaining to carry the conservative torch. (Two other liberals–61-year-old Sonia Sotomayor and 55-year-old Elena Kagan, both Obama appointees–could remain on the court for another two decades…Even with Roberts remaining as chief justice, a court with a 6-3 liberal majority could have more influence in moving the country in a progressive direction than at any time since Chief Justice Earl Warren led the court between 1953 and 1969.”
Hillary Clinton just got a big boost from 20 unions representing 10 million workers — which means her campaign will soon have more money and manpower. Further, “Exit and entrance polls from the Iowa and Nevada caucuses showed voters from union households favoring Mrs. Clinton over Mrs. Sanders by a roughly 10-point margin — greater than the margin by which Mrs. Clinton won those contests overall,” reports Noam Scheiber at the New York Times.
At The Daily Beast, however, Michael Tomasky observes of Clinton’s NV victory, “this win should mean that Clinton will be able to unite the party without anybody’s flesh being ripped…It now looks like Clinton is going to be the nominee, and that this primary will be over sooner rather than later. She should win nine of 12 Super Tuesday states, and maybe 10; I think she could get Massachusetts, while Sanders holds in Vermont and Minnesota. But barring the email-indictment scenario or some totally unexpected thing (and of course those things could happen!), it’s hard to see a scenario where Sanders could steal away any delegate-rich states. So she seems to be on the way.”
Olivia Nuzzi’s Daily Beast post on the SC results has a headline that will make establishment Republicans wince: “Trump Smirks As Beltway GOP Crumbles.” Nuzzi adds this telling insight: “He did not explain what was historic about the evangelical in the race losing the evangelical vote in a state where –according to an exit poll–73 percent of Republican voters said they consider themselves born-again or evangelical Christians. Trump, whose cursing is part of his stump speech, is on his third wife, admitted on TV that he’d never asked God for forgiveness, and this week got into a fight with The Pope.”
From vocativ.com: 2016_02_21-VoterTurnOutComparisons-JS-R32217983700.png

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.