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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Among Eric Bradner’s “5 takeaways from the Democratic debate“: “The debate was a strong sign that both candidates still see room to gain or lose ground among liberal voters. They spent so much time jockeying to get to each other’s left that there was virtually no talk of Republicans at all…Clinton and Sanders defended government spending and intervention, teachers’ unions, gun control, clean energy programs and efforts to fight climate change.”
For the time-challenged: “CNN’s Flint Democratic Debate in 90 Seconds.”
NYT’s Trip Gabriel explains why “Michigan Primary Puts Donald Trump’s Rust Belt Strategy to a Test.” Gabriel writes, “Mr. Trump’s signature issues of opposition to free trade and a crackdown on illegal immigration, which Republican leaders once dismissed as outside the mainstream, have brought him a populist following, including independents and some Democrats…Stanley B. Greenberg, whose research in Macomb County in the 1980s popularized the term “Reagan Democrat,” said Mr. Trump might put the Rust Belt into play. “There’s no doubt there’s new voters coming into the Republican primary process,” he said.”
In “The GOP Establishment Now Faces Its Nightmare Scenario: Trump Versus Cruz,” The Nation’s John Nichols puts the Republican predicament in perspective — a choice between their two most deeply-flawed candidates, the most obnoxious lout ever to achieve front-runner status vs. a theocratic extremist who has zero understanding of or regard for mainstream social values.
An interesting AP-GFK poll on what may soon become a major infrastructure issue, nationwide — the safety of tap water.
Another sleeper issue, and one that could resonate with high-turnout senior voters: At Slate.com Helaine Olen explains why “The Retirement Crisis Is Getting Truly Scary: It’s time for the presidential candidates to give it the urgency it deserves.”
Getting down to recent cases, “It’s already looking like a different Supreme Court,” writes Robert Barnes at the Washington Post. Make that profoundly different. As Barnes reports in one example, “Dow Chemical, for instance, announced that it would settle a nearly $1 billion antitrust judgment instead of pursuing its plans to take the fight to the high court….”Growing political uncertainties due to recent events with the Supreme Court and increased likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class-action suits have changed Dow’s risk assessment of the situation,” the company said.”
At The American Prospect, Paul Waldman addresses a question of overarching importance: “Could Donald Trump Deliver Congress to the Democrats?” Says Waldman: “…What had looked like seats where Republicans had a clear advantage could be up for grabs, particularly if Democrats come out in force, moved to the polls by the ghastly prospect of Donald Trump becoming president. Combine that with a potentially dispirited Republican electorate, and Democrats could win more seats than anyone predicted. “We can’t have a nominee be an albatross around the down-ballot races,” Senator John Cornyn recently told CNN. “That’s a concern of mine.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr. observes in his WaPo column that “The 2016 Republican primary campaign is now on track to be the crudest, most vulgar and most thoroughly disgusting in our nation’s history…the whole Republican race is now a moral and electoral wreck, a state of affairs that one conservative after another mourned during and after Thursday’s encounter…For decades, conservatives have done a great business assailing liberals for promoting cultural decay. Sorry, guys, but in this campaign, you have kicked away the franchise.”

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