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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At HuffPo Julia Sagebien writes about the politics underlying President Obama’s visit to Cuba: “…Senator Marco Rubio, a second-generation Cuban-American hard-liner, lost the Republican primary and retired from the race. On that day, for the first time since the ‘Triumph of the Revolution’, both Florida primaries were won by pro-engagement candidates (Trump and Clinton). With Florida on board, the electoral threat that made it nearly impossible for either party to ease the embargo in any significant manner – has been dealt a near mortal blow. The only contest left, if it comes to that, is a Ted Cruz vs. the U.S. Chamber of Commerce fight…This new ‘friendship’ between Cuba and the U.S. (this is, after all, also a family visit with sightseeing, baseball games and a symbolic arrival on the first day of spring) is one of the few ‘feel good’ stories of the second decade of the 21st century. But despite high levels of approval and generalized cheer in both nations, there is still a long hard way to go.”
Recent opinion polls by Gallup and other major pollsters indicate large majorities favor the resumption of normal diplomatic and trade relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Hillary Clinton’s impressive strength with senior voters during the primary/caucus season mirrors Sanders edge with young voters. As Amy Chozick writes at The New York Times, “In her sweep of the states that voted last week, she captured voters 65 and older by large margins, ranging from 39 percentage points in Missouri to 54 in Ohio. In Virginia, Texas and other Southern states that voted earlier, she won more than 80 percent of these voters, often matching or beating the support Mr. Sanders received from voters 18 to 29.” It would be interesting to see some trial heat polls of seniors, pitting Clinton and Sanders against remaining GOP candidates. Clinton has learned that her campaign must have better educational outreach to young voters, while Sanders has to reach senior voters more effectively.
Eric Bradner< of CNN Politics has a good preview of tonight's debate, "What to watch for on ‘The Final Five’ Monday night,” hosted by CNN and aired from 8 to 11 p.m. ET.
Matthew Yglesias notes in his post “Why experts think Trump could hand Democrats a House majority” at vox.com that “The high odds of a Trump nomination and the fact that any alternative to a Trump nomination would almost certainly entail some kind of party-crushing convention hijinks mean that a Democratic wave is definitely on the table in a way it wasn’t previously.”
“Simply getting to the polls is a problem for some – particularly black Americans. In the Census Bureau data, 6% of black Americans said they didn’t vote because of “transportation problems” compared with 3% of white Americans,” — from The Guardian’s “Why doesn’t anyone care about voter turnout?” It’s complicated” by Mona Chalabi.
Kira Lerner reports at ThinkProgress that “Students Are Being Rejected From The Polls Because Of North Carolina’s Voter ID Law.
At Salon.com Sean McElwee discusses “America’s disturbing voter-turnout crisis: How inequality extends to polling place — and why that makes our country less fair. The U.S. leads rich nations for disparity in turnout across income and education levels. This has consequences.
WaPo’s Dan Balz explores the politics of a Clinton vs. Trump general election: “With a focus on trade issues and by tapping anti-establishment anger, Trump would seek to energize white working-class Americans, who Republicans believe have been on the sidelines in recent elections in substantial numbers..At the same time, Clinton could find Trump a powerful energizing force on her behalf among African Americans and Latinos, which could help to offset the absence of Obama on the ticket after two elections that drew huge minority turnout. That could put off-limits to Trump some states with large Hispanic populations where Republicans have competed intensely in recent elections…A Washington Post-ABC News poll from earlier this month showed stark divides among those backing Trump and Clinton. Overall, the former secretary of state led 50 to 41 percent among registered voters. Trump led 49 to 40 percent among white voters, while Clinton led 73 to 19 among non-whites. Trump led by five points among men, and Clinton was up by 21 among women. Trump led by 24 points among whites without college degrees, while Clinton led by 15 among whites with degrees.”

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