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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In her article “Can Donald Trump Rewrite The Electoral Map For The GOP?,” NPR’s Mara Liasson quotes Democratic strategist Stan Greenberg “The Reagan Democrats are alive with the angry white male who’ve made themselves felt in the Trump primaries…The question is: Are there enough of them, and what’s the price of trying to reach them?” Liason adds, “There’s no question the white working-class vote is shrinking. Non-college-educated voters were about half of the electorate in 1992. Now they make up a third. But in Rust Belt states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they still make up half of eligible voters…Those voters are exactly Trump’s base, but turning them out won’t be easy. In the last election, white non-college-educated voters had a turnout rate of about 57 percent, while 80 percent of white college-educated voters showed up…Ultimately, Trump would need an unprecedented turnout among these voters. Some analysts calculate that Trump would need at least 65 percent of the white vote to win; 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney got 59 percent.”
Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker’s syndicted column delineates the stark choice facing ‘Republicans of conscience’: “The conundrum for Republicans is that though Trump may be the devil, he’s their devil. How can they condemn the guy that a near-majority of their own party prefers?..That is the question of the moment, isn’t it? This is what we ask ourselves about the industrialists and “good Germans” who supported Hitler. This is what we ask our Southern grandparents about the time when blacks were being lynched. What we ask the World War II generation about rounding up Japanese-Americans. And while we’re at it, what was your vote on Vietnam, Iraq? There’s a price to pay for silence.”
It looks increasingly like the 2016 presidential campaign may indeed be “the YouTube election.” Luciana Lopez reports at Reuters that the Democratic Party has more than 70 people at their Washington HQ “glued to screens playing back videos of Donald Trump and other Republicans, digitally documenting their policy positions on everything from torture to climate change.”
In her post “How to Stop Trump,” Trish Kahle of Jacobin defends the protests at Trump rallies, despite concerns of some progressives: “In addition to complaining about abridgements of free speech, liberal writers have argued that protesting Trump only plays into his hands and further polarizes politics…the strategy protesters are employing seems quite sensible: impair the circulation of Trump’s hate-filled message, inject turmoil into his events, and further isolate him from the American mainstream…If anything, the protesters who nonviolently shut down Donald Trump should be heralded as guardians of democracy. They did not call for the state to prevent Trump from speaking, and rightly so. Instead, they demonstrated the power of collective action and asserted that ordinary people, rather than a billionaire demagogue, would be heard.”
Dalia Sussman reports at NYT First Draft that a new NYT/CBS News poll conducted 3/17-20 found that “Fifty-three percent say the Senate should hold a vote on President Obama’s nominee, while 42 percent say the Senate should wait until next year for the new president to nominate someone. The poll finds views sharply divided by party, with three-quarters of Democrats wanting a vote on Judge Garland and two-thirds of Republicans opposed. Independents are closely divided.”
At The Washington Post Charles Camosy, author of “Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for A New Generation,” argues that “Democrats could destroy the GOP — if only they would welcome antiabortion liberals: A bigger tent would make Democrats unstoppable at the polls.”
A new voter participation project, “The TurboVote Challenge” takes an interesting approach. The project “brings leading companies and organizations together in a nonpartisan, long-term commitment to increase voter registration and participation across America. Our goal – 80% voter turnout by 2020 – is ambitious and can only be achieved through a broad, cross-sector effort to help make voting accessible and modernized. The TurboVote Challenge embraces collaboration across America, from schools to businesses to non-profits, around local, state, and national elections, with an end goal of greater participation in our democracy.”
At Roll Call, Alex Roarty’s “Money Can’t Buy Love — or in Some Cases, Even Elections” notes that ecoomic advantage hasn’t helped candidates like Jeb Bush, who tanked despite his $100 million war chest. But the 2016 presidential primary/caucus season has been somewhat anomalous in that one candidate, Trump, has leveraged his media experience to get free media coverage and exposure worth tens of millions of dollars — a resource unavailable to other candidates. The Democratic presidential nominee is going to need plenty of cash just to stay in the game. And down-ballott Dems will be even more challenged by the onslaught of Koch brothers billions supporting Republicans.
And speaking of money worries, do read “Democrats have momentum but lack money in battle for Senate: There’s growing anxiety within the party that they’ll blow a chance to retake the chamber because of the GOP’s cash edge” by Politico’s Burgess Everett, Seung Min Kim and Kevin Robillard. As the authors note, “Republicans are outspending Democrats in key races so far. There’s little indication that Democrats will close the gap as Election Day approaches, and signs the chasm will grow thanks to the longer roster of deep-pocketed outside groups on the right. That’s triggered growing anxiety within the minority party about relinquishing an opening to net the four or five seats they need to recapture the Senate.” Those who want to contribute to Democrats retaking a Senate majority should check out ActBlue’s 2016 Senate campaign webpage.

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