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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Ed Kilgore’s “Not Much Evidence Donald Trump Can Win the Presidency on the Shoulders of the White Working Class” at New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer provides some awfully bad news for the Trump campaign. Among Kilgore’s onbservations: “Andrew Levison has examined the relative performance of all candidates from both parties in three recent midwestern open primaries, and shown that Trump’s share of the total white working-class vote ranged from 26 percent in Illinois to 30 percent in Ohio (where he actually lost the primary to John Kasich).”
At Esquire Charles Pierce explains how “Your Taxes Are Being Spent on Making It Harder for Americans to Vote” through “the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an institution created with good intentions in the aftermath of the Great Florida Heist in 2000. One of the things the commission is tasked with is overseeing the national voter registration form. It is supposed to be staffed by two members from each party. Now, however, to the surprise of approximately nobody, there are two Republicans and one Democrat because a vacancy has gone unfilled.”
From Daniel Dale’s “New ID laws, long lines raise allegations of U.S. voting discrimination” at The Toronot Star: “Canada had its own voter ID controversy when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives tightened the law in 2014. But Canada still allows more than three dozen kinds of identifying documents, including bank cards, library cards, even blood-donor cards….In Wisconsin, only a few kinds of identification are now accepted: a licence, a passport, a military card, a college student card, or the free non-driver ID. And some would-be voters still have no idea they need these kinds of ID at all. Wisconsin’s Republican government, led by Gov. Scott Walker, has failed to fund the public education campaign that was promised under the new law.”
With less than 9 months to go in President Obama’s second term, Nobel laureate/NYT columnist Paul Krugman takes a look at his presidency and offers a well-documented set of conclusions about the Administration’s accomplishmens regarding the economy, financial reform and health care that will set Republican teeth to grinding, especialy Krugman’s summation that: “All in all, it’s quite a record. Assuming Democrats hold the presidency, Mr. Obama will emerge as a hugely consequential president — more than Reagan.”
NYT columnist Frank Bruni addresses “The Republicans’ Gay Freakout” and illuminates another demographic wedge in the GOP rank and file: “While the marriage of the party’s evangelical and business wings has never been a cuddly one, it’s especially frosty now, their incompatible desires evident in the significant number of prominent corporations that have denounced the North Carolina law and that successfully pressed the Republican governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, to veto recent legislation that would have permitted the denial of services to L.G.B.T. people by Georgians citing religious convictions… Corporations want to attract and retain the most talented workers, and that’s more difficult in states with discriminatory laws. They want to reach the widest base of customers and sow loyalty among young consumers in particular, and the best strategy for that is an L.G.B.T.-friendly one, given that eight in 10 Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 support non-discrimination laws, according to a 2015 Public Religion Research Institute survey.”
David M. Herszenhorn’s NYT article, “Largely Forgotten and Hugely Influential: The Race for Marco Rubio’s Senate Seat” provides a reminder of the importance of a U.S. Senate race in a key state, and this one is full of drama.
At The Upshot Lynn Vavreck writes, “The increasing alignment between party and racial attitudes goes back to the early 1990s. The Pew Values Survey asks people whether they agree that “we should make every effort to improve the position of minorities, even if it means giving them preferential treatment.”…Over time, Americans’ party identification has become more closely aligned with answers to this question and others like it. Pew reports that, “since 1987, the gap on this question between the two parties has doubled — from 18 points to 40 points.” Democrats are now much more supportive (52 percent) of efforts to improve racial equality than they were a few decades ago, while the views of Republicans have been largely unchanged (12 percent agree)…But recent work by Stanford University’s Shanto Iyengar and his co-authors shows something else has been brewing in the electorate: a growing hostility toward members of the opposite party…Democrats and Republicans like each other a lot less now than they did 60 years ago in part because they have sorted into parties based on attitudes on race, religion and ethnicity.”
Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett have an update on the Merrick Garland confirmation battle at Politico, which notes “On Friday, one of the three GOP senators who had said Garland deserves a confirmation hearing — Jerry Moran of Kansas — backtracked after a firestorm of criticism from the right. The other two are the most moderate Republicans in the chamber: Maine’s Susan Collins and Illinois’ Mark Kirk, who faces the longest odds of getting reelected this year of any senator in the country. Despite the lack of momentum for the nomination, the Democrats’ “Do Your Job” campaign provides a handy cudgel for publiciizing the obstructionist policy of Republican senators.
With about 7 months left in campaign 2016, the front-runner for the quadrennial ‘Lipstick on a Pig’ award has to be Gov. John Kasich for this observation.

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