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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Crystal Ball wizards Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley see several Senate and Governor’s races “Move Toward Democrats.” The authors note, “the Crystal Ball is changing six Senate race ratings, all in a Democratic direction.” As for the governorships, “A weak Republican presidential nominee could endanger GOP incumbents running for reelection in Indiana and North Carolina, prompting us to also shift the ratings for those contests in the Democrats’ direction.” Read the article for more details.
For those interested in the races in the state legislatures of America, keep an eye on Tennessee, where an interesting down-ballot strategy is taking shape — 23 Democratic women are running for seats in the state senate and house, supported by Women for Tennessee’s Future. “It’s the latest strategy unveiled by Democratic activists, and it could have some legs,” writes Dave Boucher in The Tennessean. “Organizers of the effort — including longtime Tennessee Democratic operative Krissa Barclay and Lisa Quigley, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville — believe a combination of Hillary Clinton atop the Democratic ticket and Trump atop the Republican ticket only helps strong Democratic women.”
Nate Cohn argues that “If Cruz Keeps This Pace, Trump Won’t Get a Majority of Delegates.
Jonathan Chait discusses “The Pragmatic Tradition of African-American Voters” to help explain why Sen. Sanders lags with this constiuency well behind former Secretary of State Clinton — despite Sanders’ participation in civil disobedience protests against racial segregation as early as 1963.
Here’s a simply-explained summary of the new Treasury Department rules curbing corporate “inversions” that cut billions from their taxes and force American workers and small businesses to pick up a larger share of the tab for needed benefits and services. Republicans, particularly those who have benefited from Pfizer’s support, are quite bent out of shape about it. But the measures give Democrats a tangible policy to support, while Repubican candidates argue that large corporations bailing out of their obligations to the U.S. is a good thing.
WaPo’s Sari Horwitz provides a disturbing profile of “The conservative gladiator from Kansas behind restrictive voting laws.”
Democratic rising stars, Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren explain at HuffPo why the Obama Administration’s “new guidelines that establish a professional and legal obligation for retirement advisors to provide advice that puts their clients’ interests first.” But they also offer a critique of the quality of retirement for middle class Americans that could resonate with senior voters: “Americans are retiring later in their lives than ever before. Hardworking families struggling to make ends meet have a difficult enough time saving money for retirement. Over 30 percent of Americans don’t have any retirement savings…More than half of lower income Americans don’t believe a comfortable retirement is attainable…Americans who work hard and play by the rules deserve to be able to retire comfortably with the dignity and security they have worked so hard for.”
Those who like graphic explanations of political trends should check out “What’s Driving Trump and Clinton Voters to the Polls” by Jon Huang and Karen Yourish at The New York Times.
Often remembered for his hippie-bashing “Okie from Muskogee,” the late Merle Haggard matured into a gernuine working-class bard, who suported some progressive causes. “Haggard’s truest allegiance was to the working class and anyone struggling, hard on their luck,” writes Kim Ruehl at CNN.com. “He didn’t want us to feel bad for anyone; he wanted us to recognize their humanity.” AP’s Kristin M. Hall reports, “More recently, he was a backer of prominent Democrats. In 2007 he unveiled a song to promote Hillary Clinton and two years later he penned “Hopes Are High” to commemorate Obama’s inauguration. In “America First,” he even opposed the Iraq War, singing “Let’s get out of Iraq, and get back on track.”

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