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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At The Daily Beast Jonathan Alter has a fine idea for Hillary Clinton: “Free College Now! Why Hillary Clinton Needs to Run With Bernie Sanders’s Best Idea: To earn the love of young Democrats, Clinton needs to embrace their guy’s best big idea.” Alter makes a very compelling argument that merits the attention of every Democratic candidate from state legislators on up. Sure, this would be popular with college-age youth. But the big swing constituency here is modest-income parents of middle and high school students. These parents are now looking at reverse mortgages, home equity loans and obliterating their retirement assets to educate their kids. Political leaders who will fight hard to help them avoid economic ruin will win most of their votes.
Pollsters must be relieved about the results of the New York primary. As HuffPo’s senior polling editor Natalie Jackson writes, “The average error is under 5 percentage points for the eight pollsters who polled both the Democratic and Republican races in the last week before the primaries. Two of those polls — the NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll and the Emerson College Polling Society poll — averaged about 2.6 percentage points of error across both Republican and Democratic primaries.”
Also at The Beast, Michael Tomasky has a post, “Hillary’s Army of Women Conquers New York, Occupies the Democratic Party: The obvious is important here: Most Democratic voters are women, and Clinton is winning among them by double digits in most states,” which should make GOP strategists more than a little apprehensive. In one graph Tomasky notes of the New York primary, “…The results tell us a little something about how a general election might play out against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. It should be pointed out that Trump crushed it among women in New York on the Republican side, since after all as we know he cherishes women and will be the best president for women in history, forget about it. He got 57 percent to John Kasich’s 28 percent and Cruz’s 15 percent. But there, women were only 44 percent of the vote. And in terms of raw vote totals, Clinton hauled in almost exactly twice the number of votes Trump did–1.037 million to 518,000. That means about 665,000 women voted for Clinton, while just 215,000 voted for Trump.”
Here’s an interesting request, from 75 conservative leaders no less, urging Ryan and McConnell to reject the idea of a “lame duck” session to deal with the Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination after the election. Tricky politics indeed.
Via “Democrats are winning the Supreme Court fight over Merrick Garland. Big time” by Chirs Cillizza at The Fix (graphic from Democratic pollster Peter Hart):
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In his Slate.com post, “How the GOP Is Losing Its Grip on Working-Class Republicans,” Jacob Weisberg explains, “this is a revolt by Republican voters who no longer believe that their party supports their basic economic interests. While the leader of this rebellion is one of the rankest opportunists ever to appear on the American political scene, the white working class’s feeling that it has been seduced and abandoned by the GOP is perfectly justified.”
“We are clearly out of practice,” argues Jelani Cobb in his New Yorker article, “Working-Class Heroes: The 2016 election shows that, when talking about class, Americans and their candidates are both out of practice” Cobb continues “The current language of “income inequality” is a low-carb version of the Old Left’s ‘class exploitation.’ The new phrase lacks rhetorical zing; it’s hard to envision workers on a picket line singing rousing anthems about “income inequality.” The term lacks a verb, too, so it’s possible to think of the condition under discussion as a random social outcome, rather than as the product of deliberate actions taken by specific people. Bernie Sanders has tended to frame his position as a defense of an imperilled middle class, but he has also called out the “greedy billionaires” and “Wall Street”–a synecdoche for exploitation in general.”
Toss-up in NH Senate Race. You could check out Democratic senate candidate and Governor Maggie Hassan’s ActBlue contributions page right here.
CBS Poll: National Support For Marijuana Legalization Reaches All-Time High. “According to a new CBS News poll, 56 percent of Americans support the legalization of the drug, up three points from 53 percent. More Americans admit to have tried marijuana too — with 51 percent saying they have tried the drug — up from 43 percent last year.” Time to free the captives, Democratic Governors?

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