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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

If you are concerned about voter suppression in the upcomming election, consider joining “Video the Vote,” a national coalition of citizens who are committed to using their cell phone video camera widget to make sure abuses of voting rights they witness are documented and posted on the internet. Here’s a video introduction to the project (and more print background on the project right here):

At The Plum Line Greg Sargent reveals Trump’s “glass jaw” — his tendency to conflate the voters he is talking to in the primaries with those in the general election.
Wow: “In losing disastrously, Trump probably would create down-ballot carnage sufficient to end even Republican control of the House. Ticket splitting is becoming rare in polarized America: In 2012, only 5.7 percent of voters supported a presidential candidate and a congressional candidate of opposite parties…Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.’ — from influential conservative columnist George F. Will.
Alex Roarty’s “EMILY’s List Strategy Questioned After Big Losses” at Roll Call probes the reasons why EMILY’s List-endorsed candidates lost 4 of 5 key races. Although Kate McGinty won the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in PA, List endorsee Donna Edwards lost the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in MD, as did two other congressional candidates for MD 4 and 8, and a candidate for the PA-8 congressional district. Roarty discusses speculation that Emily’s List contributions were provided too early in the Edwards-Van Hollen race, and perhaps there was too much spending on other safely-Democratic seats.
Salon.com Dave Masciotra explains why “We must shame dumb Trump fans: The white working class are not victims: It’s not smug liberalism to point out Trump backers are low-educated. What’s dangerous is to sympathize with them.” Wiser, I would say, to save the ridicule for candidates, instead of voters.
Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy” in The New York Times Magazine provides plenty of statistics, talking points and soundbites Democratic candidates and campaigns will find useful, not only in defending the Obama Administration’s record, but also for promoting progressive values as cost-effective in the real world. Here’s one of many revealing quotes and insights from the President during his interview with the author: “If you ask the average person on the streets, ‘Have deficits gone down or up under Obama?’ probably 70 percent would say they’ve gone up,” Obama said, with some justifiable exasperation — the deficit has in fact declined (by roughly three-quarters) since he took office, and polls do show that a large majority of Americans believe the opposite.”
At The Daily Beast, Will Marshall notes “A new PPI poll provides fresh evidence that the pragmatic center’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. Swing voters still exist, and they likely will play a decisive role in determining which party wins control of the White House and Senate in November…The PPI survey examined four presidential battleground states that also feature competitive Senate and House races this year: Florida, Ohio, Colorado, and Nevada. We found that just over 20 percent of electorate in these swing states is made up of voters who lend their support equally to Democrats and Republicans, do not strongly identify with either party, and did not vote for the same party in the last two elections.” Marshall argues further that a more centrist mix of economic policies is the key to winning these voters, even if it means alienating voters with more strongly-held populist beliefs.
Kyle Kondik presents a stunning chart in his Crystal Ball post, “Incumbency Still Powerful in Primaries,” indicating that, since 1946, only 1.6 percent of House of Reps members lost their battles for renomination.
Paul Waldman has a perceptive American Prospect post on “The real Stakes in the Veeptakes,” noting that “…the choice of a running mate matters very little for the final tally on Election Day, but can be critical to the administration’s success.” Waldman makes a strong case that Biden has been one of the most impressive Vice Presidents in U.S. history, and he offers some insights about the current names being bandied about as possible Democratic running mates. He also shares some funny quotes about the Vice Presidency, including “Daniel Webster would turn down the office by saying, “I do not propose to be buried until I am really dead.”

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