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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Democrats should not hesitate to emphasize the fact that nearly all Republican U.S. Senators voted against a measure to let the attorney general deny firearms to suspected terrorists. It would be wrong for Democrats not to leverage public outrage to secure life-saving reforms.
Reena Flores reports at cbsnews.com that “In the wake of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, a new CBS News poll has found that a majority of Americans now support a nationwide ban on assault weapons…The survey, conducted in the days following the massacre at a popular Orlando gay night club, shows 57 percent of Americans now favor such a ban. That’s up from 44 percent in December, when the question was last asked in CBS News polling. Now, 38 percent of respondents oppose the legislation, compared to the 50 percent who opposed it in December.”
At gallup.com Jim Norman has stats showing that ‘terrorism’ is an issue that historicaly has a short shelf life. However, calling the Orlando massacre “the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11,” Norman concludes “It happened in the middle of a bitter presidential contest already marked by harsh exchanges between the candidates on the issues of terrorism and gun control. The combination of these factors almost guarantees that terrorism and gun control will be major, persistent themes in the candidates’ campaigns over the next five months.”
A new addition to the GOP’s “somebody but Trump” list: “Republican Maryland Gov. Hogan says he won’t vote for Trump” by Jeremy Diamond at CNN Ppolitics.
Re Sean Illing’s “Letting Trump and the GOP self-destruct: Hillary and Democrats have the right strategy by laying low: Harry Reid is encouraging Dems to sit back and watch Trump discredit himself — and he’s exactly right” at salon.com, that’s a good strategy — to a point. But there will also be times when Clinton and/or surrogates should weigh in with sharply-stated comments and soundbites to clarify issues and maximize coverage.
At The Plum Line Greg Sargent puts the torch to an oft-repeated false equivalency meme: “In reality, for now, at least, there’s no real equivalence between the negative views of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. While Clinton certainly has problems in this regard, Trump fares far, far worse…The new Washington Post/ABC News poll illustrates this neatly. It finds that Donald Trump’s unfavorable numbers have climbed to a new high: 70 percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of Trump, versus only 29 percent (fewer than one-third!) who have a favorable impression. Clinton’s negatives, too, have hit a new high of 55 percent.”
In his NYT op-ed “Sanders, the Windows 95 of Progressive Politics?,” Mark Schmitt, director of the political reform program at New America, criticizes the economic proposals of Sen Bernie Sanders, but acknowledges “Mr. Sanders’s achievement has been to show the leadership of his recently adopted party that Democrats and many independents under 35 — that is, those who weren’t adults during Bill Clinton’s administration — are eager for a full-throated progressive agenda and are unafraid of backlash. While Democrats in the 1990s — notably Bill and Hillary Clinton — worried about the party’s mistakes of the 1970s, many in this decade worry more about triangulation and the cautious politics of the 1990s.”
At The Wall St. Journal Laura Meckler and Colleen McCain Nelson report that “Bernie Sanders Not Being Vetted as Hillary Clinton’s Running Mate: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is among a group of Democratic officials being considered.” The authors add, “Beyond the Massachusetts senator, other prospective candidates include Labor Secretary Tom Perez; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio, several Democrats said.”
David Cay Johnston presents “New Evidence Donald Trump Didn’t Pay Taxes” at The Daily Beast.

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