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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Speaker Paul Ryan adjourned the House, but the Democrats conducting the sit-in to protest GOP/NRA obstruction of even a vote on popular gun safety measures will continue. More details are expected today, report Deirdre Walsh, Manu Raju, Eric Bradner and Steven Sloan at CNN Politics. “The tension exploded onto the floor just after 10 p.m. ET when Republican Speaker Paul Ryan gaveled the chamber into order to hold a procedural vote on an unrelated matter. A dramatic scene unfolded as throngs of Democrats — some holding signs with the names of victims of gun violence — remained in the House well chanting “no bill, no break” and “shame shame shame.” They also sang the protest anthem “We Shall Overcome.”…They could keep their protest going on a smaller scale between now and July 5. Democrats vowed to restart their protests in full once the House returns in July, and they could look for other ways to force Republicans’ hands…”When we come back in July, we will start all over again,” [Rep. John] Lewis said…”We made some progress. We crossed one bridge, but we have other bridges to cross,” he said just after 3:30 a.m., calling the effort “a major down-payment on ending gun violence in America … and we will continue to fight.”… Overall, more than 170 Democrats took part in the sit in, lawmakers said.”

The Democrats’ strategy is to dramatize the fact that Speaker Ryan won’t even allow a vote on enormously popular gun safety measures, some of which are supported by upwards of 80 percent of Americans in opinion polls. Ryan is providing cover for his cowardly fellow Republicans who meekly do the NRA’s bidding, but don’t want to be held accountable for it by voters. The Democrats are committed to making sure that the NRA Republicans can no longer hide in the shadows and escape voter accountability.

At The Fix Chris Cillizza’s “Five things House Democrats’ sit-in on guns will change. And one it won’t” mulls over some of the possible ramifications of the sit-in. I hope he is right about his first assertion: “The Democratic base will be energized beyond belief…The organic nature of the sit-in — most Democratic members outside of Reps. John Lewis (Ga.) and Katherine Clark (Mass.) were unaware of it before it launched Wednesday afternoon — is just the sort of thing that will thrill rank-and-file Democrats. The Democratic party committees will fundraise like crazy off of this event. So will Hillary Clinton, who will highlight it the next time she speaks publicly. Democrats had been privately concerned about the enthusiasm of their party base when compared to Republicans during the primary voting process. A high profile event like this one should help narrow that gap.”

Richard Gonzales reports at NPR that “The owner of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were shot and killed on June 12, says she and her staff will host a “Latin Night” street party on Thursday.” But to make it more meaningful, they should launch a statewide voter registration campaign at the event, since Florida is one of the worst states for voter suppression.

The Atlantic’s associate editor Clare Foran explores a question on the minds of many “Can Hillary Clinton Turn Red States Blue?” and reports on Clinton’s efforts to launch a ’50-state strategy.’

At Sabato’s Crystal Ball Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley have an updated projection, “The Electoral College: Map No. 2: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” The authors still see the Democrtatic nominee, Clinton’s most likely electoral vote total as 347 (270 needed to win the election), vs. Trump’s 191. The authors add, “…Party unity within the Republican family is a non-starter. Two former presidents (both Bushes), the previous party nominee (Romney), and a host of other top GOP officials, donors, and commentators will never get on the Trump bandwagon. News media coverage is bound to stress who does not come to Cleveland, not just who does…As much as many Republicans dislike Trump and fear he will lead to catastrophic losses in the fall, he won the nomination fair and square…Bluntly put, the GOP is stuck with Trump. And a substitute nominee, should one be installed somehow, would be asked to lead a viciously divided party with no real chance of victory.”

At New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer Ed Kilgore explains why “Why Trump Can’t Afford to Let Clinton Dominate the Political-Ad War.” Kilgore notes, “it should serve as a warning to Team Trump that one of the political scientists most associated with disrespect for paid ads in presidential elections, Lynn Vavreck, also insists that letting one’s opponent run uncontested ads is a path to a slow, but sure, political death. Kilgore sums up Vavreck’s key points, “Unopposed ads do indeed shape impressions of candidates, and those impressions affect polling numbers which in turn affect actual voting in the end.”

Marco “AWOL” Rubio missed another important Senate Foreign Relations Comttee hearing — this time to announce that he has changed his mind and will now run for senate, despite numerous recent statements to the contrary. “Democrats immediately circulated opposition research on Wednesday showing Rubio has missed the bulk of his committee hearings in addition to the votes he missed while running for president.

That’s likely to be a theme of the Senate campaign against him,” reports Burgess Everett at Politico. Ed Kilgore notes, “There are two very recent polls of this race that point in different directions. Quinnipiac has Rubio up 47-40 over Murphy (and 48-4o over Grayson). But PPP has Murphy up 42-41, with Rubio well underwater with a 30-49 job approval rating and his ability to stay even with Murphy depending on the temporary phenomenon of higher name ID.”

In his NYT op-ed article, “How Low Can the GOP Go?“, Thomas B. Edsall notes, “Polls are also showing an increase in the percentage of Republicans who are indicating that they might sit out the 2016 election. The Reuters-Ipsos tracking poll measures how many voters refuse to say whether or how they will vote. Among Republicans, the percentage of these voters has risen since early May from 17.2 percent to 26.6 percent. Among Democrats, the percentage has remained relatively constant, fluctuating between 19 and 21 percent.”

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