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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Aaron Blake reports at the Fix that “…We have some bad news for the Trump campaign. Sanders supporters aren’t just rallying around Clinton; they’re doing it rather quickly. And it’s a big reason Clinton just extended her lead over Trump into the double digits, 51 percent to 39 percent…A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Sanders backers, who polls have shown were reluctant to jump over to Clinton and even flirted with supporting Trump, are coming home faster than we might have expected.”

Having read George Will’s columns for decades, I’ve been wondering if this might happen. Will believes Trump’s policies are not genuinely conservative and Trump’s utter lack of integrity, gravitas and general rectitude are repulsive an old-school conservative like Will. But in a way, Speaker Ryan’s character flaw sealed Will’s departure, as indicated by the video clip below. There may be soon others. Thomas B. Edsall discusses polls showing that a growing percentage of Republican rank and filers say they may sit out the 2016 presidential election.

“Clinton’s campaign is advertising heavily in eight swing states with soft-focus spots designed to rehabilitate her image. These three Rust Belt states [MI, PA and WI] are not on the list, despite the campaign’s organizing presence on the ground here, raising concerns among allies who fret that she cannot afford to take any of them for granted….The key for Clinton in the Rust Belt, her allies say, is to discredit Trump and to demonstrate that she has concrete proposals to better their lives — all while connecting emotionally with people’s anger.” — from “Democrats see danger signs in states where Clinton has not fully engaged” by Phillip Rucker and John Wagner of the Washington Post.

At The New York Times Sunday Review Frank Bruni spotlights “14 Young Democrats to Watch.”
He doesn’t address all of the counter-arguments, but HuffPo’s Earl Ofari Hutchinson makes a strong case for Clinton picking Elizabeth Warren for her running mate: “Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is Hillary’s best bet for VP. Why? Despite the relentless lampooning, ridiculing and name-calling of Trump, and the smug writing of his political obituary, the election will be a close run up. The big GOP donors and handlers, the hate driven passion to beat Hillary, Trump’s skilled fear mongering and pander to bigotry, the never-ending media fawn over him, and GOP dominance in the majority of the state’s legislatures and state houses will insure that…The fatal mistake is to assume that simply painting and then writing off Trump as a kook will be enough to scare millions to storm the polls to defeat him. Clinton’s campaign is a political textbook study in business like organization, precision, and professionalism. But it’s not a campaign of passion…Its passion that pushes people, especially young people, and minorities, out the door and to the polls on Election Day. These voters made the White House a wrap for Obama in 2008 and 2012. But Clinton is not Obama, and in the handful of swing states that will decide the election, the numbers and turnout will mean everything.”

Writing at The Upshot, Brendan Nyhan cautions “Don’t Assume Donald Trump’s Supporters Believe All His Words.” As Nyhan observes, “Many don’t take his promises literally — for instance, only 42 percent of Republicans believe Trump will succeed in making Mexico pay to build a wall. A number of these voters instead support him because he would move policy in their preferred direction, albeit not nearly as far as he suggests. (Some might not even want him to succeed in carrying out those proposals — for example, a March poll found that 37 percent of Trump supporters disagree with his plan to deport all illegal immigrants currently in the United States.)”

Bloomberg View’s Albert R. Hunt explains why the 2016 “Ballot Is Expected to Offer Stark Choice on Economy.”

At The American Prospect Peter Dreier offers “Three Strategies to Beat the NRA: Gun safety advocates who until now have relied largely on traditional lobbying need to broaden their strategy to include partnerships with gun owners and civil disobedience.” Dreier makes a compelling case that “The Orlando massacre may be a turning point in galvanizing a stronger movement for sensible gun control. Three strategies–traditional advocacy, mobilization of sensible gun owners, and civil disobedience–point the way. Even as we grieve, we can move forward. We can stop the madness.”

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