washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Associated Press’s Thomas Beaumont explains why “Kaine May Give Democrats an Edge in Swing-State Virginia” and quotes Virginia Republican strategist Chris Jankowski: “Tim Kaine is an example of putting someone on the ticket that will impact their home state…Putting him on the ticket turns Virginia from a true, toss-up state to one that leans Democratic.” Beaumont adds, “Kaine has been a fixture in a metro area that accounts for 10 percent of Virginia’s voting population, including heavily Democratic Richmond…it’s this doughnut around Richmond —- politically and culturally diverse Henrico County to the north, east and west, and whiter, GOP-leaning Chesterfield, to the south and west — where Kaine’s potential impact on the presidential ticket can really be seen…”Chesterfield is the county to watch,” said former longtime Republican state Sen. John Watkins. “If Kaine can help shave Trump’s margin to less than 10 percentage points, Clinton will win Virginia.”

Harold Meyerson argues that “The Democrats must be the party of the 99 percent” at pbs.org.: “The Democrats need to be, as the Occupy movement put it, the party of the 99 percent. Their economic agenda needs to recognize how deeply the fundamental changes in capitalism over the past four decades have wounded the American people and diminished the American middle class. They need to respond with economic reforms as far reaching as those of the New Deal were in the 1930s. This pivot in the party’s central direction need not and cannot lead it to abandon its advocacy for minority rights, but now is the time to reinvent its majoritarian program: an economics to create a more thriving and egalitarian nation.”

In Matt Viser’s Boston Globe article, “Bruising contest now heads to swing states,” he notes, “Trump is also continuing the approach that worked for him during the primary campaign, but could be risky during a general election: spending very little on television ads…As of mid-July, his campaign and super PAC supporters had reserved only $655,000 in television and radio ads, according to an analysis by Ad Age. Clinton had reserved $111 million across 10 states, with much of it concentrated in Florida and Ohio.”

At Bloomberg View Ramesh Ponnuru and Francis Wilkinson discuss “Two Views on the Democrats’ Strategy to Isolate Trump.” Wilkinson speculates about the down-ballot effects of a Trump meltdown, “Democrats didn’t like Mitt Romney one bit. But they didn’t think he was, as Trump ghostwriter Tony Schwartz went so far as to suggest about Trump, a “sociopath.” And it’s hard to imagine most Democrats getting especially anxious at the prospect of Romney controlling nuclear codes. That’s simply not the case with Trump…If you effectively make the case that Trump is a candidate better suited to the “Friday the 13th” franchise than to the leadership of the free world, that implies a question or two about the party that nominated him for president.”

At The Washington Post, Iraq war veteran Rafael Noboa y Rivera has an eloquent description of the difference between the Democratic and Republican convention that merits repetition: “…Patriotism isn’t just about wars and tanks and planes and troops. It’s about the ideas that make America great, not empty boasts that you’ll make it great again…No one who watched Clinton’s convention — least of anyone who saw Khizr Khan’s dramatic elegy of his son’s sacrifice, and consequent challenge to Trump — can doubt that Democrats are abounding in that love…Contrast that with the carnival of fear and terror we saw the preceding week in Cleveland. There, Trump and his minions painted a nightmarish hellscape of an America only one man could save. Where Obama said Americans do not seek to be ruled, Republicans prostrated themselves before Trump and implored him to rule over them. Nowhere in Cleveland was there to be found love of what America is, or what it is becoming; only fear, terror and fury. Only that, and a desperate, animal desire to restore America to a pale caricature fantasy. What patriotism was there to be found in the empty exhortations to “make America great again,” when that America explicitly doesn’t include me or my friends or anyone I know?”

Blue Nation Review’s Eric Kleefeld provides an encouraging report on the good news from appeals courts,  “Three GOP Voter-Suppression Laws Struck Down — in One Day” But Democrats should remain vigilant, because Republicans also have a history of voter suppression tricks that can be deployed independent of legal status, including: providing misleading information about polling places, intimidation of Latino voters by phony “security” guards, “voter caging,” putting few or faulty voting machines in minorty precincts, creating parking problems near polls, reducing the number of polling cites to create long lines and others. And Democrats should never forget the “Brooks Brothers Riot” and its disastrous consequences.

And despite the favorable court rulings for Democrats, there are other unresolved legal issues, as Michael Wines reports in his NYT article “Critics See Efforts by Counties and Towns to Purge Minority Voters From Rolls.” As Wines notes, “…Republican legislatures and election officials in the South and elsewhere have imposed statewide restrictions on voting that could depress turnout by minorities and other Democrat-leaning groups in a crucial presidential election year…A June survey by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund found that governments in six former preclearance states have closed registration or polling places, making it harder for minorities to vote. Local jurisdictions in six more redrew districts or changed election rules in ways that diluted minorities’ votes.”

At rollcall.com Shawn Zeller gives Democrats a little something to worry about: “…Obama’s solid Electoral College win in 2012 was predicated on some narrow state wins. His margins were extremely tight in Virginia (115,910 votes), Colorado (113,099), Ohio (103,481) and New Hampshire (40,659) and the crucial state of Florida went his way by only 73,189 votes out of more than 8 million cast.” However, concludes Zeller, “Rory Cooper, a former spokesman for Eric Cantor of Virginia when Cantor was the Republican House majority leader, says Trump’s argument that he can expand the Republican presidential playing field into Democratic strongholds is hard to believe…”He is underwater with women, young people, Hispanics and with African-Americans. To make inroads in blue states, you have to make inroads into those communities,” says Cooper…”

This headline, and the story that goes with it, flags a possible turning point that will substantially reduce Trump’s acceptability to veterans and their families.

One comment on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. CLK on

    “Putting him on the ticket turns Virginia from a true, toss-up state to one that leans Democratic.” but is will this really be helpful if no one address the pockets of unemployment that resulted after NAFTA. That elephant that no one address with the actual residents of cities/counties that still struggle with the gaping holes that were left when the corporations abandoned American workers? There is a lot of rhetoric, but will these communities listen to that as apposed to the shouting bluster of T.Rump?

    I fear that the Democratic party is missing the point in their campaigns. It may have been Clinton’s watch that NAFTA came into effect, but people being people, when you are down, out, hungry and unemployed don’t want national rhetoric, they want individuals to actually acknowledge them face to face, talk to them about solutions they can accomplish and show some compassion. They may be part of that ugly crowd that the GOP/TP and the angry white males are fighting “those getting government assistance” but they will still vote against themselves if they continue to feel abandoned. They blame the “other” just as Trump is blaming the “others” for our troubles.

    No one is addressing the Corporate Elephant in the room that is sucking the blood from the country, while the politicians polish their promises that have absolutely no chance of helping if the corporations are allowed to continue to control local elections, and purchase our Congress, not to mention continue to write the legislation their puppets pass.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.