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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his Vox post, “Confessions of a Clinton reporter: The media’s 5 unspoken rules for covering Hillary,” Jonathan Allen rolls it out raw and ugly: “1) Everything, no matter how ludicrous-sounding, is worthy of a full investigation by federal agencies, Congress, the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and mainstream media outlets; 2) Every allegation, no matter how ludicrous, is believable until it can be proven completely and utterly false. And even then, it keeps a life of its own in the conservative media world; 3) The media assumes that Clinton is acting in bad faith until there’s hard evidence otherwise; 4) Everything is newsworthy because the Clintons are the equivalent of America’s royal family; 5) Everything she does is fake and calculated for maximum political benefit.” Given all that, how large would Clinton’s lead be if the media covered her fairly?

At FiveThirtyEight.com Harry Enten has “13 Tips For Reading General Election Polls Like A Pro,” an excellent checklist for analyzing opinion surveys.

It’s just one poll, but boy, it’s a big one, “the largest sample ever undertaken by The Post.”  As Dan Balz and Scott Clement report at The Washington Post, “…The state-by-state numbers are based on responses from more than 74,000 registered voters during the period of Aug. 9 to Sept. 1. The individual state samples vary in size from about 550 to more than 5,000, allowing greater opportunities than typical surveys to look at different groups within the population and compare them from state to state.” The overall take: “With nine weeks until Election Day, Donald Trump is within striking distance in the Upper Midwest, but Hillary Clinton’s strength in many battlegrounds and some traditional Republican strongholds gives her a big electoral college advantage, according to a 50-state Washington Post-SurveyMonkey poll.” Also, Trump is way behind former GOP presidential nominees with white, college-educated voters, as well as women and voters in AZ, GA and TX.

As the post-Labor Day campaign begins, Ed Kilgore notes at New York Magazine “Polls-only forecasters unsurprisingly project Clinton as the favorite. FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only projection has Clinton’s win probability at 69%; The Upshot’s has it at an overwhelming 84%…If the elections were to wind up precisely as indicated by today’s state polling averages (giving Trump the tied state of NC), Clinton would win with 326 electoral votes to Trump’s 212…The difficulty of getting to 270 for Trump is illustrated by Daily Kos’ state-by-state projections, which award not only Iowa and North Carolina but also Florida, Nevada, and Ohio to the Republican. Clinton still wins 290/248.”

From Rowena Lindsay at The Monitor, why early voting ought to be a bigger concern for Dems: “..Early voting has favored the Democrats in some key states, and in 2008 35 percent of votes are cast before the election according to the Associated Press…In 2008, for example, Barack Obama won 58 percent of the pre-election day votes to Sen. John McCain’s 40 percent and managed to win Colorado, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina even though on election day more people in those states voted for Senator McCain – which speaks to the overall enthusiasm young and minority American Democrats felt for Obama.”

Some numbers to keep in mind when politicians blither about “family values”: “This election year has both parties still talking about families, but the family structure itself has changed dramatically over time. There are now more unmarried women of voting age than married women. The loving couple down the street may be unmarried (8.3 million such households existed in 2015, compared to 523,000 in 1970, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). They may not be heterosexual, either (nearly 450,000 U.S. households were same-sex couples in 2014, the bureau reports). Young adults may be living with parents as they pay off college loans, while middle-aged adults might have elderly, ailing parents living with them so they can provide round-the-clock care. And some may not be coupled or caring for children at all: a full 28 percent of American households are people living alone, up from 17 percent in 1970, Census says. As for the man of the house bringing home the bacon, that pattern has been upended. Women are now the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of homes with children, up from less than 11 percent in 1960, the Pew Research Center reports.” – from Susan Milligan’s U.S. News report “Yearning for the Past Politicians aren’t addressing the needs of the new American family.”

Facebook may be fine for choir-preaching, but here’s a good clip and share NYT op-ed for your conservative uncle, from a former Bush Administration official, James K. Glasman: “Save the Republican Party: Vote for Clinton.”

Despite the protests of recent years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which provides “template” state and local legislation to suppress voting (among many other anti-consumer and anti-worker bills) by people of color and other pro-Democratic constituencies, still bosts dozens of major corportions among it’s members. Some of the largest companies that are not only members, but are also active on ALEC’s corporate board include: AT&T; Diageo (brands include Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Bushmills, Smirnoff, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, and Guinness); ExxonMobil; Koch Companies (brands include Angelsoft, Brawny, Quilted Northern, Sparkle, Dixie products), Pfizer; State Farm; United Parcel Service; and others. What would happen if millions of progressives took this list into consideration when they do their shopping?

The throw-down in NC, where polls show stat-tie races for President, U.S. Senator and Governor is intensifying. For some inside skinny, check out Chris Kromm’s Facing South report, “Why North Carolina is the biggest battleground of 2016.” Kromm reports one troubling gap in the U.S. Senate race: “[Republican incumbent] Burr is sitting on a war chest of $8.7 million compared to Ross’ $3.9 million. That doesn’t include super PACs and outside groups like Karl Rove’s One Nation, which recently announced it was pulling money out of Ohio’s U.S. Senate race to focus on Missouri and North Carolina, where it will spend $1.5 million to help Burr, and the Senate Leadership Fund, which has reserved $8.1 million in ads for Burr. But Democratic groups haven’t responded in kind, a move which the progressive website DailyKos called “baffling.”

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