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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

For a well-reasoned take on the latest Clinton email distraction, read Ed Kilgore’s New York Magazine post, “The Latest Phase of the Clinton Email Brouhaha Won’t Save Trump,” in which he writes” “the underlying “story” of the emails isn’t some sort of bombshell, and the odds are that the negative attention and any lingering substantive concerns among voters will be too little, too late to make much of a difference.”

I’m wondering if Comey’s election meddling could backfire by re-energizing Clinton supporters, some of whom may have been lulled into not voting by her strong polling and also by causing some of the few remaining undecideds to be disgusted by Comey’s October nothingburger. As Vice President Walter Mondale once put it, “Where’s the beef?”

Washington Post reporters Robert Costa and Abby Phillip note, “According to the latest Washington Post-ABC poll, a majority of all likely voters is unmoved by Comey’s decision, which has spurred a fierce backlash from Clinton backers.” As for clues about what the candidates’ best internal polling is indicating, Phillip and Costa note that Trump is heading for Wsiconsin and Michigan today, while Clinton is focusing on Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid has written to F.B.I. Director James Comey warning “Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be clear intent to aid one political party over another,” the letter says. “I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act,” which bars government officials from trying to influence elections. As Pete Williams and Tom Stelloh write at nbcnews.com, “Reid also accused Comey of shielding Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from scrutiny over his connections to Russia, saying “it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination” between Trump and his advisers and the Russian government.” It sure looks like Reid is right, but it would be very hard to prove. The F.B.I. director can, however, be fired by the President or impeached by congress.

Early Turnout Tilts Toward Democrats in Swing States,” report Jeremy W. Peters and Matt Flegenheimer at The New York Times. “At least 21 million people have voted so far across the country. In the states that are most likely to decide the election — among them Florida, Colorado and Nevada — close to a quarter of the electorate has already cast ballots. While their votes will not be counted until Election Day, registered Democrats are outperforming Republicans in key demographics and urban areas there and in North Carolina, where extensive in-person voting began late last week and which has emerged as one of the most closely contested battlegrounds for the White House and control of the Senate.”

Will some progressive sugar-daddy/mama concerned about young voter turnout please fund projects like this in every state: USC “Students Develop New App to Increase Voter Turnout,” reports Sofia Bosch at the Daily Trojan. “Andrew Jiang, Michael Lim, Lucas Johnson, Alex Teboul and Arush Shankar won Spark SC’s Futurethon, a 48-hour hacking competition, with BallotView. The free and nonpartisan app allows voters to preview their state’s local ballot, learn details about each measure and candidate and save a receipt of their choices to take to the polls.”

At Campaigns & Elections, Laura Packard has “5 Cost-Effecive GOTV Plays,” a good read for Democratic campaigns with a little extra cash on hand.

You want a bipartisan consensus? Try Ariel Edwards-Levy’s “Most Americans Think Voting Should Be Easy” at HuffPo, which notes “Democrats say by a 68-point margin, 80 percent to 12 percent, that the government should work to make voting easy; Republicans agree by a much slimmer 11-point margin, 51 percent to 40 percent. Independents fall in the middle, saying by a 28-point margin, 53 percent to 25 percent, that painless voting should be a goal, with the remainder unsure.”

Democrats, here’s your Halloween scare for the day: “Perhaps the most egregious [NC] county is Guilford, a county of 517,600 people, of which 57.9 percent is White, and gave Obama 58 percent of the vote in 2012. The county opened 16 in-person early voting locations in 2012, but has only their central election office open in 2016. The number of in-person voters on the first Thursday and Friday was 21,560 in 2012, but was only 3,305 in 2016, a decrease of 18,255 or 85 percent.” — from Nico Pitney’s HuffPo article, “This Is What Actual Voter Suppression Looks Like, And It’s Appalling: In one county, a reduction in polling places has helped cut early voting by 85 percent.”

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