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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his New York Magazine post “Is That a Democratic Tsunami Taking Shape for 2018?,” Ed Kilgore notes, “A new poll shows the kind of numbers that if they become common could definitely portend not just a “wave” but a veritable tsunami. Quinnipiac’s latest national poll mainly drew attention for showing some really terrible assessments of Donald Trump. But its congressional generic ballot was a shocker: By a 54 – 38 percent margin, American voters want the Democratic Party to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a Quinnipiac University poll, exceeding a 5 percentage point margin for Republicans in 2013. Indeed, I could not find any polls showing that kind of margin for either party during the 2014 or 2016 cycles (there was one Rasmussen poll in late 2013 — when Republicans were getting blamed for a government shutdown — that showed Democrats up by 11 points, but no other double-digit leads were evident going into either the 2014 or 2016 elections).”

From The Atlantic/PRRI study, “Why the White, Working Class Voted for Trump” (see also here):

Alexander Burns reports at the New York Times that “Young Black Democrats, Eager to Lead From the Left, Eye Runs in 2018“: “In states from Massachusetts to Florida, a phalanx of young black leaders in the Democratic Party is striding into some of the biggest elections of 2018, staking early claims on governorships and channeling the outcry of rank-and-file Democrats who favor all-out battle with Mr. Trump and increasingly question his legitimacy as president…By moving swiftly into the most contentious midterm races, these candidates aim to cement their party in forceful opposition to Mr. Trump and to align it unswervingly with minority communities and young people. Rather than muting their differences with the Republican Party in order to compete in states Mr. Trump won, like Georgia and Florida, they aim to make those distinctions starker.” The states where African American political figures are planning a run for statewide office inlcude FL; GA; IL; MA; MD; OH and VA.

At NBC News, Mark Murray reports “By a 2-to-1 ratio, Americans say the health care legislation that was recently passed by the House and supported by President Donald Trump is a bad idea instead of a good idea, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll…Forty-eight percent say it’s a bad idea, including 43 percent of respondents who “strongly” believe that…By contrast, just 23 percent call the legislation a good idea, including 18 percent who “strongly” say that…According to the new NBC/WSJ poll, 52 percent of Republican respondents say the GOP health-care legislation is a good idea, versus 77 percent of Democrats who believe it’s a bad idea. Among independents, it’s 44 percent bad idea, 18 percent good idea.”

“The new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday shows that only 29% of all respondents approved of Comey’s firing while over 50% percent of those who said they knew “a lot” about how those events unfolded said they disapprove of the president’s behavior,” reports Jon Queally at Common Dreams.

The real “fake news” — both McConnell and Fox News know that a distinguished jurist of Merrick Garland’s character would never be suckered by such a lame idea. As David Weigel explains at The Fix: “The reasons to object were quickly explained by reporters and by liberal court analysts like Dahlia Lithwick. “Garland probably won’t want to give up his lifetime tenure as the chief judge of the second-most important court in the land,” Lithwick wrote, “and surely the most significant bulwark against Trump administration overreach, in exchange for a 12-minute gig on The Apprentice before he uses the wrong color highlighter and gets fired by a crazy person.” Among most court-watchers, the scheme was pretty obvious: Lee would give Republicans a chance to tweak a Garland-less court, changing a 7-to-4 liberal majority to a 6-to-5 majority. And in his tweet, Lee was explicit: If Garland went to the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Democrats wouldn’t need a President Trump/Russia special prosecutor.”

Adam Liptak reports at The New York Times that the U.S. Supreme Court may be preparing to establish “a workable standard” to decide when the political gerrymandering has crossed a constitutional line….In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will consider an appeal from a decision in Wisconsin that may have found that holy grail. The case, Gill v. Whitford, No. 16-1161, arrives at the court in the wake of a wave of Republican victories in state legislatures that allowed lawmakers to draw election maps favoring their party…In 2012, Republicans won 48.6 percent of the statewide vote for Assembly candidates but captured 60 of the Assembly’s 99 seats. In 2014, 52 percent of the vote yielded 63 seats…Congress requires the Supreme Court to hear appeals in some areas of election law, and Wisconsin officials have filed such an appeal. That means the Supreme Court is very likely to weigh in on the fate of political gerrymandering, probably during the court’s next term, which starts in October.”

Ari Berman explains why “Trump’s Commission on ‘Election Integrity’ Will Lead to Massive Voter Suppression” at The Nation, noting that “Vice President Mike Pence will be the chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will be the vice chair—two men with very long histories of making it harder to vote, especially Kobach. Given the lack of evidence of voter fraud, the commission seems designed for one purpose: to perpetuate the myth of fraud in order to lay the groundwork for enacting policies that suppress the vote…If you want to know what such voter intimidation looks like, take a look at Pence’s home state of Indiana, where state police in October 2016 raided the offices of a group working to register African-American and low-income voters. They seized thousands of voter-registration applications, even though only 10 were suspected to be fraudulent and no one has been charged….In Kansas, Kobach has been the driving force within the GOP behind policies that erect new barriers to the ballot box and the most fervent evangelist of unproven voter-fraud claims.”

For those who were wondering why Republicans hate automatic voter registration so much, Sean McElwee explains at salon.com: “As David Shor of Civis Analytics notes, turnout among people of color in Oregon increased by 89 percent between 2012 and 2016, after the state implemented automatic voter registration (a reform that automatically registers qualified voters when interacting with some state agencies). Other research suggests that automatic voter registration bolstered turnout among young people and people of color in Oregon.”

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