As America commemorates the 32nd MLK holiday, Barbara Arnwine and John Nichols report at The Nation that “a new National Commission for Voter Justice has been constituted at the urging of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., leaders of the National Bar Association and scholars and activists from across the country. This nonpartisan commission, which will launch this week in Washington, begins with the premise that Americans need reliable information about threats to voting rights, and that the information can and should be employed not merely to address those threats but to establish a voter justice ethic that says every community and every state should be striving for the highest level of voter participation in every election…The commission, which expects to conduct its work from January 2018, through December 2019, will hold at least 18 regional and special hearings, sponsor national training events and publish at least eight briefing papers, advisories and reports.”
“President Trump’s vulgar comments disparaging Haiti, El Salvador and African countries reverberated across the country Friday — including in one immigrant-rich state central to the GOP’s political fortunes where the party was already facing head winds: Florida,” write Sean Sullivan and Lori Rozsa in “Republicans in immigrant-rich Fla. scramble in wake of Trump’s remarks” at PowerPost. “Trump’s reference to “shithole countries” in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers Thursday sent Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a close ally the president is courting to run for the U.S. Senate, scrambling to distance himself from the controversy. Republican lawmakers issued strongly worded statements condemning what the leader of their party said. And GOP strategists and activists worried about the fallout in a battleground that is home to one of the country’s largest populations of Latin Americans…According to a 2010 Census publication, of the estimated 830,000 people in the United States in 2009 with Haitian ancestry, about two-thirds lived in Florida…”
James Fallows ponders at The Atlantic the great good that could come, if just two Republican Senators came from the shadows of shame to take action in response to Trump’s latest indecency: “If only two of those senators would stand up against Donald Trump, with their votes rather than just their tweets or concerned statements, they would constitute an effective majority…With the 49 Democratic and independent senators, these two would make 51 votes, which in turn would be enough to authorize real investigations. They could pass a formal resolution of censure. They could call for tax returns and financial disclosure. They could begin hearings, on the model of the nationally televised Watergate hearings of 45 years ago…They could behave as if they took seriously their duties to hold the executive branch accountable. They could make a choice they know will be to their credit when this era enters history — as did the Republicans who finally turned against their own party’s President Nixon during the Watergate drama, as did the Democrats who finally turned against their own party’s President Johnson over the Vietnam war, as did the Republicans who finally turned against their own poisonous Senator McCarthy in the episode that gave rise to “Have you no sense of decency?” more than 60 years ago. They could spare themselves the shame that history attaches to people who did the wrong thing, or nothing, or kept looking the other way during those decisive periods.” Two, just two…for America.
Looking forward to the governors races of 2108, Kyle Kondik writes at Sabato’s Crystal Ball that “The Republicans currently hold six of the governorships in the 10 most populous states. The two most populous states, California and Texas, look like easy holds for, respectively, the Democrats and Republicans. New York, now the fourth-largest state, should be an easy hold for Democrats. North Carolina, the ninth-most populous, is the only one not on the ballot this year (Democrats captured it in 2016), while Georgia, the eighth-biggest, is competitive, but the Republicans are favored to hold it…That leaves five others: Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Republicans hold all but the Keystone State right now. Three are Toss-ups, while Republicans start the year with a modest edge in Ohio and Democrats a modest edge in Pennsylvania….Whichever party wins a majority of these five governorships probably will have had the better night in November, particularly because all five governors play a key role in congressional redistricting, which is coming after the 2020 census and will be overseen by the governors elected this year in these (and many other) states…”
At Talking Points Memo, Cameron Joseph explans why “Fears Of A Democratic Midterm Wave Are Already Costing GOP In Key Races,” and cites four factors of a “potential wave election,” including: polling; candidate fund-raising; recent off-year election performance; and “incumbent retirements and candidate recruitment.” Statistical indicators associated with all four factors show a strong advantage for Democrats as the 2018 midterm campaigns begin.
Brett Samuels reports at The Hill: “A CBS News poll, released Sunday, found 48 percent of Americans say the country is doing well economically, compared to 22 percent who say it’s doing poorly. Another 30 percent said it is neither doing well or poorly, according to the poll…Another 49 percent of respondents indicated they believe the U.S. is run for the benefit of a few elites. By comparison, 28 percent said they believe the country is run for the benefit of the people, while 22 percent said neither, according to the poll, which was conducted Jan. 10-12. As for who gets credit for the economy, bith good and bad, Samuels also notes that “A recent Quinnipiac poll showed 49 percent of respondents gave Obama credit for the current economy, compared to 40 percent who gave Trump credit.”
“First, not all digital impressions are created equal. Skippability, viewability, user initiation/auto-play and brand safety all must be considered when evaluating digital inventory, and the cheapest impression often isn’t the most effective choice…Then there the planning and placement to consider…While TV campaigns are typically targeted by media market, digital plans are targeted based on factors like individual vote history and partisanship, demographic data, digital contactability scores and internet usage rates, custom models, the proportion of targets by individual ZIP code and so on…In the past couple cycles, Democrats have fallen behind the GOP on the adoption and execution of robust digital media buys — and it has cost us dearly. Last year was when digital ad spend finally beat TV, according to Magna, the research arm of media buying firm IPG Mediabrands. Let’s make 2018 the year that Democrats build the aggressive, nuanced, forward-thinking campaigns we need to win up and down the ballot. — from “New Year’s Resolution for Democrats: Take Digital Seriously in ’18” by Stephanie Grasmick, partner at Rising Tide Interactive, writing at Campaigns & Elections.
In his post, “Buying Into Medicaid: A Viable Path for Universal Coverage” at The American Prospect, Michael S. Sparer outlines a nuanced case for what he believes to be the most promising route to genuine universal health care in the U.S. A teaser: “Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income populations, offers the best path forward, from both a political and a policy perspective. Medicaid could be an affordable and attractive option for those buying coverage on the ACA exchanges, stabilizing markets that otherwise lack adequate competition and offering a realistic path to an American version of universal coverage…Medicaid is the longstanding heart of the nation’s effort to aid the uninsured, and it remains our most plausible path to universal coverage. We should thus push for a Medicaid buy-in strategy, as a way of providing immediate assistance to some and continuing our incremental path to better coverage for all.”