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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

“To take back the majority in the House this November, political scientists calculate Democrats will have to win the popular vote by an extra 7 to 11 percent to overcome lines drawn by Republicans to keep them out.” notes Amber Phillips in her article, “Ohio voters just made gerrymandering more trouble than it’s worth” at The Fix. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that if Democrats can’t win back a seat at the table for drawing maps by the time the 2020 Census comes out, they could be locked out of power for a generation.” On Tuesday, “Ohio voters decided to limit one party’s power to draw congressional lines that would lock the other out of power for a decade. Advocates say their success in Ohio on Tuesday could be the start of a record-breaking year for redistricting reform, which could be on the ballot in five more states. And that raises the question: Are voters who are sick of Washington now turning their frustration to gerrymandering?”

At slate.com, Josh Voorhees reports that “Women keep winning. On Tuesday night, nearly two-thirds of the women running in congressional primaries won their nomination. Overall, female candidates snagged 27 of the 81 major party House nominations that were up for grabs in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, and West Virginia. That continues a trend that began with the nation’s first primary in Texas this year and then seemed to stall a bit in the second, in Illinois later that same month…According to Gender Watch 2018, a project of the nonpartisan Center for American Women and Politics, 22 of the 31 women running in a House Democratic primary on Tuesday won the nomination. That means women will make up a majority of the party’s 40 congressional nominees in those states.”

From Ronald Brownstein’s take on the primaries at the Atlantic: “The results of Tuesday’s primary elections simultaneously bolstered the Republican Party mainstream and demonstrated how much ground it has yielded to Donald Trump, particularly on the volatile issue of immigration….In several key races, GOP primary voters rejected candidates who presented themselves as the most ardent acolytes of Trump, in terms of style, political agenda, or both. But the relatively more mainstream alternatives triumphed in those contests only after embracing much, or all, of Trump’s hostility toward immigration. That dynamic underscores Trump’s success at eroding resistance in the GOP toward his racially infused nationalism. And that could prove a defining gamble for the party in a nation inexorably growing more diverse…But in the broader electorate, roughly three-fifths of Americans have opposed building the border wall and an even higher share has supported some legal status for the undocumented. While sanctuary policies can be more difficult ground for Democrats to defend, polls consistently show that significantly more Americans believe immigration strengthens, rather than weakens, the country; the margin was greater than 2 to 1, for instance, in an NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released last September.”

“Donald Trump’s disgraceful personal behavior makes him a very tempting target. But there’s not much more that any Democratic can say about Trump that voters haven’t heard already,” writes Democratic pollster Brad Bannon in “A winning strategy for Democrats in 2020: populism, not Trump bashing” at The Hill. “To address Trump’s failure to help working families, Democrats should challenge his tax cuts for corporations, which have led to cuts in spending for education and health care. And to get there, the Democratic presidential hopefuls have an obligation to outline their approach to improve the economy for working families…A powerful populist economic message will attract voters. Personal attacks on Trump will distract people. It’s not enough for Democratic presidential candidates to bash Trump. Presidential hopefuls will also need to lay out their program for moving America forward. The same goes for Democratic Party leaders who want to turn out the party base to vote this year in the midterm elections.”

A new study by Politico indicates that “Trump thrives in areas that lack traditional news outlets: Relentless use of social media and partisan outlets helped him swamp Clinton and exceed Romney’s performance in places lacking trusted local news media.” Shawn Musgrave and Andrew Nussbaum note that “Trump outperformed the previous Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in counties with the lowest numbers of news subscribers, but didn’t do nearly as well in areas with heavier circulation.” Also, “Trump struggled against Clinton in places with more news subscribers: Counties in the top 10 percent of subscription rates were twice as likely to go for Clinton as those in the lowest 10 percent. Clinton was also more than 3.7 times as likely to beat former President Barack Obama’s 2012 performance in counties in the top 10 percent compared to those in the lowest 10 percent — the driest of the so-called news deserts.” Clearly, Democrats have to expand and intensify their social media outreach in rural areas, if they want to improve their prospects beyond the suburbs.

In a FiveThirtyEight.com roundtable, Politics Editor Micah Cohen shares some polling on impeachmant: “In April, Monmouth University asked, “Do you think President Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, or not?” and 39 percent said “should” vs. 56 percent who said “not.”…A Quinnipiac poll in April found 38 percent of people think Trump should be impeached and removed; 55 percent do not…A new CBS News poll found that 30 percent of people would be more likely to vote for a Congressional candidate who supports impeachment; 40 percent said less likely. (Twenty-nine percent were unsure or didn’t answer.)…But there’s obviously a big partisan split; here’s the party breakdown from a Marist/NPR poll…”

Impeachment advocates might also give some thought to “Trump Is No Longer the Worst Person in Government,” by WaPo columnist George F. Will, who notes: “Donald Trump, with his feral cunning, knew. The oleaginous Mike Pence, with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness, could, Trump knew, become America’s most repulsive public figure. And Pence, who has reached this pinnacle by dethroning his benefactor, is augmenting the public stock of useful knowledge. Because his is the authentic voice of today’s lickspittle Republican Party, he clarifies this year’s elections: Vote Republican to ratify groveling as governing…Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying.”

One comment on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Victor on

    The right can succeed at divide and conquer because when one actually asks, nobody on the left is openly advocating for open borders.

    If you don’t advocate open borders then you implicitly support discriminatory immigration policies.

    As soon as that happens you are picking and choosing which human beings are deserving and which aren’t.

    As soon as that happens one is a hypocrite and the right wins.


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