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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At nbcnews.com Alex Seitz-Wald and Benjy Sarlin write that “Democrats predicted the wave of women who marched against Trump, shared stories of abuse in the #MeToo era, and powered female candidates to primary victories this year, would only build after watching Christine Blasey Ford’s poised testimony on Thursday describing Kavanaugh laughing as he assaulted her. A record number of women are running for Congress this year, and 75 percent of them are Democrats…”The women of this country identify with Dr. Ford and will not forget what is happening here,” said Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. “They are not angry, they are furious, and I expect the largest women’s turnout in a midterm — ever.”…ActBlue, an online clearinghouse for Democratic donors, reported that they raised $10 million from small donors on Friday, their highest daily total ever since the site was founded in 2004.”

In her post, “Republicans vs. Democracy” at The Washington Monthly, Stephanie Mencimer shares a chilling reminder that allegations of sexual assault are not the only good reasons why Democrats should fight to kill the Kavanaugh nomination: “While Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy, he has said his real hero is the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a noted foe of the Voting Rights Act who spent his early years as a lawyer in the 1960s assisting with a Republican poll-watching program accused of harassing and trying to turn away black voters. In 2011, Kavanaugh endorsed the modern version of that program, upholding a South Carolina law requiring a government-issued ID for voting, even though the Obama administration had found that it violated the Voting Rights Act because it could disenfranchise tens of thousands of minority voters.” There is every indication that  Kavanaugh woud be a rubber-stamp voter-suppressor in the spirit of his buddy, Kark Rove. If that wasn’t enough, it’s clear Kavanaugh’s confirmation would also be a disaster for the environment.

In his New York Times op-ed, William H. Frey explains why “Trump Can’t Win the War on Demography,” and observes, “The demographic trends make this plain. America’s white population is growing tepidly because of substantial declines among younger whites. Since 2000, the white population under the age of 18 has shrunk by seven million, and declines are projected among white 20-somethings and 30-somethings over the next two decades and beyond. This is a result of both low fertility rates among young whites and modest white immigration…the older retirement-age white population will grow by one-third over the next 15 years and, with it, the need for the government to support Social Security, Medicare, hospitals and the like.” But Frey writes that a failure to accuately count these demographic transformations in the Census could lead to cuts in “federal funds for housing assistance, job training, community development and a variety of social services that should be distributed on the basis of census counts.”

A ‘polling nugget” from FiveThirtyEight’s Janie Velencia and Dhrumil Mehta: “A Quinnipiac University poll in Florida shows good news for Democrats in the state’s Senate and governor races. The poll found Democrat Andrew Gillum 9 points ahead of his Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, in the race for governor. That comes on the heels of several high quality polls4 showing Gillum in the lead. It also shows Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson 7 points ahead of Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the Senate race following one poll that found Nelson 3 points ahead and another that found the two in a dead heat. The FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast currently gives Nelson a 5 in 8 chance of winning.”

“I think there will be a modest uptick in the Latino vote,” said Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a political scientist at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas who studies immigration and Latino political influence,” notes Albert R. Hunt in “Latino Voters Are Making the Democrats Sweat: They don’t like Trump or Republicans. The question is how many will turn out in November” at Bloomberg Opinion. “That would be good news for Democrats, but not the great news they hope for…That vote will be critical in the uphill battle to win control of the Senate. Of the 10 states with the most competitive Senate races, four — Florida, Texas, Arizona and Nevada — have sizable but quite different Hispanic populations. There’s a large Cuban-American community in Florida that has tended to favor Republicans, while Democratic-leaning unions play a bigger role with Nevada’s Latino voters, who are mostly of Mexican descent…There also are up to a dozen competitive races in those four states for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a few tightly contested ones, for example in Dallas and Houston, Latino voters could provide the margin to unseat veteran Republican legislators.”

“Clinton won two-thirds of the Latino vote nationally in 2016, exit polls showed, and Trump’s attacks on immigrants keep him strikingly unpopular with this constituency, according to many polls, including a September survey of Latino voters by Hart Research Associates,” Hunt notes further. “Nearly two-thirds of respondents to that poll said they disapproved of Trump’s presidency. They wanted Democrats to win control of Congress by a three-to-one margin over Republicans. They overwhelmingly preferred candidates who side with the Dreamers, young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and were allowed to stay under President Barack Obama, and those who oppose building a wall along the Mexican border. Obama was viewed positively by 67 percent of respondents and negatively by only 14 percent. Republicans hope that the strong economy will keep more Latino voters in their corner on Nov. 6, and are also appealing to the cultural conservatives among them.”

From “Working-Class Politics and the Foremen Problem” by Allison Hurst at The American Prospect: “How might working-class people’s class identifications and loyalties affect their political choices? We all know that there are workers who identify with the working class, who work in solidarity with their fellow workers, who seek to advance their interests as a class, while others identify with the boss and seek to advance their interests on their own…GSS data from elections over the past 50 years shows that people in working-class jobs who identify as middle class are more likely to vote Republican than similarly situated working-class people who identify as working class or lower class. (GSS doesn’t include data from 2016, but I extrapolated the percentages based on information from American National Election Studies (ANES).)..If we look only at white working-class men, who may be especially prone to bossism, we find even greater differences, not just between those who voted Republican and those who voted Democrat, but also those who did not vote at all. White working-class men are (a) more likely to vote Republican if they identify as middle class and (b) less likely to vote at all if they identify as working class, lower class, or poor.

“Across the country, the past few years have witnessed a spike in state preemption of local authority—every state except one has at least one such law on the books and nearly three-quarters of states have three or more,” writes Sophie Kasakove in The New Republic. “In the past year alone, 19 new preemption laws were passed in different states. The effort has been quiet, but nonetheless coordinated and precise: In many states, particularly conservative ones, preemption law has rendered left-leaning local policy-making largely impotent. It has revealed yet another way Republicans have paralyzed government, while underscoring the need for progressives to win back not just Congress, but statehouses across the country…Democrats for too long have been ignoring legislatures while Republicans have been, frankly, eating our lunches,” says Steve Farley, an Arizona state senator. “That’s why we’ve seen so much gerrymandering—Republicans have understood the power the legislatures have to be able to change a lot of things.”…Democrats are aiming to flip 14 legislative chambers in ten states in November, and advocacy groups are promoting a new generation of state leaders more favorable to local progressive power.”

One comment on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Candace on

    About the way Republicans are spinning the problems with Kavanaugh: when Republicans want to get away with something they know is wrong and unpopular, they attack whomever is pointing it out by stealing first their arguments then anger/feelings (or thunder) wearing it all like some scarf, hat, maybe large glasses and then turn up the mic as loud as they can. And while people react to how outrageous that is, (I see it as mockery) and while you aren’t looking thinking “what the…” they will finally take your sword and try to kill you and/or whoever they feel is in their way with it and then salt the earth just because they can. Meaning they very deliberately use hypocrisy for damage control and let the chips fall where they may of which results they will blame on whoever tried to stop them and attack again.
    And so this approach for Republicans works for them over and over again. They get what they want. Americans are miserable. United States government looks foolish. Social media will buzz – all media dutifully keeps us up to date with the assortment of Republican crazy comments and replies, like “how couldn’t they know how stupid they are?” Everyone gets a bit angry but also laughs at how bizarre it all is. Republicans get their distraction, they take over the story and put anyone who has a problem with what they’re doing or stands in their way on the defense. We all forget what happened and just focus on what latest edition of can you believe he said that trending.

    Rather than to continue to play this game, how about when Republicans try to alter a reality they don’t like.. for the gods of clarity why not try responding with a time line for how we got here? I hope someone in the internet world hears this. 🙁
    Start with when this all began with Kavanaugh and then every day attach it to the updates. (we could use weekly, possibly monthly updates on everything going on with our government) and do it over and over again.
    Because what happened? Was everything going perfectly for Kavanaugh and the confirmation process was all honorable and routine before the allegations? What about his long paper trail document problem? Did the Senate have plenty of time to look at everything and voice the problems they had with him at that time? And so Democrats just snuck in Blasey Ford’s allegations last second? What about the role of the private law firm in all of this? What about that deep state like Federalist Society?

    If the Republicans didn’t rush Kavanaugh’s confirmation, wouldn’t what Christine Blasey Ford had to say arrive while those thousands (a million?) of documents were still being looked at? This would be considerably before a confirmation hearing or in other words NOT last second?
    The FBI would have had plenty of time to investigate this. The Senate would’ve had plenty of time to review the Federalist Society’s choice and for them to another. Would the hearing still have happened? The whole affair proved why Republicans are wrong to rush the confirmation and how they caused the problem.

    I will say the volume of the Metoo movement and how Republicans have added it to their arsenal for manipulating their angry man base (and keeping them angry), will not liberate women in relationships with these angry men. It wont provide clarity for their families or protect their children. That is for sure.


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