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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Great news from two of America’s most effective liberal groups, as reported by Gideon Resnick at The Daily Beast: “Two grassroots progressive organizations formed after President Trump’s inauguration are joining forces in advance of the 2020 election. Swing Left, which had been primarily committed in the last cycle to helping Democrats take back a majority in the House of Representatives, will bring Flippable, an outfit devoted to turning state legislatures blue, under its umbrella. The merged entity will continue to go by Swing Left…The goal of the merger is to create a unified strategy and better equip volunteers and donors to help in the upcoming presidential race as well as down-ballot contests. Combined, the organizations raised some $13 million in 2018 in addition to having a community of more than a million of those volunteers and donors…The groups’ founders think the combination of Flippable’s expertise in the states and Swing Left’s huge network will complement each other and ensure progressive voters do not get overwhelmed with too many outlets for activism and contributions.” These groups have done remarkable work as individual entities, and there is every reason to believe they will be even more effective as they merge and leverage their mutual resources.

From Frank Clemente’s op-ed,  “What Democrats must tell Trump: Get infrastructure money from corporations and the rich” in The Des Moines Register: “The American Society of Civil Engineers gives U.S. infrastructure a barely passing grade of D+. The group estimates it will take $2 trillion on top of current levels of spending to bring it all up to snuff…The wealthy and big corporations, which received massive tax breaks from the 2017 Trump-GOP tax cuts and are prime beneficiaries of a strong infrastructure system, need to contribute more and start paying their fair share…Other funding sources are inadequate. Raising the federal gas tax (or replacing it with a mileage-based user fee) could be part of the answer, but it’s a diminishing resource because of the growing use of electric and other fuel-efficient vehicles. Even tripling the gas tax to 53 cents a gallon would raise just over $500 billion over 10 years, a quarter of what’s needed. What’s more, does it really make sense to ask working families to pay a lot more to get to work or go on vacation after most of those Trump-GOP tax cuts benefited the wealthy and corporations?…Republicans weren’t bothered by the nearly $2 trillion cost of their tax cut bill, which was added to the federal debt. But they now display a striking double standard by objecting to spending the same amount to fix our infrastructure. More galling: A 2012 analysis by Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics shows that every dollar spent oninfrastructure pumps $1.44 back into the economy, while a dollar spent on corporate tax cuts returns just 32 cents.”

In her post, “What Led to Trump’s Rose Garden Temper Tantrum?,” Nancy LeTourneau outs Trump’s pre-planned walkout theatrics at The Washington Monthly: “When Democratic leaders arrived at the White House, Trump walked into the room, went on a five-minute rant about ongoing investigations, and then walked out. He proceeded to the Rose Garden where he held a supposedly impromptu press conference, refusing to govern until Democrats stopped their investigations. They claim that it was Pelosi’s remarks about a cover-up that triggered it all…But take a look at the lectern from which the president made his remarks in the Rose Garden.”

Trump’s ridiculous walkout probably won’t help his rapidly tanking re-election prospects. In his post, “Poll: 60 percent say Trump should not be reelected,” Jonathan Easley reports at The Hill that “A new poll finds that a strong majority of voters believes that President Trump does not deserve a second term in office…A Monmouth University survey released Wednesday found that only 37 percent of voters believe Trump should be reelected, while 60 percent said they think it’s time to have someone new in the White House…That’s the highest percentage of voters saying they’re eager for change since Monmouth first began asking the question in November. The numbers come weeks ahead of Trump’s expected official launch for his 2020 reelection campaign.” Easley also notes, however, that “Despite the desire to elect Trump’s replacement in 2020, a majority of voters, 56 percent, say Trump should not be impeached and compelled to leave office, while 39 percent support impeachment and removal…“A majority want someone else in the Oval Office, but are willing to wait until the next election,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray.”

At Politico, Natasha Korecki and David Sides take a look “Inside the 2020 Democrats’ survival strategies,” and observe: “Bernie Sanders must win New Hampshire. Julian Castro is letting it all ride on Nevada. South Carolina is essential to Cory Booker’s chances…The 23 candidates chasing the Democratic nomination are piling up events and plowing resources into the four early presidential states, telegraphing which states they’re prioritizing and which ones they’re writing off.” The article says Hickenlooper, Klobuchar, Swalwell, Delaney, Bullock and O’Rourke as Democratic candidates who have to do well in Iowa to stay in the race, while Biden would be in trouble with a “weak Iowa performance, as would Warren. Sanders and Warren both have to do well in New Hampshire, though biden still elads in state polls. The article credits Harris, Booker and Delaney as “having the most robust staffs” in NH. “For Buttigieg, there is some urgency to make his mark in either Iowa or New Hampshire…Four candidates have the most riding on South Carolina, home to the South’s first primary: Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.”

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver disagrees with Ezra Klein’s Vox argument challenging the notion that “Americans are ideological moderates who punish political parties for nominating candidates too far to the left or right.” Silver puts together a chart diplaying “Average of favorability ratings in polls conducted wholly or partly since Biden entered the race,” and argues that, in terms of net-favorability, “Sanders’s numbers are decent — but in general moderate candidates have slightly better favorables. Buttigeg’s net-favorable ratings are a little betterthan Sanders, for instance, and Biden, Buttigieg and Julián Castro are the only Democrats with net-positive ratings. The worst ratings belong to liberal candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand (who has opposed Trump more often than any other senator) and, especially, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.” The chart:

Joe Biden 50.4% 39.8% +10.6
Pete Buttigieg 28.3 24.5 +3.8
Julián Castro 20.7 20.3 +0.3
Bernie Sanders 45.3 45.5 -0.3
Marianne Williamson 11.7 12.3 -0.7
Tim Ryan 15.0 15.8 -0.8
Jay Inslee 13.7 14.7 -1.0
Kamala Harris 34.2 36.2 -2.0
Andrew Yang 14.3 17.0 -2.7
Michael Bennet 12.0 15.0 -3.0
Amy Klobuchar 21.0 24.3 -3.3
Cory Booker 28.0 31.5 -3.5
Steve Bullock 9.5 13.5 -4.0
John Delaney 10.3 14.7 -4.3
John Hickenlooper 13.3 18.3 -5.0
Beto O’Rourke 28.5 33.8 -5.3
Eric Swalwell 12.3 17.5 -5.3
Seth Moulton 7.3 12.8 -5.5
Elizabeth Warren 35.2 40.8 -5.6
Kirsten Gillibrand 21.5 28.5 -7.0
Tulsi Gabbard 13.0 20.7 -7.7
Bill de Blasio 13.5 45.5 -32.0

Polls are included if they were still in the field when Biden entered the race on April 25. If a pollster asked about a candidate multiple times, only the most recent poll was used. Polls included in the average include YouGov (registered voters), CNN/SSRS (registered voters), Gallup (adults), Rasmussen Reports (likely voters), HarrisX / Harris Interactive (registered voters) and Quinnipiac (registered voters). Not all pollsters asked about all of the candidates, but each candidate was included in at least 2 polls.


In his update, “Notes on the State of the Senate,” Kyle Kondik writes at Sabato’s Crysal Ball that “Arizona looms so large because it’s hard to really piece together a plausible path to a Democratic majority without it flipping. If one assumes that Democrats lose Alabama but win Colorado — the former is a better assumption than the latter — that evens out to no net change. So even if Democrats win Arizona and Colorado but lose Alabama, they would need at least two more victories in GOP-held seats. Which ones? The list actually isn’t that long, or that appealing, for Democrats…Other Democratic possibilities are Georgia, Iowa, and North Carolina; the Tar Heel State may be the best target of that trio, given its history of close Senate races and because it was the closest of the three states in the 2016 presidential race. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) also now faces a primary challenger. If Trump tanks in 2020, Democrats could end up carrying all three states for president as part of a larger national sweep that wins them unified control of the presidency and Congress…Barring some other big upset (Texas?), Democrats probably won’t win the Senate without at least one of Georgia, Iowa, or North Carolina.”

One comment on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Candace on

    I think people are accustomed to viewing support for something that benefits Trump through the lens of his base which is not 56 percent of the population. This also means that there is a percentage of that 56 that could listen to reason, but who knows if Pelosi or Hoyer are part of that percentage.
    In the mean time people who are opposed to Trump could start to demanding he resigns, especially those who are against impeaching him.

    And if there are any Republicans out there who aren’t working to overthrow this country (I don’t believe they exist and if they did they probably don’t call themselves Republicans anymore) Tom Steyer and others could support those candidates challenging Trump in a variety of ways too.


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