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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

From E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s column, “Trump’s Base Is Smaller Than He Thinks” in The Washiongton Post: “Polls conducted throughout Trump’s presidency show that his critics feel far more strongly about their opposition to him than his defenders feel about their support. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, found that only 24 percent of registered voters strongly approved of Trump’s performance, while 44 percent strongly disapproved. Significantly, 74 percent of Democratic registered voters strongly disapproved of Trump, but only 50 percent of Republican registered voters strongly approved of him. Which base would you rather have going into this fight — and into 2020?”

At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownsein notes that, “as President Donald Trump went on the offensive to bolster his case against impeachment, he tweeted a county-by-county map of the 2016 presidential race that showed a sea of red interrupted by only a few blue inlets, mostly along the coasts. The map, captioned with the headline “Try to Impeach This,” documented the measure on which Trump performed best: He won more than 2,600 counties, while Hillary Clinton carried fewer than 500.” However, “Maps that measure the 2016 result by population—particularly the so-called prism map that displays huge vertical bars over the major urban centers that backed Clinton—show the nation much more evenly balanced. That reflects the reality that while Trump won far more counties, Clinton won substantially more votes—nearly 3 million more in total, a margin roughly equal to President George W. Bush’s popular-vote victory in 2004.” Click here to see population map.

“The latest batch of fundraising reports released this week confirmed a new reality of presidential politics: the traditional, big-dollar model of funding a presidential campaign is going the way of landlines and the VCR,” David Siders writes at Politico. “With Elizabeth Warren’s announcement Friday that she had raised nearly $25 million in the last three months — slightly less than Bernie Sanders reported Tuesday — two candidates who didn’t hold traditional donor events became the top two fundraisers in Democratic primary. And they both blew past the ones who did…Warren and Sanders, who raised $25.3 million, both finished about $10 million ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden for the quarter…Biden, meanwhile, fell back in his fundraising, posting $15.2 million – about $7 million less than he raised the previous three months. And other Democrats who relied on traditional, big-dollar fundraisers also slipped, presaging difficulties financing robust campaigns.”

In “Black women take US mayoral reins in record numbers,” Danny Jin reports at The Monitor: “Black women have historically driven the American political agenda as organizers and as voters. Now, an increasing number are leading the biggest cities in the United States. In 2013, just one black woman was mayor of a major U.S. city, but black women today run seven of the nation’s 100 largest cities, including Washington, Atlanta, and San Francisco.  (Women of color were also elected to lead in three Californian cities: Bakersfield, Chula Vista, and Fremont.) Their election victories and accomplishments in office mark a step forward in the push for equitable governance, experts say…Black women, who largely vote Democratic, went to the polls at higher ratesthan any other demographic group in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. And they played a key role in deciding 2018’s midterms.”

According to Denise-Marie Ordway’s “The consequences of ‘horse race’ reporting: What the research says” at Journalist’s Resource: ““The horserace has been the dominant theme of election news since the 1970s, when news organizations began to conduct their own election polls,” [Harvard professor Thpomas E.] Patterson writes in a December 2016 working paper, “News Coverage of the 2016 General Election: How the Press Failed the Voters.” “Since then, polls have proliferated to the point where well over a hundred separate polls — more than a new poll each day — were reported in major news outlets during the 2016 general election.”…Horse race reporting helped catapult billionaire businessman Donald Trump to a lead position during the nominating phase of the 2016 presidential campaign, finds another paper in Patterson’s research series, “News Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Primaries: Horse Race Reporting Has Consequences.”

Most physicians voted Republican in past decades. But now, Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg reveal that “Doctors, Once GOP Stalwarts, Now More Likely to Be Democrats” at The Wall St. Journal. The reasons, noted in the article subtitle, include: “Historic shift, driven by changes in business of medicine and women entering profession, comes with overall movement of college-educated people to Democratic Party.”

Shareblue’s Dan Desai Martin reports that “Demand for gun safety could flip Virginia legislature from red to blue,” and notes, “As Virginia voters head to the polls on Nov. 5, gun policy is top of mind, according to a new Washington Post poll released Friday. Republicans currently hold a narrow lead in both legislative chambers, but every seat in both chambers is in play this year, meaning Democrats have a chance to seize control of one or both next month…When asked which issues are most important, 75% of registered voters said gun control, eclipsing education, at 70%, and health care, at 66%, as the top issue…”This poll is further evidence that Virginia’s elected officials who side with the gun lobby in opposing widely popular and common sense solutions should be extremely worried,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement. “For the first time, pro gun safety voters are now more motivated than anti gun safety voters and that gap is widening. We expect this trend to continue in Virginia and across the country.”

Martin continues, “The issue of gun safety hit home for Virginians in late May when Virginia Beach was added to the growing list of American cities devastated by a mass shooting incident. A dozen people died on May 31 when a gunman started shooting at a city government building, prompting the governor to call a special legislative session focused on gun safety…But rather than consider even one piece of legislation, Republicans voted to end the special session after just 90 minutes. Weeks later, the NRA made a massive $200,000 campaign donation to the Republican majority leader of the House of Delegates…”It couldn’t be clearer — the NRA is rewarding Virginia Republicans for standing with them instead of their constituents,” Jessica Post, president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said at the time of the NRA donation. “Virginia Republicans are extreme and out of touch when it comes to gun safety.”…Post’s statements are backed up by the latest poll, which shows 58% of Virginians support stricter gun laws in the state…When it comes to specific policies, Republican lawmakers are even more out of touch. Expanding background checks is supported by 88% of Virginians, while laws to temporarily seize guns from someone law enforcement deems a threat, known as “red flag” laws, has the support of 82% of Virginians.”

Yes, Trump actually went there. At CNN Politics, Marshall Cohen quotes from Trump’s impromtu White House lawn yakfest with reporters: “”Let me tell you, I’m only interested in corruption,” Trump said. “I don’t care about politics. I don’t care about Biden’s politics…. I don’t care about politics. But I do care about corruption, and this whole thing is about corruption… This is about corruption, and this is not about politics.” Cohen notes six reasons why Trump’s mention of ‘corruption’ invites ridicule, including: “Trump defended Manafort, who made millions from Ukraine. Trump has defended and expressed sympathy for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who spent a decade working for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. After Yanukovych’s ouster in 2014, the new government accused him of looting billions of dollars from Ukrainian coffers. Manafort is currently in prison for tax fraud after hiding his Ukraine income in offshore accounts.” Add to Cohen’s list Trump’s golfing trips, his family’s profiteering and squandering taxpayer dollars on Administration officials and staff staying at his hotels, no name just a few examples.

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