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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In “States of Play – Florida,” Mathew Isbell writes at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, “While it is a swing state, expect Florida to vote to the right of the national popular vote…Biden is likely to underperform Hillary Clinton in Miami-Dade, but outshine her in working class communities and suburbs…How Florida’s seniors judge Trump on COVID will likely decide the state…Democrats are likely to start the night with a big lead thanks to vote by mail being reported first, and the march will be on to see if the Republicans can close the gap…It is important for all watching that it isn’t just about who wins a county — but what the margin looks like. A bad Miami-Dade margin could be fatal for Biden. Meanwhile, if Trump is losing big in places like Pinellas or Seminole, he will be in bad shape…We should expect some of these counties to move independent of each other due to their unique demographics…Election night in Florida can be akin to a roller coaster as one county delivers good news and another bad news regardless of which side you are on.”

“In the past couple of weeks, key battleground states like Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have received a lot of attention because Republicans have seen a spike in voter registration numbers. This is oftencited as a counterpoint to Joe Biden’s sizable lead over President Trump in the polls, as all these Republican registrations must be a sign of support for Trump that the polls are missing, right?,” Geoffrey Skelley writes in “Why A Surge In Republican Voter Registration Might Not Mean A Surge In Trump Support” at FiveThirtyEight…But the problem is party registration numbers can be a hard way to get a read on what’s happening in the election. Like early voting numbers, there are all kinds of pitfalls in how you should think about this data. Here are three of the biggest problems:…A voter’s party registration is a strong indicator of who they’ll support, but it’s not a guarantee. In fact, many voters registered with one party have actually been voting for the other party in recent elections but haven’t necessarily switched their registration to reflect the party they actually support…The election calendar also influences party registration trends, as key dates and campaign events drive interest in participation. For instance, a presidential primary or the registration deadline ahead of the general election can spark a flood of registrations. But sometimes this can create a disproportionate number of registrations from one party…most independents lean toward one party, but their preferences are still masked at the voter registration level. This is especially tricky in battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania that have seen major upticks in the share of voters who have registered with no party affiliation.”

Regarding tonight’s presidential candidate debate, The Nation’s John Nichols suggests, “Biden, Use This Debate to Prosecute Trump’s Covid Crimes,” and argues, “Tonight is the Democratic candidate’s chance to indict the president and the Republican senators who let Americans suffer and die…Biden should be specific, naming the cities, counties, and regions where Covid-19 is surging and killing Americans. He should detail the disproportionate damage this virus has done to people of color, the elderly, low-income Americans, frontline workers, and the vulnerable millions who lack adequate access to health care…Trump has attacked governorswho have tried to contain it while he mocked public health orders, peddled snake-oil “cures” and promoted “reopening” schemes even after he was warned that doing so would allow the disease to spread…Biden cannot allow himself to be distracted. There is too much at stake. Tonight, he can close the case not just against a president who deliberately endangered the nation he swore to protect but also against the Republican senators—like Joni Ernst in Iowa, Steve Daines in Montana, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Martha McSally in Arizona, Susan Collins in Maine, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, David Perdue in Georgia, John Cornyn in Texas, Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, and, yes, Mitch McConnell in Kentucky—who refused to hold the president accountable back when these crises might have been averted.”

At CNN Politics, Chris Cillizza reports that “Trump is being dominated by former Vice President Joe Biden in ad spending in the vast majority of swing states…Calculations made by CNN’s David Wright reveal that Biden’s campaign has spent far more than Trump’s on ads in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire…And in some of those places it’s not even close. Biden has spent $98 million to Trump’s $69 million on ads in Florida. In Pennsylvania, it’s a whopping $33 million gap; $61 million for Biden to $28 million for Trump…Trump’s campaign has outspent Biden’s in only four competitive states: Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and Texas. At the start of the 2020 campaign, few politicos — of either party — would have predicted that Trump would be in any serious trouble in any of that quartet of states, all of which he won by 5 points or more in 2016. And yet, polling in all four states now suggests Biden and Trump are running neck and neck.”

2 comments on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Martin Lawford on

    If we thought the voters would approve of us packing the Supreme Court, we would not need a euphemism like “reforming” the Supreme Court. If this course of action were popular with the voters, we ought to be free to call it what it is, which is exactly what they will do. Calling a tax increase a “revenue enhancement”, calling an illegal immigrant “undocumented” or “unauthorized”, calling ketchup a vegetable, merely increases distrust in an electorate which already trusts its government very little.

  2. Victor on

    Biden wants to wait 6 months to reform the Supreme Court…by his 6th month Obama’s approval had dropped to the lower 50s. Being seen as passive is what dooms Democrats. Biden’s approval will probably tank even quicker than Obama’s for a host of reasons.


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