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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In his New York Times column, “The Resentment That Never Sleeps,” Thomas B. Edsall probes the insights of top scholars regarding status anxiety, and then he shares some cogent observations Democrats should ponder in developing election strategies, including: “Millions of voters, including the core group of Trump supporters — whites without college degrees — face bleak futures, pushed further down the ladder by meritocratic competition that rewards what they don’t have: higher education and high scores on standardized tests. Jockeying for place in a merciless meritocracy feeds into the status wars that are presently poisoning the country, even as exacerbated levels of competition are, theoretically, an indispensable component of contemporary geopolitical and economic reality….Voters in the bottom half of the income distribution face a level of hypercompetition that has, in turn, served to elevate politicized status anxiety in a world where social and economic mobility has, for many, ground to a halt: 90 percent of the age cohort born in the 1940s looked forward to a better standard of living than their parents’, compared with 50 percent for those born since 1980. Even worse, those in the lower status ranks suffer the most lethal consequences of the current pandemic….These forces in their totality suggest that Joe Biden faces the toughest challenge of his career in attempting to fulfill his pledge to the electorate: “We can restore the defining American promise, that no matter where you start in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. And, in doing so, we can restore the soul of our nation.”….Trump has capitalized on the failures of this American promise. Now we have to hope that Biden can deliver.”

At Daily Kos, SemDem argues that “When it comes to Georgia, Democrats can and must exploit the simmering civil war within the GOP , and notes how the contest resembles a tag team match: “Democrats, meanwhile, are in the unique position of playing smarter politics than Republicans by running Warnock and Ossoff as a team, which plays to the strengths of each candidate. They are holding joint events and framing campaigns around what they could accomplish together for Georgia, as well as the U.S., if they are both sent to Washington. Pairing the longtime pastor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Ebenezer Baptist Church with a young, progressive Jewish activist also helps represent the diversity of the Democratic party….Republicans are trying the team strategy too, but in their case it’s highlighting the party’s problems and the candidates’ flaws more than anything else. Both Loeffler and Perdue are not only obscenely wealthy, but they are the two of the most corrupt people currently serving in the Senate. Both downplayed the virus and used their positions to quietly move their money so they’d benefit from the crisis.” SemDem adds, “We need all hands on deck, so please pledge to do just one thing to help each Senate candidate win. Fortunately, with all eyes on Georgia, there are myriad ways to help,” and provides links for volunteering and making donations.

At The Cook Political Report, Charlie Cook notes, “There is no question that the polling industry is going through a challenging time thanks to caller ID. It is not uncommon for a pollster to make 20 calls in order to complete a single interview. Until now, the saving grace for pollsters was that the kind of people who didn’t consent to being interviewed did not have materially different attitudes toward politics as those who did choose to participate in polls. Considerable research is now going on to determine if that is still the case….As more research comes out, my bet is that many will see that the polls pretty much nailed the 51.3 percent Biden national share of the vote. In fact, the final RealClearPolitics average was a tenth of a point off, giving Biden a 51.2 percent share. Of the major polls released in the last five days before the election, Quinnipiac put Biden at 50 percent, while NBC News/Wall Street Journal and Fox News had him at 52 percent. Those taken a bit earlier tended to show Biden with a larger lead, indicating some closure in the last two weeks.”

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