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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

As we close out the year and the last day of early voting in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff elections today, both Democrats, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock lead in FiveThirtyEight’s average of all polls conducted for the runoff. Ossoff leads Perdue by 48.5 to Perdue’s 47.5, while Warnock leads 49.2 to Loeffler’s 47.3.  Real Clear Politics poll average calculations report Warnock leading by 1.8 percent and Ossoff ahead with a .8 lead. Both elections are clearly in toss-up territory. Democrats have reasons to be optimistic, including a disproportionately large turnout of Georgia’s African American voters thus far and the utter confusion driving divisions in the state GOP, exacerbated by Trump’s relentless sore-loser chaos, McConnell’s obstruction of the stimulus increase and the incumbent senators’ pandemic profiteering.

Brent Budowsky explains why “Trump Georgia rally could backfire, electing Ossoff and Warnock” at The Hill: “Today the battle rages in Washington and Georgia over the possibility of $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks that are strongly supported by President Trump, almost all Democrats in Congress, a minority of Republicans in Congress, and Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock….By contrast, Georgia’s GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler have taken so many shifting positions on COVID-19 relief that voters need a scoreboard to keep track of what they believe on a given day….One reason the Trump rally in Georgiacould backfire against Republicans is that it will dramatize to voters how strongly the Democratic candidates are fighting for them economically while the Republican candidates are not….The second reason that Trump’s rally in Georgia could backfire against Republicans, and help elect Ossoff and Warnock, is that while Democrats are engaging in a massive voter mobilization and turnout project, Trump’s false claims that Georgia’s voting systems are corrupt and that the state’s electoral votes were stolen from him will enrage Biden voters and have some effect depressing on GOP turnout….The Georgia rally will be all about Trump, complete with attacks against Georgia Republicans, which will anger Biden voters, mobilize Democratic voters, divide and depress Republican voters, confuse public presentations from Loeffler and Perdue, and possibly give Ossoff and Warnock a decisive last-minute boost on Election Day.”

At The Washington Post, E. J. Dionne, Jr. offers this message point for Democrats in his last column of the year, “Republican ‘populism’ is a fraud,”: “If Georgia’s voters want serious legislating next year about the crisis we face, they need to elect Ossoff and Warnock. Biden’s decision to make another campaign visit on their behalf shows that, however much he hopes he can work with Republicans, he knows he’ll be far better off with a Senate not in the hands of the Grim Reaper, as McConnell has proudly called himself….That’s because Republicans were only willing to embrace Trump’s “populism” as long as it was fake — or of a right-wing sort that elevated the politics of race and immigration. The moment Trump started talking about real money for non-elites, the GOP leadership threw its hands up in horror. McConnell’s maneuvers this week are the last gasp of his party’s hypocrisy, rooted in a burning desire for working-class votes unmatched by a will to do anything to earn them.”

Looking forward to future Democratic campaigns, here’s a voter turnout tip, from an interview conducted by Scott Harris at Between the Lines with ‘Tony The Democrat,’ founder of Post Cards to Voters, : “A volunteer-centered progressive electoral outreach project founded in the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory in 2016, has blossomed into an effective national get out the vote organization with a proud record of success. Postcards to Voters, based in Georgia, recruits volunteers to write “friendly, handwritten reminders to targeted voters, giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast….From its first campaign on behalf of Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff in 2017, with the help of just five volunteers, Postcards to Voters has expanded to work with 75,000 volunteers in all 50 states who have written close to 8 million postcards to voters in over 200 key election campaigns.” As Tony the Democrat explains further, “Our postcards are fully handwritten. We do not use printed mailing labels. We don’t send printed postcards to the volunteers where they just sign the bottom or add a sentence at the bottom. The entire message is handwritten and hand addressed. And we encourage the volunteers to use any appropriate postcard, including souvenir and travel postcards. Some people make their own. But the combination of the fully handwritten message and address along with the fact that the postcard itself is not one of these immediately obvious campaign mailers….So it’s easy to read. You don’t have to make a decision. Should I open this envelope from an unknown party? It’s a postcard. It’s like an open face sandwich. You know what’s inside. And it’s not a long, long letter. It’s easy and quick to read. We only write to Democratic voters.”

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