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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Can Democrats Win Georgia—and the Senate?,” Charles Bethea asks at The New Yorker and writes: “Bernard Fraga, a professor of political science at Emory and the author of “The Turnout Gap,” told me that turnout tends to drop by forty per cent or more for runoff elections. In Georgia, he explained, the drop-off is typically more severe among Democrats. But he didn’t expect this runoff to be typical. We might see a drop-off as small as fifteen per cent, he suggested. “But will that historically low drop-off be disproportionately Republican or Democratic?” he asked. “That’s what these groups on the ground are trying to decide.”….Fraga told me that nationalizing the races had been a boon for Democrats in the fall, that it spurred interest and brought in money that helped drive turnout. Ufot said that things like the postcard barrage simply work. “It’s part of our ‘ten touches,’ ” she said, explaining that receiving ten reminders about an election increases the likelihood that a registered voter will actually show up….By the end of early voting, more than three million Georgians had cast their ballots, and the early data appeared to favor the Democrats: there were thousands of new voters, a high percentage of Black voters, and somewhat lower turnout—so far; Election Day voting may rebalance things—in conservative parts of the state.”

From “Democrats may make history in Georgia’s Senate runoffs” by Harry Enten at CNN Politics: “My average of Georgia polls shows the two Senate runoffs on Tuesday are within the margin of error and way too close to call….It’s hard not to assign Perdue and Loeffler’s troubles at least partially to Trump. He was the weak link for Republicans running statewide in Georgia this past year. He lost by 0.2 points and his margin was more than a point worse than the Republican candidates in both Senate races….More bluntly, Trump is the only Republican to lose a statewide race in Georgia in more than a decade….In theory, Perdue and Loeffler do not want this race to become about Trump. Trump, however, has helped to accomplish the opposite of that….Trump is reminding the few but very important split ticket voters in Georgia that Perdue and Loeffler are part of Trump’s Republican Party….In doing so, he may be helping to change the dynamic of what normally occurs in runoffs in the Peach State. We haven’t been seeing Republicans picking up ground ahead of the runoff like they normally do. As the averages show, it seems that the Republicans may actually be losing ground….Now, it would be one thing if Trump’s antics were driving Republicans to the polls. After all, high turnout doesn’t come close to guaranteeing a Democratic victory….But so far, the turnout swing seems to be favoring Democrats. Black voters have consistently been making up 3 to 4 points more of voters through the early voting period than they did at the equivalent points in the general election….Meanwhile, turnout in the more White rural areas of the state has been lagging. A lot of these White rural voters are fans of Trump, and it could be that him attacking Georgia Republicans makes them less likely to want to turn out and vote.”

As regards the political fallout concerning the stimulus checks, “Public opinion does appear to be on Democrats’ side,” Perry Bacon, Jr. reports at FiveThirtyEight. “Seventy-eight percent of Americans said they supported these $2,000 stimulus checks, compared to 17 percent who opposed them, according to a poll conducted Dec. 22-28 by the left-leaning Data for Progress. Similarly, a survey conducted by Business Insider and Survey Monkey on Dec. 21 found that 62 percent of Americans said that the $600 stimulus checks adopted in a recent bill is not enough; 76 percent said the payments should be more than $1,000…giving Ossoff and Warnock the opportunity to suggest that Loeffler and Perdue are impediments to the payments, since they back McConnell continuing as majority leader.” Bacon notes some of the ways it might not matter, including the fact that many voters don’t seem to care much about policy, but adds, “Democrats are pushing a popular idea right before what look like very-close elections, and the Republican Party is blocking it. The issue could well help Warnock and Ossoff in Georgia…”

How might Dems respond to Trump’s boot-lickers in congress refusing to certify the Electoral College vote, upcomming on Wednesday?  Just get out of the way and watch them collapse their party in a pathetic orgy of self-destruction, is one answer. As NorthBronxDem notes “In epic Twitter thread, Steve Schmidt explains why 1/6/21 will be the end of the Republican Party.” at Daily Kos: “Steve Schmidt, the former Republican strategist and newly minted member of the Democratic Party, went on Twitter this evening to explain how January 6 path will spell doom for the Republican Party.” Schmidt tweets, “The 6th will commence a political civil war inside the GOP. The autocratic side will roll over the pro-democracy remnant of the GOP like the Wehrmacht did the Belgian Army in 1940. The ‘22 GOP primary season will be a blood letting. The 6th will be a loyalty test. The purge…will follow. Does anybody doubt the outcome of the @IvankaTrump vs. @marcorubio primary in Florida? Anyone willing to make a bet on @robportman? It turns out JFK was right. The problem of trying to ride the tiger is the likelihood of winding up inside the tiger. The poisonous…Fruit from four years of collaboration and complicity with Trumps insanity, illiberalism and incompetence are ready for harvest. It will kill the GOP because it’s Pro Democracy faction and Autocratic factions can no more exist together then could the Whig Party hold together…The abolitionist with the Slave master. It won’t happen over night but the destination is clear. The Conservative party in America is dead…”

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