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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Harry Enten reports that “A historic percentage of Americans want Trump removed from office” at CNN Politics: “A look across polls conducted since riots at the Capitol on Wednesday shows that a clear plurality of Americans overall want Trump out of office, even as President-elect Joe Biden is set to be inaugurated on January 20….You can see that well in an ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Sunday. The majority (56%) say Trump should be removed from office, while just 43% believe he should not be removed….An average across polls since Wednesday (in which no pollster is counted more than once) shows that 50% of Americans want Trump to either be impeached, for the 25th Amendment to be invoked or for Trump to resign from office. The minority (43%) say that none of these should occur….The high percentage of Americans who want Trump out of office comes as House Democrats are already planning to introduce an impeachment resolution against Trump as soon as Monday.”

However, John Judis warns, “Democrats: Impeachment is a Political Trap” at Talking Points Memo: “If Democrats vote this week to impeach Trump, the Senate won’t take up the question of conviction until after the inauguration.  The Georgia election may not be certified until January 22, so at that point, the new majority leader Chuck Schumer can take up the question. A trial could take weeks, and would consume the news and the attention of Congress. The Democrats may not get the two-thirds vote it needs in the Senate to convict him. And in any case, Trump will be gone. What’s the point? To make it impossible for Trump, then 78, to run for office again? Nothing would benefit the Democrats more than another Trump bid….Politics is not a simple matter of right and wrong. It is a matter of priorities. Yes, Trump did wrong, he is a bad guy. But the country is in the grips of a pandemic – over 4000 people died on Thursday – and in December, the country lost 140,000 more jobs. The Democrats have to focus on that not on Trump….people outside the Beltway who make up the majorities Democrats need to govern are far more worried about the pandemic and recession than they are about impeaching Trump. And the Democrats can’t do an adequate job of both.”

Noting that “Republicans got a sizable Election Day turnout, but Democrats built a big enough lead in pre-Election Day voting to withstand their onslaught” at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman write: “Given the close outcomes in Georgia, any number of factors could have tipped the races the other way. It seems reasonable to suggest that if Trump had accepted his presidential loss, Republicans could have more easily made the Senate runoffs a referendum on unified Democratic control of Washington and perhaps generated a bit more crossover support to have held the seats, and the Senate. After all, Republicans did finish ahead of Democrats in the initial voting in both Senate races back in November. We doubt that the president’s late-breaking support of $2,000 stimulus checks helped the Republicans, either, as it immediately threw cold water on the $600 stimulus checks that Congress approved in advance of the election….But for now, the Democratic victories in Georgia give President-elect Joe Biden more breathing room for getting his Cabinet and judicial appointments through the Senate and for pursuing his legislative agenda.” A Georgia county turnout map from their article:

For capsule profiles of each Georgia County, click here and scroll down to chart. For in-depth demographic profiles of each county, click on the “FIPS code” column in the chart.

From “Georgia Runoff Takeaways from the Cook Political Report Editors“: Editor and Publisher Charlie Cook writes, “This may also impact what may be going on in polling. Interestingly the polling in Georgia over this year appeared to be quite accurate, both in the regular general election and the runoff….The Senate Democratic agenda can only be as liberal/progressive as the least liberal/progressive Democratic senators — the lowest common denominator. Sens. Joe Manchin, Kirsten Sinema, Jon Tester, Chris Coons and a half dozen other Democrats may well be the screening committee for the Senate Democratic agenda items, what does not pass muster with them or with any Republicans is not likely to pass the Senate.” Looking toward the next midterm election, Senate Editor Jessica Taylor adds, “Democrats certainly have vulnerable members — including newly-elected Sens. Mark Kelly and Arizona and now Raphael Warnock in Georgia who have to run again in 2022 for a full term. But state parties and the base in those states seem unwilling to understand the direction that demographic shifts have changed their states, hence why both Martha McSally (in 2018 too) and Kelly Loeffler had to move to the far, far right just to survive primaries — positions that then doomed them in the general even as each was supposed to appeal to suburban women voters.”

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