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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

How pro-Democratic or pro-Republican is your congressional district? The Cook Political Report  survey is out with its “Partisan Voting Index” measurements. As David Wasserman and Ally Flinn note, “First introduced in 1997, the Cook PVI measures how each district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as a whole. We have released new PVI scores following every election and round of redistricting since 1996, each time taking into account the prior two presidential elections. This time, we teamed up with Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections to calculate 2020’s results by district….A Partisan Voter Index score of D+2, for example, means that in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, that district performed an average of two points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole, while an R+4 means the district performed four points more Republican. If a district performed within half a point of the national average in either direction, we assign it a score of EVEN.” Check out how your congressional district leaned by clicking on this link and hovering your mouse over your district.

In his syndicated Washington Post column, E. J. Dionne, Jr. explains why there is growing support for higher taxes on top corporations: “Just how much have corporations shucked off their responsibility for sharing the load? As Steve Rattner, the economic commentator and chartmaker on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” pointed out, corporate taxes accounted for 23 percent of federal revenue in 1966 but just 7 percent in 2019. The previous year, 91 of the Fortune 500 companies paid an effective rate of zero — or less. That wasn’t a typo. Burdening middle-income taxpayers before asking more of corporations would be political and policy malpractice….The downward trend Rattner describes is a product of what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called a “30-year race to the bottom” as globalization and the proliferation of tax havens made it ever easier for corporations to escape taxes. This is why one of the Biden administration’s most important long-term initiatives is its proposal for a uniform minimum corporate tax across national boundaries….In a speech this month advancing the idea, Yellen spoke of every democracy’s need for “stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods.”

At FiveThirtyEight, Ryan P. Burge and Perry Bacon, Jr. share some data regarding public opinion about filibuster reform, which indicate that a majority of Americans [53 percent] favor either ditching the filibuster altogether, or reforming filibuster rules: “Opinions were more mixed on getting rid of the filibuster, as some Democrats are proposing,” Burge and Bacon write: “The Daily Kos/Civiqs survey found 39 percent support getting rid of the filibuster, 14 percent want it reformed but not eliminated, 38 percent want to keep the filibuster and 10 percent are unsure.”  Bacon and Burge did not provide the granular detail, but it’s likely some of that 38 percent believe that bipartisanship is still possible, and/or that the filibuster is a bipartisan tool that both parties can use to prevent wafer-thin majorities from enacting unwise policies, and/or that hefty majorities should be required to pass important legislation. Democrats who want filibuster reform apparently have to do more educational outreach to build public support for it.

Not that there is much chance of any reforms being enacted in the forseeable near future, but “Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. adults surveyed in a new poll said that they believed Supreme Court justices should face term limits and leave the court after a certain amount of time on the bench,” John Bowden writes at The Hill. “The Reuters-Ipsos survey conducted between April 15 and April 16 found that just 22 percent of respondents supported lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices, while 63 percent supported term limits. The remainder of respondents had no opinion or were unsure….While having new faces join the court was important for many Americans, doing it without a vacancy on the court at its current size was not nearly as popular. Just 38 percent said they supported court packing, or expanding the size of the Supreme Court and adding more justices to the bench, while 42 percent opposed such an idea. The remaining 20 percent of respondents were unsure.”

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