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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Some “key points” from “Forecasting the 2022 Midterm Election with the Generic Ballot” by Alan I. Abramowitz at Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “National House generic ballot polling can be a useful tool in projecting the overall results of House and Senate elections….The president’s party often loses ground in midterms, but the magnitude of those losses varies greatly depending on the national political environment and the seats held by each party prior to the election….A model using the generic ballot and seat exposure shows that a single digit lead on the generic ballot would give Democrats a good chance to keep control of the Senate. Given the expected impact of redistricting, however, Democrats probably need a larger lead to keep control of the House.” Abramowitz notes, “If we assume that redistricting will be worth an additional 10 House seats to the GOP, Democrats would likely need a lead of at least 10 points on the generic ballot in order to maintain control of the lower chamber….Because of the large impact of seat exposure in Senate elections, even a small advantage on the generic ballot would give Democrats a good chance to keep control of the upper chamber. However, our forecast does not take into account the specific seats that are on the ballot in 2022, only the numbers of Democratic and Republican seats. In addition, as mentioned earlier, the margin of error for the Senate model is relatively large, leaving room for a range of possible outcomes from a GOP gain of two-to-three seats to a Democratic gain of four-to-five seats. As with the House, the margin of control in the next Senate is likely to be very narrow.”

Amy Walter argues “Liberals Are Attacking Joe Manchin. That’s Good News for the DSCC” at The Cook Political Report: “Black, Hispanic, college-educated, young, urban and professional voters all represent a much smaller share of the electorate in West Virginia than just about anywhere else. White voters without a four-year degree, Donald Trump’s demographic base, made up 69 percent of voters there in 2020, according to census data, the highest in the country.”…For those who are looking for a deep dive into what makes Manchin tick, I highly recommend listening to New York Times political reporter Jonathan Martin’s expert analysis  on a recent episode of the New York Time’s podcast The Daily…..But, while liberals train their fire at Manchin, swing state Democrats up in 2022 are able to fly under the radar on the issue. Manchin is serving as a political ‘heat shield,’ protecting Senate Democrats like Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire), Mark Kelly (Arizona) and Catherine Cortez Mastro (Nevada) from having to be the ‘deciding vote’ on eliminating the legislative tactic.”

Also at The Cook Political Report, Charlie Cook writes: “A new study conducted jointly for Third Way, the Collective PAC, and the Latino Victory Fund, and first reported by The New York Times on Sunday, issued a half dozen key findings. First, wrote the authors, Democratic strategists Marlon Marshall and Lynda Tran, “voters of color are persuadable voters who need to be convinced.” Second, Republican attempts to brand Democrats as “radicals” worked. Third, “polling was a huge problem—even after 2016 adjustments.” Fourth, “COVID-19 affected everything.” Fifth, “year round organizing worked, as did cross-party collaboration.” Sixth and finally, “our hopes for 2020 were just too high.”….Blame polling if you must, but the reality is that a lot of Democratic and liberal donors and activists often use their glands more than their brains. Their hatred for Sen. Mitch McConnell pushed them to spend an enormous amount of money in Kentucky on a candidate who was never likely to win. At the end of the day, Kentucky is still Kentucky. Similarly, while Jaime Harrison proved to be a great Senate candidate in South Carolina, it still didn’t change the fact that only South Carolinians would be voting. Harrison could take solace only from beating the proverbial point spread, which is more than Democrats could say in states like Montana and Kansas….It is a thought-provoking report that is worth a read by campaign junkies on both sides.”

In “Democracy Is Already Dying in the States: Republicans around the country are proving Joe Manchin wrong” at The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein documents the overwhelming case that Republicans have unilaterally spearheaded the voter suppression campaign in the states. Brownstein shares new data from “an analysis of state voting records provided exclusively to The Atlantic by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU,” and observes, “Manchin has been vague and elusive on why bipartisanship should be the standard for voting laws in Washington when it’s clearly not the rule in the states, or why he believes that congressional Republicans will agree to undo the partisan advantages their state counterparts are pushing into law. (His office did not respond to a request for comment on those questions.) Privately, other Democrats and voting-rights advocates have debated whether he is being naive or disingenuous in insisting that a critical mass of Senate Republicans will ultimately vote to protect voting rights. The new Brennan data, by so starkly documenting the partisan nature of the offensive against voter access under way in the states, may point the needle further toward disingenuous as the explanation if Manchin remains adamant in his refusal to act without Republican consent.”

2 comments on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Maria Ferrera on

    I’m going to keep saying this until I’m blue in the face. Gerrymandering will not be easy this time around. The assumptions for voting patterns will be critical – do the suburbs continue their blue tilt? Will college educated voters continue to support the democrats? Will white non college voters show up without Trump on the ticket? I do analytics for living and it’s going to take some powerful optimization models to do this. And all the assumptions will need to be right.

    Reply

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