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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Axios, Sarah Mucha writes, “Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump….Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda….The push by centrist lawmakers, especially from the suburbs, to keep the conversation away from Trump is frequently derailed by the party’s loudest voices — and their insistence to talk about him at every turn….People don’t want to hear about Donald Trump,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), told Axios. “They’re going to vote because they want to see people get sh-t done.”….”All politics is local,” Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.) tweeted last week. “Whether it’s advocating for the equitable redevelopment of Gwinnett Place Mall, or securing funding for our local trailway system, every day I am working in Congress for our community.” However, “It’s going to be really really hard to distinguish yourself from your national brand,” said Sean McElwee, executive director of Data for Progress, a progressive think tank. “It’s functionally impossible for House members to do.” Mucha adds, “Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg said Democrats need to capitalize on their successes and paint Republicans as extremists….The process of defining the Republicans as unfit will not be about Trump,” he told Axios, but instead about how each Republican has adopted “unacceptable positions.”

Gregory Krieg and Rachel Janfaza argue that “If the Supreme Court curtails abortion rights it could flip the script on the 2022 midterm elections” at CNN Politics: “With the looming possibility of the Supreme Court gutting Roe v. Wade, the future of reproductive rights in America is poised to become a central and potentially defining issue in the upcoming midterm elections….The high court is expected to deliver its ruling on a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks next summer, as campaign season kicks into high gear. At a hearing this week, the bench’s conservative supermajority signaled its intent to uphold the law, going against decades of precedent and likely introducing a volatile new variable in electoral politics….Democratic campaign organizations up and down the ballot, along with allied abortion rights groups, are now ramping up efforts to channel the anger and anguish of pro-choice voters and drive them to the polls. On the federal level, Senate Democrats are stressing the importance of maintaining their majority in order to confirm a new justice in the event President Joe Biden has the opportunity fill a vacated seat. In the states, leading Democrats are warning that Republican victories in legislative and gubernatorial races will lead to another burst of efforts to outlaw or severely curtail abortion rights, in line with the hundreds of restrictions that have been enacted in the last decade — this time without constitutional barriers to slow or stop them….Abortion rights have strong support in a variety of national polling. An ABC News/Washington Post survey from last month found that 60% of Americans say Roe v. Wade should be upheld. Only 27% said it should be overturned.”

David Siders doesn’t buy it, however, as he writes in “Why the threat to Roe may not save Democrats in 2022; “I wish we lived in a world where outrage mattered. But I think we live in a post-outrage world,” said one party strategist” at Politico. Siders explains further, “Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic strategists, pollsters and officials reveal skepticism that the court’s decision will dramatically alter the midterm landscape unless — and perhaps not even then — Roe is completely overturned. Privately, several Democratic strategists have suggested the usefulness of any decision on abortion next year will be limited, and some may advise their clients not to focus on abortion rights at all….Some of that thinking is colored by Virginia’s gubernatorial race earlier this year. After the Supreme Court allowed a law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy to take effect in Texas, the party was so sure abortion would resonate with voters that Democrat Terry McAuliffe made it a centerpiece of his campaign, saying “it will be a huge motivator for individuals to come out and vote.”….By the time ballots were cast, just 8 percent of voters listed abortion as the most important issue facing Virginia, according to exit polls. Even worse for Democrats, of the people who cared most about the issue, a majority voted for the Republican, Glenn Youngkin.” As Julie Roginsky, a former top adviser to New Jersey’s Democratic governor, put it, “Every time we’ve run on issues like women’s health, they have polled through the roof. But … they have been completely ineffective at getting voters to the polls. There’s a difference between something that polls really well, and something that gets voters to the polls. And that is what a lot of people are confusing.” And yet, a substantial majority did vote against Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

One comment on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Maria Ferrera on

    If you think that abortion won’t be an election issue, then you haven’t been talking to millennial women – they are outraged and will turn to vote. Also, if you think that millennial women will cower and turn to back alley abortions, you have no idea the degree of civil disobedience that will take place. The young of women of today are not like the pre Roe women. They are highly educated and savvy. They organize abortion services and use their tech savvy to evade the laws.


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