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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Kaleigh Rogers and Zoha Qamar explain “How Americans Feel About Republican Governors Sending Migrants To Blue Cities” at FiveThirtyEight: “A poll from The Economist/YouGov fielded in the days after the Martha’s Vineyard flights found that Americans were evenly split over whether or not they approved of Texas and Florida sending undocumented immigrants to northern cities without giving those cities notice: Forty-four percent “somewhat” or “strongly” approved, while 44 percent “somewhat” or “strongly” disapproved (12 percent were not sure). Democrats were more likely to disapprove of the relocation efforts, with 71 percent disapproving, while three-quarters of Republicans approved. A poll from Politico/Morning Consult found that 42 percent of registered voters said it was appropriate that “some Republican governors from states along the U.S.-Mexico border have been sending thousands of migrants to liberal states and cities in the U.S.,” with another 41 percent saying it was inappropriate….Fifty-nine percent of Democrats said it was inappropriate, and 66 percent of Republicans said it was appropriate….And in a separate poll from YouGov, Americans were likewise divided when asked whether they approved or disapproved of Southern Republican governors sending undocumented migrants to Democratic-controlled cities without giving those cities notice….When asked in an August Economist/YouGov poll whether immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship, or whether they should be required to leave the country, Americans were split 44 percent to 41 percent. They were similarly divided in other YouGov data from this week: Thirty-seven percent of Americans said undocumented immigrants were treated “fairly,” and 38 percent said “unfairly.” And in an April survey from Republican pollster Echelon Insights….Thirty percent said immigration should stay at its current level, while 45 percent said it should be decreased and 15 percent said it should be increased….And in an NBC News/Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies survey conducted earlier this month, a majority of registered voters (56 percent) said the Republican Party better handles border security, and a plurality (46 percent) preferred the GOP on immigration.”

From FiveThirtyEight’s “Other Polling Bites“: “A recent Insider/Morning Consult poll found that almost half of Americans (41 percent) thought the age of our political leaders, such as the president and those in Congress and on the Supreme Court, is a major problem, and another 37 percent considered it a minor one — a breakdown that remained fairly consistent across political leanings. Seventy-five percent of Americans were in favor of introducing age maximums for members of Congress, too. Additionally, a majority agreed that a president should “definitely” undergo a physical and mental assessment to take office, with Americans ages 55 to 64 (71 percent) most likely to say so.” And at Forbes, Madeline Halpert reported on September 8, “A clear majority of both Democrats and Republicans think the U.S. should have a maximum age limit for those holding public office—and most believe it should be lower than the ages of both Joe Biden and Donald Trump—according to a CBS poll released Thursday, which also found about half of voters are interested in seeing more young people elected….Republicans and Independents were slightly more likely than Democrats to say there should be age limits: 75% of GOP voters and Independents were in support of a limit, while 71% of Democrats were in favor of a maximum age….Only 27% of all voters said there should be no limits, according to the poll, which surveyed 2,085 U.S. adults from August 29 to 31….About 40% said 70 should be the maximum age to serve as an elected official, while 26% said 60 years old and 18% said 80 years old….About half of U.S. senators are older than 65, according to several reports, despite those 65 years and older only representing 16% of the total American population as of 2020.” These studies don’t tell us which advanced age is a deal-breaker in all circumstances. But they do suggest the age ballpark that would be problematic in a “normal” election, when there is no extremely-corrupt, democracy-threatening opposition candidate. Could Biden win again, despite his relatively advanced age? Maybe, if he runs against the same, but even more damaged candidate again. But these studies do suggest that a healthy political party does a better job of developing its younger leaders than is now the case for Dems. But btw, Trump ain’t no spring chicken.

At Daily Kos, Christopher Reeves has some good questions Democratic campaigns should ask in public forums and media: “Why have Republican candidates not denounced or set themselves apart from Marjorie Taylor Greene, or said they don’t approve of Donald J. Trump’s behavior? While Democratic candidates worry about offending their base a little, Republican candidates are terrified of it. Their own base is so divided that they are not in a position where they feel they can stand against the MAGA members of their own party, and yet, they cannot risk losing the moderate, fiscal Republicans or party-unaffiliated voters who dislike the MAGA message. Now is the time for Democratic campaigns to turn the tables and start demanding: Will you denounce these out of control viewpoints?…If you are going to swing at Republicans, you swing at them right from the beginning on issues you know split their own base. Do they agree with Lauren Boebert? Where do they stand on a national abortion ban? Should people be free to marry whomever they choose? Where does the Republican in the race stand on protecting health care? Where are they on protecting Social Security? At the state level, where is my opponent on honoring elections?….In my own state of Kansas, we still have those who think the 2020 Kansas election was rigged. This in a state where not only is there no proof of that, but Donald J. Trump won the state’s electors fairly easily. Still, some want to go to court and protest….Put the Republican in a position to divide them away from their own base….Republicans yell about “the squad,” but it is well past time we yell back. The further Republicans are forced to define themselves on the issues, the more their own base fractures….When pressed to decide, most simply can’t and act as though they are caught like deer in the headlights. Why? Because they are not certain what they can say without potentially alienating the MAGA voters they have whipped up for years or turning off other voters they need….At every turn possible, force them to make that decision. Force the Republican in the race to choose their friends. To define themselves by their friends. To stand with their friends on issue after issue or to decide to be their own candidate….Force Republicans to own their issues. Lean in as far as you can.”

Kaila Philo reports that “Election Deniers Are Walking Back Their Claims For The General Election” at Talking Points Memo, and writes, “I very much believe it and I think it exists.”….That’s what New Hampshire Senate hopeful Don Bolduc told the New Yorker last October when asked whether he genuinely believed that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump through voter fraud….But when asked again on Fox News this month, the retired Army brigadier general walked back his belief. “I’ve come to the conclusion and I want to be definitive on this,” he said. “The election was not stolen. Elections have consequences and, unfortunately, President Biden is the legitimate president of this country.”…He’s not the first to make the abrupt switch: Former triage nurse and Washington’s Republican Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley used to wear her denialism with pride. Statements like, “The 2020 elections raised serious questions about the integrity of our elections” and “I believe that courts have an obligation to give all evidence of voter fraud a fair hearing” sat pretty on her website until early August when, as Axios reported, they disappeared….There seems to be a growing pattern of Republican congressional candidates smothering their denialism once they hit the general election. Some haven’t even admitted their belief out loud: Colorado Republican congressional candidate Erik Aadland, for example, was exposed as a believer in the Big Lie only when a recording surfaced of a man who seemed to be him expressing his fealty to it.….In fact, similar switcheroos have been on display throughout the country in recent months on another topic — abortion. Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jenning, for example, reeled in his support for an abortion ban after the Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade, a deeply unpopular decision in his state. His opponent, Democratic incumbent Tim Walz, enjoys an 18-point lead, widely seen to be in part a result of his pro-life stance.” In ads, interviews, debates and every opportunity, Democratic campaigns and candidates should make their opponents own their walkbacks. And be sure to refer to certified election results when talking about election deniers, just to remind voters of the legitimacy of the vote count, as opposed to unsubstantiated Republican allegations.

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