washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Brookings, William A . Galston probes a question of growing concern, “Are Hispanics leaving the Democratic Party?,” and writes that “a just-released poll of likely voters suggests that Texas Hispanics could be breaking away from the Democratic Party in droves….The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, found that incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott leads Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke by 7 points. No surprise there; Abbott is an incumbent in a very Republican state. But here’s a real surprise: the Hispanic vote is divided almost evenly between O’Rourke (49%) and Abbott (48%)….By a wide margin, likely Hispanic voters named the situation at the Texas-Mexico border as their top concern. Many Democratic pundits would regard this focus as an encouraging sign. But when asked who could better handle the border issue, 53% named Abbott, compared to 44% for O’Rourke—a nine-point gap. And despite the national uproar over transporting migrants entering the United States in Texas and Florida to states far removed from the border, a strong minority of Texas Hispanics—48% supported Gov. Abbott’s policy, compared to 51% who opposed it….To be sure, these voters have a nuanced view of the choice they face. For example, on what for them is the second-most important issue—abortion—they disapprove of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade by 61 to 35%, and they trust O’Rourke over Abbott to handle this issue by a 15-point margin, 54 to 39%. But if the Quinnipiac survey is correct, their doubts about O’Rourke’s approach to the border more than counterbalanced their concerns about abortion….Relying on a single poll is always risky, and this one is no exception. For example, another recent survey of likely voters by a Texas television chain and the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation gave Abbott a 7-point lead overall (the same as the Quinnipiac poll), but in that poll O’Rourke led among Hispanics by 14 points, 53 to 39%….In the 2018 gubernatorial race, Gov. Abbott received only 35% of the Hispanic vote. In the 2020 presidential contest, Donald Trump received 41% of this vote, up from 34% in 2016. If Abbott can improve on these results in November, Texas will likely be out of the Democrats’ reach indefinitely, and Democrats will have more cause for concern about an essential building block of what they hoped would be their new majority.”

Charlie Cook explains why “The Midterms May Come Down to the Last Gust of Political Wind” at The Cook Political Report: “A hallmark of midterm elections is that those in or leaning toward the party of a sitting president are lethargic, complacent, or at least a little disappointed, and less likely to vote in the general election. True to form, that is the situation Democrats had going into this past summer. Republicans were just more motivated. That gap closed during the second half of the summer and into September. Indeed, the Fox News poll released this week shows Democrats now just as motivated as Republicans….The extreme partisan polarization in recent years has yielded fewer “true independents,” ones who do not identify with or even lean toward either party, and fewer people voting split tickets….Why so many people offer such confident predictions about the Senate continues to baffle me. The possibility of a 50-50 Senate in the 118th Congress is very real, quite possibly the single most likely outcome….candidate quality matters so much more in the Senate than the House, the far more sensitive barometer of the national political climate….In the House, it is my inclination to defer to David Wasserman, senior editor for The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, a House race expert without peer. By David’s count, there are 162 seats in the Solid Democratic column, 26 more that are Likely Democrat, and 28 listed as Lean Democrat, for a total of 193 seats where they have an edge. Conversely, 188 seats are in the Solid Republican category, 12 more are Likely Republican, and 11 Lean Republican, totaling 211 seats where they seem to have the upper hand. It is the 31 seats in the Toss Up column where most of the action is….To hold onto the barest majority possible, 218 seats, Democrats have to win 25 (81 percent) out of the 31 Toss Ups, while Republicans need to win just seven (23 percent) of the 31. If Democrats win every Toss Up race, they would end up with a net gain of one seat, a total of 223. If Republicans win every Toss Up, they would have a net gain of 29 seats. So constructing a bell curve would put the tails around one seat up for Democrats to 29 seats for Republicans, up to 242 seats. Although it is fairly rare for a party to win all of the Toss Ups, keep in mind that in 2020, when the Blue Wave turned into the Dead Sea in the final week, the GOP did just that.”

Chris Cillizza spotlights “The trick Republicans are using to justify supporting election deniers” at CNN Politics. Cillizza argues that Republicans are pretending that a great many of their fellow Republican candidates who are election deniers should be excused because, well, that’s just one of their policies. Cillizza cites a couple of examples, including VA Gov. Glenn Youngkin supporting election denier Kari Lake for Governor of Arizona and NH Gov. Sununu’s endorsement of election denier Don Bolduc for Senate: “Although he and Bolduc have had their differences – Bolduc has called Sununu a “Chinese communist sympathizer” and a “globalist world-government guy,” while Sununu has called Bolduc a “conspiracy theory extremist” – Sununu is now supporting him out of a sense, it seems, of party loyalty. Yeah, they don’t see the world exactly the same way, but they’re both Republicans, so it just makes sense that Sununu would support Bolduc….But there’s an elision of logic inherent in that compromise that is dangerous….One of them believes – or is at least willing to keep open the option – that, contrary to all of the evidence, that there was fraud in the 2020 election. This isn’t a policy disagreement. This is about the very bones of our democracy, the notion that we hold free and fair elections – whether or not the candidate you supported winds up winning….Again, this isn’t just a disagreement over some policy plank. The issue here is whether the 2020 election was free and fair. You can’t just yada-yada the notion that someone you are endorsing for high office actually believes that the last election was stolen!…By casting election denialism as just another policy position, the likes of Youngkin and Sununu – both of whom have national ambitions of their own – are trying to put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. If you don’t believe in the fundamental tenets of democracy that have been followed since the founding of the country, all the other stuff doesn’t really matter.”

From “C’mon, Democrats. Tout Your Economic Record: Despite inflation, they have a great story to tell about the Biden administration’s record. Here are three economic talking points, free of charge” by Robert J. Shapiro at The Washington Monthly: “Drawing on the fact-free politics of Donald Trump, Republicans are selling the meme that Americans are much worse off economically under President Joe Biden and the Democrats. That is demonstrably untrue. But the Democrats’ main response has been to mumble an apology for the inflation they didn’t cause—and then try to change the subject….That approach won’t work, because every national election is a platform for voters to express their disappointment or satisfaction with the economy. And this year, the economic facts on jobs, wealth, and incomes largely favor Democrats. So let’s distill them into three talking points for Democratic candidates to recite over and over again for the next three weeks.” Shapiro then shares a few stats that Democratic campaigns should echo, including: “Here’s the first talking point: Over the 21 months that Biden and Democrats have run Washington, the economy has created a record 10 million new jobs. That’s a monthly average of 476,200 new jobs, or 300,000 more per month, than during the first 21 months when Trump and Republicans were in charge in 2017 and 2018….Here is the next economic talking point: Under Biden and a Democratic Congress, Americans at every income level are wealthier today, with lower-, moderate-, and middle-income households making the most significant gains….we found that Americans’ average wage and salary income rose from $68,943 to $73,988 [un Der Biden]. That’s an increase of $5,045 per working person, or 7.3 percent….Democrats, here’s a third talking point on the economy: Under Biden, on average, people’s wages and salaries rose more than $5,000. While inflation has modestly outpaced that increase, more importantly, increases in most people’s assets are more than 50 times that shortfall. And on top of that, 10 million more people have jobs….It’s no secret that most Americans find economic facts and analysis boring, apparently including the operatives writing speeches and ads for this year’s candidates. But voters care about their jobs, paychecks, and wealth. Democrats, wake up—your record is a strong case for keeping you in charge. It’s time to let the voters know.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.