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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

At Axios, Erica Pandey writes, “Young Americans who grew up in an age of mass shootings feel anxious about the future — and nearly half say they’ve felt unsafe in the last month, according to a new poll from the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics….Why it matters: Those fears are mobilizing young people to vote in near-record numbers, says John Della Volpe, director of polling at the institute….Case in point: The 2022 midterms saw the second-highest turnout among voters under 30 (27%) in at least the last three decades, NPR notes….“It’s a critical voting bloc,” Della Volpe says….And it continues to tilt the scales in favor of Democratic candidates — whom young people overwhelmingly support….Young voters’ influence “enabled the Democrats to win almost every battleground statewide contest and increase their majority in the U.S. Senate,” Brookings Institution analysts write….By the numbers: A stunning 48% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say they’ve felt unsafe recently, the Harvard poll found (2,069 people; margin of error: ±2.86 points)….21% say they’ve felt unsafe at school. And 40% are concerned about being victims of gun violence or a mass shooting.”…They’re also worried about the state of the economy….The Institute of Politics has tracked striking shifts in young Americans’ views on government over the last decade….In 2013, 35% felt that the government should spend money to reduce poverty. Today, 59% do….29% said the government should act to mitigate climate change — even at the expense of economic growth — in 2013. Today, 50% believe the government should take action….The bottom line: This is a generation that feels besieged, says Della Volpe. And their fear will likely become more and more relevant in politics.”

This should help Biden firm up support from left Democrats. As Julia Mueller reports at The Hill: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday said President Biden, who kicked off his reelection campaign last week, could “win in a landslide” in 2024….Sanders, who ran against Biden in the 2020 race, said it’s “no great secret” that he and the president “have strong differences of opinion,” but stressed that he thinks Biden is the clear choice for voters given the current political backdrop….”We live in a nation where you have a major political party, the Republican Party, where many- not all, but many of their leadership doesn’t even believe in democracy, they maintain the myth that Trump won the last election. They’re trying to keep people from voting. They’re trying to deny women the right to control their own bodies,” Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”…“If you believe in democracy, you want to see more people vote, not fewer people vote, I think the choice is pretty clear. And that choice is Biden,” he said….And if Democrats and the president get stronger on working-class issues and “take on the greed of the insurance companies, drug companies, Wall Street, all the big money interests, and start delivering for working class people,” Sanders said, “I think Biden is going to win in a landslide.” It won’t stop criticism from Biden’s primary opponents. But when the most popular left Democrat  provides a plug like that, some resources can be reallocated to help win a larger share of votes from centrists and moderate voters.

Speaking of taking on the greed of big companies that rip off working-class consumers, in “President Biden Must Appoint More Corporate Skeptics to Federal Courts: Republicans have been blasting right-wing propaganda at the judiciary for 50 years,” Caroline Fredrickson, a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, writes at The American Prospect: “To his credit, President Biden has worked with determination to advance judicial nominees during his presidency. His nominees include 119 Article III judges: one associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 31 judges on the circuit courts of appeal, and 87 on the district courts. He had another 18 nominees awaiting action as of early April. This record is laudable, especially as Biden has excelled in advancing a diverse group of nominees, with two-thirds being women and two-thirds people of color. Moreover, approximately 53 percent of them worked at public-interest, civil rights, or legal aid organizations, according to an analysis done by Demand Justice, a progressive legal advocacy organization….Unfortunately, President Biden’s otherwise commendable record on nominations has one glaring gap: He has advanced few candidates with a background or even apparent disposition to challenge the anti-regulatory economic agenda and fight corporate consolidation, failing even to advance more than a couple of labor lawyers. The administration is currently in overdrive to nominate and confirm nominees before the next election, so now is the time to address this gap. New appointees would be able to reclaim and elevate the textual and historical commitments of antitrust law, which sought to dismantle oligarchy by looking at how corporate consolidation affects workers, small businesses, innovation, and competition, as well as consumers.”

From “Joe Biden’s 2024 Opening Argument: It’s Me or the Abyss” by John Cassidy at The New Yorker, “Biden’s calling card, the one that identifies himself as a Trump-slayer, and an upholder of normality and sanity, remains his biggest advantage going into 2024. He does have others, though. Inside the Democratic Party, he has proved an adroit coalition builder. Much as he’s an old-school, Irish-American politician and many of his closest political advisers are veteran, white operatives who hail from the moderate wing of the Party, he nevertheless recognized long ago that his party’s center of gravity has shifted, and his Administration has sought to bring on board Democrats who are younger, more diverse, and progressive. This approach is already evident in preparations for the 2024 campaign. On Tuesday, Biden also announced that Julie Chávez Rodríguez, a White House official who is the granddaughter of the labor leader Cesar Chavez, will be his campaign manager, and Quentin Fulks, a thirty-three-year-old Black political strategist, who managed Raphael Warnock’s Senate campaign in Georgia, will serve as principal deputy campaign manager….Though Biden didn’t dwell on the details of his policy record in his launch video, he has some substantial achievements to highlight. Under his leadership, the U.S. economy rebounded more quickly from the coronavirus pandemic than many of its competitors, and the unemployment rate is just 3.5 per cent. In the past year, Congress has enacted historic investments in green energy, electric vehicles, and semiconductor-chip manufacturing. As I pointed out last week, these initiatives are already paying off in announcements to build new factories and create new jobs, many of them in purple and red states….Although his job-approval rating is low, it’s not much different than the ratings that Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan had at this point in their first terms. Also, when pollsters ask people for their opinions about him as a person rather than about his job performance, Biden tends to do better. For example, in a recent YouGov/Economist survey, Biden’s personal favorability rating was forty-seven per cent, five points higher than his job-approval rating.”

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