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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

“The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization transformed the politics of abortion, turning an issue that once mattered mostly to conservative Christians into a powerful voting issue on the left,” Amelia Thomson-Deveaux writes at FiveThirty Eight. “But new polling suggests that the decision could also be reshaping the way abortion-rights supporters think about the issue — specifically, whether abortion is something that should be regulated by the government at all….A new and intriguing finding from PerryUndem, a nonpartisan research firm, suggests that a significant chunk of abortion-rights supporters may now oppose anygovernment restrictions on abortion — even limits on later abortion that were largely uncontroversial before Dobbs. The researchers asked 4,037 registered voters if they supported a constitutional amendment establishing reproductive freedom. Half of the sample read an amendment identical to the ballot measure that passed in Michigan in 2022; the other half read the same amendment except the researchers removed language that allowed the state to regulate abortion after viability, or when a fetus can live outside a woman’s body….PerryUndem found that respondents who received the version of the ballot measure with no government regulations included were 15 percentage points more likely to say they would “definitely” vote for it: Forty-five percent said they would “definitely vote yes” on the version with no restrictions, while 30 percent said they would “definitely vote yes” on the version with a viability restriction. The results were particularly pronounced among Democrats and women of reproductive age (ages 18 to 44), who were much more likely to support the version of the amendment without restrictions….While just one initial finding, this survey lines up with other public opinion research suggesting that over the past few years, a subset of Americans have gotten more supportive of unrestricted abortion in the late second and early third trimester of pregnancy. That’s a big shift from just a short time ago, when pressing to expand viability limits was a political lightning rod for Democratic politicians in states like New York and Virginia. And if that shift turns out to be real, it may create new opportunities — and new challenges — for abortion-rights supporters who are pushing for ballot measures like the one that passed in Michigan last year.”

In his post, “Donald Trump Is Running to Stay Out of Prison. Say It, Democrats!,” at The New Republic’s ‘Soapbox,’ Editor Michael Tomasky writes: “As we anticipate the third and fourth indictments of Donald Trump, both of which look like they might land before school starts, I am reminded that presidents all think about their place in history. George Washington did—he was careful, for example, not to do certain things that would carry the whiff of monarchical ambition. He eschewed a third term that he could easily have won because he knew that he was setting the precedent for all who would follow him….But let’s be clear about Trump’s main motivation. Yeah, he wants to be president. He wants to corrupt and destroy democracy, bask in the radioactive glow of his sycophants’ blubbery praise over his perfect phone calls to Putin, start the mother of all culture wars, and all that. But mostly: He wants to stay out of prison….As we know, it is official Justice Department policy that sitting presidents can’t be prosecuted. So for Trump, being president for the next four years would in essence wipe these indictments off the books. As for criminal trials that started before he was sworn in on January 20, 2025, should he win? Easy peasy. He can pardon himself. Come on. You think he wouldn’t do it? You think he couldn’t count on the right-wing media to endorse it as no big whoop and look at those stupid fulminating libtards, along with a chorus of right-wing, Leonard Leo–anointed constitutional “scholars” to explain why it’s all fine?”

From “Biden looks to put North Carolina on ’24 map: Without the Tar Heel state, Democrats say, Republicans don’t have a path to the White House” by Myah Ward at Politico: “Biden lost the Tar Heel state to Donald Trump by just 1.4 percentage pointsin 2020, and a Democrat at the top of the ticket hasn’t managed to turn North Carolina blue since Barack Obama did in 2008. Now Biden’s team sees opportunity in 2024 amid a fresh abortion ban, a contentious, expensive gubernatorial race and steady population growth that has ballooned urban and suburban areas….State and local party leaders are pointing to North Carolina as the next Arizona or Georgia for Democrats. They’re calling on the Biden campaign and DNC to invest heavily in the state because without it, they say, Republicans don’t have a path to the White House….“I think the road to reelection will run through North Carolina this time. And we’re encouraged by the [Biden] campaign’s early commitment to our state,” said Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, a member of the president’s national advisory board. “It’s pretty clear that they have decided that North Carolina is going to be one of their targeted states … I told the president that this investment is going to be critical to his reelection, and that I believe we can win this state for him.”….The Biden campaign came out early in May with a strategy memo outlining its 2024 path to victory, including its plans to target the Tar Heel state. The DNC and campaign have already run ads in North Carolina this cycle, including on television and on two billboards in Charlotte and Rocky Mount highlighting Biden’s economic agenda.”

At Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Mike Lux responds to “deliverism” — the notion that “if Democrats deliver genuine, tangible benefits to working-class and poor people, they will win more elections.” In his article, “Bidenomics, Storytelling, and Community,” Lux writes: “Democrats will have to overcome long-term cynicism and bitterness about the decline in economic fortunes for the two-thirds of voters without a college degree (as well as a whole lot of people with college degrees). And the Republican spin machine that vilifies not only Democrats but any government effort to lift up regular folks won’t be easy to overcome either. But the combination of Biden’s economic policy wins and a successful reframing of the trickle-down versus Bidenomics debate gives Democrats their best opportunity in a long time to begin to win the hearts and minds of working-class voters….Writers Matt Stoller and David Dayen coined the term “deliverism,” which argues that if Democrats deliver genuine, tangible benefits to working-class and poor people, they will win more elections. Stoller and Dayen have plenty of cautions and caveats to that formula—especially that policies need to be more far-reaching than most legislative measures for voters to notice—but the fundamental idea of deliverism is a critical one that the Biden team is counting on….I would add that part of our challenge is to expand progressive media, especially at the local level, and that our organizing needs to include community building to address the isolation voters are feeling….Passing big policy changes is not the only thing we have to do, but it is the first big thing we have to do. The path to electoral success still has to have at its center the enactment of policies that truly and deeply improve working-class voters’ lives….This isn’t either/or. We need good progressive policies, but we also need deeper organizing, better storytelling, more innovative ways of getting the story out, and a long-term vision of a better society for working families….Over the long run, a decade of fully flowered Bidenomics—where we build on the good things that were passed in 2021-22 and add important components like child care, affordable housing, a higher minimum wage, and a permanent expanded child tax credit—gives us an opportunity to change the dynamics. If we combine these policies with deep organizing, good storytelling, and innovative ways of delivering the story, we will have real potential to break loose big chunks of working-class voters. Democrats could start to consistently compete again in states like Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, and more of the South, as well as winning in more of rural America….An America where progressive policy wins make a better life possible for most people will restore our democracy for the long term, and make the Democratic Party the party of working people again.”

One comment on “Political Strategy Notes

  1. Victor on

    It makes sense that after seeing the effects of legislative bans on abortion on medically necessary late term abortion that a lot of people would feel that legislatures should have no role on deciding when abortion should be allowed. The more restrictive ballot language opens the door to proposals like medical panels, bureaucratic reviews and ex post facto criminalization of patients and providers.

    So from a policy perspective it seems indispensable to turn abortion into an individual right with no caveats. Communications campaigns must be able to explain this to fence sitters.


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