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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Check out “The Fight for Working-Classs Voters,” featuring Ruy Teixeira, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and co-founder and politics editor of the Substack newsletter, The Liberal Patriot and Patrick Ruffini, Republican pollster and founding partner of Echelon Insights, being interviewed by Galen Druke, at 538:

Also at 538, Nathaniel Rakich explains “What the 2023 elections can — and can’t — tell us about 2024” at abcnews.go.com: “In the end, the most predictive of 2023’s elections may be some of the lowest-profile. Nov. 7 saw special elections take place in Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District as well as seven state-legislative districts (although one of those was uncontested). And as we’ve written many times, a party’s overperformance in special elections (using the same methodology as I used for New Jersey and Virginia) has historically been pretty predictive of the House popular vote in the subsequent general election….And those special election results were mixed, though overall they were better for Democrats than for Republicans. Democrats did better than base partisanship in four of the seven races, and the average overperformance on Nov. 7 was D+3….it is special elections all cycle long that have historically proved predictive, not just special elections on odd-year Election Days, and with Nov. 7’s special elections factored in, Democrats are still overperforming base partisanship by an average of 9 points on the year….Instead, take the 2023 elections for what they were: a series of Democratic and liberal victories that were important in their own right. More than 25 million people live in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia and will be directly impacted by the results there. Ohio guaranteed abortion rights to 2.6 million reproductive-age women and legalized marijuana for 8.7 million adults. In Pennsylvania, Democrats notched key wins in judicial and county-level races that will matter for the 2024 presidential race not because of what they portend, but because they will affect how that election is administered logistically and how ballots are counted. These things are the true legacies of the 2023 election.”

You should read “Can Biden and the Democrats Survive Their Divisions on Israel-Palestine? Herewith, some suggestions” by Harold Meyerson at The American Prospect. A Teaser: “Absent the Vietnam War, Hubert Humphrey would probably not have lost the 1968 presidential election to Richard Nixon. In a Biden-Trump contest next year, Israel-Palestine could be one more nail in the Democrats’ coffin. And for all of his depredations and paranoia, Richard Nixon posed a petty threat to American democracy, while Trump poses a massive one….What, then, are Democrats to do? As Michelle Goldberg has outlined in The New York Times, the efforts by Democratic Majority for Israel to recruit candidates to run in primary elections against members of the Squad, and to fund their campaigns with many millions of dollars (a good deal of which comes from Republicans and corporate interests seeking to squash economic progressives) would only widen those rifts and guarantee that many young voters and voters of color—key elements in the Democratic base—would either stay home or vote for protest candidates in next November’s elections….Is there anything that the Biden administration and the Democrats—two groups that, of necessity, we need to consider separately—can do to narrow this yawning chasm?….As to the administration, it needs to get much more serious about prompting a two-state solution than any previous administration has ever been. It needs to condition all aid to Israel on that nation’s agreement to permit the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within a brief period of time. That begins with having the Palestinian Authority govern Gaza and continues with the withdrawal of most, if not all, Israeli settlements from the West Bank. Keep in mind that the current Netanyahu government is in place only because it’s propped up by settler extremists and the ultra-Orthodox, against whose rule most Israelis have been passionately demonstrating throughout much of this year.”

In “The Real Reason Why Biden Shouldn’t Drop Out: A contested Democratic primary with less than a year before the 2024 election would be a mess” Walter Shapiro writes at The New Republic: “….Even if Biden were to accept the truth embedded in the polls, as Harry Truman did when he bowed out in 1952, the subsequent multicandidate scramble for the Democratic nomination would create as many (if not more) political problems as it would solve….It is easy to get caught up in questions of logistics since the filing deadlines have already passed for the Democratic Party’s first two authorized primaries: South Carolina (February 3) and Nevada (February 6). By the end of November, California (March 5) will have closed the books on its primary, and the deadline for Michigan (February 27) is in early December. But barring a divisive contested Democratic convention in Chicago, any Biden delegates chosen in these early states would presumably rally behind the leading candidate in the name of party unity….What about money, which a deep-pocketed presidential candidate once described as “the most reliable friend you can have in American politics”?….a truncated primary season would make it impossible for an out-of-nowhere candidate to have enough time to catch fire in the early states like Pete Buttigieg in 2020 or a former Georgia governor named Jimmy Carter in 1976….If Biden announced on the Monday after Thanksgiving that he would be retiring, it would give 2024 presidential contenders fewer than 100 days to declare their candidacies and define their image before 14 states pick delegates on Super Tuesday, March 5. And 11 other states will be holding Democratic primaries later in March….By my reckoning, Biden made a heedless mistake by not bowing out of the 2024 presidential race last spring, knowing that his age would be a political liability. Such a springtime 2023 decision would have given his Democratic successor ample time to run a winning and hopefully inspiring primary campaign….Instead, Biden chose to defy Father Time. And at this point, Biden—despite his obvious flaws as a candidate—is probably the Democrats’ best option for president against Trump. For in politics, it gets late early. And it is, sadly, too late for a compelling Biden replacement.”

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