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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Super Tuesday’s Good News for Dems

Outside of President Biden’s sweep of states in which he was on the ballot, probably the best Super Tuesday news for Democrats came from North Carolina, where a deeply-flawed Republican won his party’s nomination for Governor. As Aaron Blake explains at WaPo, “In what may be the nation’s marquee governor’s race, the GOP overwhelmingly nominated Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. Robinson’s past statements make some of these flawed candidates look like mainstream Republicans. He has:

  • attacked school shooting victims and questioned whether the Las Vegas massacre was real.
  • suggested 9/11 might have been an inside job and that the moon landing might have been faked.
  • repeatedly employed antisemitic tropes.
  • suggested Black Americans should pay reparations rather than receive them.
  • repeatedly derided women in offensive terms — and much, much more.”

If N.C. Democrats can’t hold the Governor’s mansion, they might replace Florida’s Dems as the least effective mega-state party in the U.S.

Texas Dems also have reason to be optimistic, having nominated the mediagenic Colin Allred to take on Ted Cruz, who may be the most vulnerable Republican U. S. Senator of the ballot in November. As Eric Bradner notes at CNN Politics, “But Texas, along with Florida, might represent Democrats’ best chance of going on offense under the 2024 Senate map….Allred, a former NFL player who first won his Dallas-area seat by ousting a Republican incumbent in a hard-fought 2018 race, has focused on health care — including his support for the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights. Allred is also a prolific fundraiser, outraising Cruz $4.8 million to $3.4 million in 2023’s fourth quarter and ending the year with $10.1 million in the bank to Cruz’s $6.2 million.” Allred’s toughest challenge may be navigating the gun safety issue, which is especially difficult in Texas. So far, he has played a competent hand. Having just beaten a much-respected Latino progressive Roland Guttierrez, Allred must also strive to unify his party.

With 12-term congressman Rep. Adam’s Schiff’s primary victory in the U.S. senate race, California Democrats will probably hold the Senate seat vacated by the death of Dianne Feinstein and now held by seat-warmer Laphonza Butler. Republican Steve Garvey, who has equivocated regarding his support for Trump, did finish ahead of Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee, but Schiff’s victory bodes well for Democrats, “in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2-1.” Schiff is also a formidable debater and a hefty majority of those who voted for Porter and Lee will likely cast ballots for Schiff in the Fall. But he has to reach out to Lee and Porter to help heal lingering scars and get the full benefit of their active support.

Trump’s predictable romp in every state but Vermont, which Nikki Haley won, is tempered by the quickening pace of his legal problems. Barring a major economic downturn, widespread discontent of ‘never-trump” Republicans should work to President Biden’s advantage in the months ahead. A statistically-significant share of traditional Republican conservatives will likely vote for President Biden and many others will simply not vote at all. President Biden’s job one in the months ahead is to minimize the percentage of Democratic voters who stay at home or vote for third party candidates. That project merits a dedicated campaign task force. He must also make sure his campaign prepares and broadcasts video clips and ads that demonstrate his energy and lucidity on priority issues — alongside video that shows Trump bragging about his destroying reproductive freedom, and showcasing Trump’s disjointed gaffes. If President Biden can pull this off, it should help down ballot Democratic candidates do well. An eloquent SOTU on Thursday, punctuated with vision and vigor, would be a good start.

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