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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

AP’s Rebecca Santana and Amelia Thomson Deveaux write that “Americans are more worried about legal immigrants committing crimes in the U.S. than they were a few years ago, a change driven largely by increased concern among Republicans, while Democrats continue to see a broad range of benefits from immigration, a new poll shows….The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that substantial shares of U.S. adults believe that immigrants contribute to the country’s economic growth, and offer important contributions to American culture. But when it comes to legal immigrants, U.S. adults see fewer major benefits than they did in the past, and more major risks….About 4 in 10 Americans say that when immigrants come to the U.S. legally, it’s a major benefit for American companies to get the expertise of skilled workers in fields like science and technology. A similar share (38%) also say that legal immigrants contribute a major benefit by enriching American culture and values.” However, “Both those figures were down compared with 2017, when 59% of Americans said skilled immigrant workers who enter the country legally were a major benefit, and half said legal immigrants contribute a major benefit by enriching American culture….Meanwhile, the share of Americans who say that there’s a major risk that legal immigrants will commit crimes in the U.S. has increased, going from 19% in 2017 to 32% in the new poll….There is some bipartisan agreement about how immigration at the border between the U.S. and Mexico should be addressed. The most popular option asked about is hiring more Border Patrol agents, which is supported by about 8 in 10 Republicans and about half of Democrats. Hiring more immigration judges and court personnel is also favored among majorities of both parties….About half of Americans support reducing the number of immigrants who are allowed to seek asylum in the U.S. when they arrive at the border, but there’s a much bigger partisan divide there, with more Republicans than Democrats favoring this strategy. Building a wall — former President Donald Trump’s signature policy goal — is the least popular and most polarizing option of the four asked about. About 4 in 10 favor building a wall, including 77% of Republicans but just 12% of Democrats.”

“The Florida governor’s draconian six-week abortion ban – which he pushed as part of his presidential run, thinking he could out-extreme Trump and the other GOP candidates – got the green light from the Florida Supreme Court on Monday,” Rex Huppke writes at USA Today. “It will go into effect in 30 days, with the state’s previous 15-week abortion ban kicking in until then….That’s horrific, but the state’s high court also ruled that an amendment protecting abortion rights will be on the Florida ballot in November, giving voters a chance to strike down DeSantis’ ban and, if past elections are any evidence, driving voter turnout considerably….For Floridians, a six-week ban is essentially a complete ban on abortion, as most people don’t even know they’re pregnant before six weeks. It will also further limit abortion access in the South….Lauren Brenzel, the campaign director for Floridians Protecting Freedom, which fought to get the abortion amendment on the state’s 2024 ballot, told The Washington Post: “There is nowhere in the Southeast that can absorb Florida’s patient base. It’s simply not possible. That is simply an unmanageable volume of patients to try to offset to another state.”….To summarize voters’ views on the issue, I’ll quote from this Fox News report published last week: “Nearly two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a record number of voters think abortion should be legal, with two-thirds favoring nationwide law guaranteeing access, according to a Fox News national survey.”….The poll found 59% of voters think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And 54% oppose a 15-week federal abortion ban, with far more opposing more restrictive legislation.”

In “Florida’s abortion fight is headed to voters after court allows for a 6-week ban,” Regan McCarthy explains at NPR.org that “the court okayed ballot language for a proposed amendment that gives voters in November the choice of whether to explicitly protect abortion access in the state constitution….There are a lot of factors impacting the fate of Democrats in Florida, says Daniel Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida. For example, more Republicans are now registered in Florida than Democrats. But he thinks the abortion issue, combined with a recreational marijuana initiative that will also be on the ballot in November, give Democrats and President Biden a “glimmer of hope in Florida.”….”Ballot measures can mobilize people to the polls who might not normally come out,” Smith says. “But they can also persuade people.”….The key language in the proposed amendment reads, “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.” It includes one exception, for parental notification when minors seek an abortion — a stipulation already in the state constitution….The proposed amendment, known as Amendment Four, could reverse the six-week ban. If it passes in November, {campaign director for Floridians Protecting Freedom Lauren] Brenzel says it will go into effect in January of next year. To pass, it needs approval from at least 60% of the voters who turn out at the polls. More than one million people signed petitions to get the proposed amendment on the ballot, and Brenzel says the next step will require even broader support….Abortion access advocates are planning to kick off their “Yes on 4″ campaign next weekend in Orlando.”

From “Biden’s campaign says he can win Florida, after abortion ruling” by Doina Chiacu at Reuters: “President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign team said it believes he can win in Florida this year after the state Supreme Court cleared the way for a Republican-backed law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy….Republican candidate Donald Trump won Florida in both the 2016 and 2020 elections but Biden’s team said it believes that opposition to tight abortion restrictions have put the Southeastern state back in play….It is not clear how far the issue will go in helping Biden in Florida, a state of 22 million people, in November’s presidential election….Florida has skewed Republican in recent years. Barack Obama the last Democratic presidential candidate to win the state, in 2012….A compilation of local opinion polls by 538towin, the election data website, shows former President Trump with a substantial lead in Florida….An ad released on Tuesday features a video clip of Trump boasting about helping to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, by appointing three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court….Florida has a hefty 30 Electoral College votes and for a long time was a highly coveted battleground state….But Republicans have pulled away from Democrats there in recent years. Trump won Florida in 2020 with 51.2% of the vote compared with Biden’s 47.9%. In 2022, Republican Ron DeSantis won the governors race in a landslide, with 59.4% of the vote.”

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