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January 30, 2007

Dems Search for Iraq Consensus

Terence Samuel takes on the question of the hour in his article in The American Prospect "The Fight We're In: What's the best way for Democrats to force Bush to end the war?" Samuel limns the current debate in the U.S. Senate this way:

The controlling intelligence, based on the political calculus of the moment, holds that the strategic approach is to leverage the president's grim poll numbers and the unpopularity of the war into a non-binding resolution rejecting the surge, which in turn would further isolate the president, perhaps forcing him see the light and change the course of the war. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed such a measure, and next week we are likely see heated debate in the full Senate. (Republicans have threatened to filibuster it.)

But even given open skepticism about whether such a strategy could work on a president who is almost theological in his beliefs about the rightness of his chosen course, Democrats have bet almost all their chips on the congressional repudiation strategy.

Meanwhile, Novak reports that a the effort to craft a Biden-Warner sponsored resolution supported by a super-majority has collapsed on Warner's decision to go it alone. Samuel quotes Senator Carl Levin's rationale for the non-binding resolution:

Don’t underestimate the power of such a vote, says Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, the new chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "You are further isolating the president," says Levin. "The president is on one side and the American people are on the other." The calculation is that squeezing the president politically is a wiser course than ending the war by cutting off the money to pay for it. Most congressional Democrats just don't want to go there.

But others disagree. As Vermont Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders says:

At some point we are going to say, 'We are not going to give you money to fight an endless war.

Sanders may be a minority in so saying, but he is not alone. John Nichols quotes Senator Russ Feingold thusly in his article in The Nation "Exercising Congress’s Constitutional Power to End a War":

Congress holds the power of the purse and if the President continues to advance his failed Iraq policy, we have the responsibility to use that power to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq...I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of our nation's foreign policy.

Sanders and Feingold get some support from a recent Newsweek poll, conducted 1/24-25. Asked "Since the Iraq war began, do you think Congress has been assertive enough in challenging the Bush Administration's conduct of the war, or has not been assertive enough?," 64 percent responded that Congress has not been assertive enough, compared with 27 percent who thought it had. But asked whether Democrats should try to block funding for the surge in a Newsweek poll conducted 1/17-18, respondents were equally divided at 46 percent.

It's hard to imagine a tougher call Senate Dems will have to make between now and the next election. The consensus that finally emerges may well determine whether they hold their Senate majority in '08.

January 29, 2007

Political Internet Use Doubles Since '02

Internet use for political information has doubled since 2002, according to a new Pew Research study (PDF here) conducted 11/8 to 12/4. As Lynn Rainey and John Horrigran report in their article "The Internet Is Creating a New Class of Web-Savvy Political Activists":

The number of Americans who got most of their information about the 2006 campaign on the internet doubled from the most recent mid-term election in 2002 and rivaled the number from the 2004 presidential election...15% of all American adults say the internet was their primary source for campaign news during the election, up from 7% in the mid-term election of 2002 and close to the 18% of Americans who said they relied on the internet during the presidential campaign cycle in 2004.

In addition, 31 percent of respondents --- representing 60 million people -- said they used the internet to get political information in 2006. The study also identifies the type of websites being most frequently visited by political internet users, reporting, for example, that 20 percent read political blogs. Interestingly, the survey of 2,562 adults included 200 respondents who had cell phones only.

For more on political internet users, see EDM's January 20 post below.

January 28, 2007

CQ Posts Early Peek at 2008 Senate Races

Congressional Quarterly has a round-up of ratings for 08 Senate races -- their earliest ever. Of the 33 U.S. Senate seats up in the '08 cycle, 21 are held by Republicans, compared to 12 seats for Dems. The article rates each seat as "safe" Republican/Democrat" (8/6), Democrat/Republican "favored," (4/7) "leans" Democrat/Republican (1/5) and "no clear favorite" (1 each). In other words, the early money says the Senate will remain very close, with a possible net-pick up of 1 for the Dems. Some of those submitting comments to the article disagree, but not by much. The delicate balance that gives Dems their majority remains a continuing concern.

January 26, 2007

Targeting State Houses in '08

Sillylittletwit's article "2008 and State Legislatures" at the Daily Kos has a useful list for targeting state legislative houses Dems can win. The list ranks 23 legislatures according to "percentage gain required for outright Democratic majority":

1 Montana House: 2.0

2 Oklahoma Senate: 2.1

3= Tennessee Senate: 3.0

3= Wisconsin House: 3.0

5 Ohio House: 4.0

6 Texas House: 4.7

7 Nevada Senate: 4.8

8 North Dakota Senate: 6.4

9 New York Senate: 6.5

10= Arizona House: 6.7

10= Missouri House: 6.7

12 Oklahoma House: 6.9

13 Delaware House: 7.3

14 Michigan Senate: 7.9

15 Kentucky Senate: 8.0

16 South Dakota Senate: 8.6

17 South Carolina Senate: 8.7

18 Georgia House: 9.4

19 South Carolina House: 9.7

20= Alaska House: 10.0

20= Alaska Senate: 10.0

20= Pennsylvania Senate: 10.0

20= Virginia Senate: 10.0

An extra investment in candidates who can help to win some of these state houses could give Dems decisive leverage, not only in the legislatures, but also in upcomming congressional redistricting battles.

January 24, 2007

Nurturing the Netroots on the Road to 2008

Dems are riding high on the wake of raves for Sen. Jim Webb's response on behalf of the Dems to The Lame Duck's lamest ever SOTU address. Lest we get too high, however, on the heady wine of the political moment, MyDD's Matt Stoller takes away the punch bowl for a minute in his post "The State of the Progressive Movement." Reflect for a moment on his sobering assessment:

On the eve of the State of the Union, I figured it was time to broach a little something about the state of the progressive movement. The state is fun, but honestly, it's pretty unhealthy.

Here's why.

Though the internet left has raised many millions for candidates, the dirty little secret of progressive activism is that there is literally no support for any of the people who make internet politics work. Many effective activists don't have health care, and scrap along with whatever they can. The right has a well-developed infrastructure, and that's why they tend to win. They take care of their people. We don't, and so our people quit, or leave, or become consultants, etc...We think that supporting the local bloggers that deliver us better and higher quality information than the traditional media and operative class is critical to gaining and holding progressive power.

Amen to that, and plaudits to Stoller and Chris Bowers, who are actually doing something about it through their organization, Blogpac, which is helping activists in financial need, like Lane Hudson, who recently lost his job, reportedly for publicizing the Mark Foley scandal. Blogpac is also credited with pioneering creative internet projects like "Use it or Lose it" and Googlebombing to get coverage for important but neglected election stories. Show 'em some love by clicking here and doing the right thing.

January 23, 2007

Luntz: GOP Tanks Off Message

"How to Speak Republican," Katharine Mieszkowski's Salon interview with Frank Luntz, offers a revealing look at how the GOP's top wordsmith sees their midterm debacle. Asked what he thought were the GOP's "linguistic mistakes" in the '06 campaign, Luntz says:

Earmarks became a public issue and they were silent on it. The bridge to nowhere was a complete disaster for the GOP. Not articulating the sense of accountability with Mark Foley and Duke Cunningham and [Bob] Ney. I think that the language that was tied to the policies of 1994 represented politics at its best, and language tied to the politics of 2006 represented politics at its worst.

Asked for some examples of failed language, Luntz responds:

You tell me. What was the Republican message for 2006? I've asked congressmen, senators. I even asked the people responsible for creating the message for 2006. What was the message for the Republican Party in 2006? Not a single person can give me an answer. None of them. No one at the Republican National Committee, no Republican senator, no Republican House member, no operative, none of the Democrats, can answer it either. Nobody knows. That's the failure. So when you say to me, "Give me an example," I can't. There's no message to criticize because there was no message. It was nothing.

Luntz credits Gingrich for giving the Dems their winning slogan "Had enough?" but says they won more because they got a free ride, thanks to GOP ineptitude. He takes predictable pot shots at the netroots, but sees Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as generally effective communicators. A stickler for oppo research, Luntz says he reads all of George Lakoff's books and spends "half my time" reading Democratic blogs and studying congress in action on the floor. Luntz also has a new book "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear," which probably merits a read by political language junkies of both parties.

Yet, after giving Luntz credit for identifying some key GOP failures in the midterms, absent here is any sense that maybe voters rightly concluded that the occupation of Iraq was a bad idea, based on lies and poorly executed. It's all about communication. Instead of "surge," Luntz believes President Bush would have done better using the euphemisms "reassessment" or "realignment." Thoughtful political communication is important. But at a certain point, using evasive language to describe bad policy is putting lipstick on a pig.

January 20, 2007

So Who Reads Political Blogs?

Just to add a little factual background perspective to the interesting fray on the Netroots and progressives underway at TPM Cafe (featuring TDS's Scott Winship), we recommend The Audience for Political Blogs" New Research on Blog Readership a study published by Joseph Graf at the web pages of The Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. Among the factoids Graf serves up:

The Regular, daily audience for political blogs is fairly small. We estimate in the millions of readers, not tens of millions.

Nine percent of the survey sample looked at political blogs "almost every day"

Nearly two-thirds, 66 percent, of daily readers of political blogs get most of their national and international news from the internet.

The audience for political blogs is highly concentrated among "dozens of blogs, not thousands."

One-third of those who read political blogs every day consider themselves "strong liberals."

The higher traffic political blogs are disproportionately liberal.

Interesting, but no shockers here. The survey had its limitations --- respondents in the sample were 7,683 California registered voters who chose to take an online survey, and it didn't include any insights about developing trends. It would appear that television is still the medium of choice for political information for the time being, given the declining levels of print readership. With the expected merging of television and internet access in millions of homes, it could be a very different picture before too long.

There is mounting evidence that political blogs are finding a more avid audience among opinion leaders and those employed in political work. Henry Copeland reports on recent studies indicating that about 90 percent of "congressional offices" read blogs, and 64 percent of congressional staff readers believe "blogs are more useful than mainstream media for identifying future national political problems and debates." He notes also that "52% of journalists believe blogs have 'some to a great deal' of influence on the way media covers stories."

January 18, 2007

Dem Proposals Respond to 'Surge'

Kagro X has a succinct guide to 11 legislative proposals challenging the Bush/McCain "surge" over at Daily Kos. His wrap-up provides a helpful sense of the range of interesting responses being considered by Dems.

January 15, 2007

Survey on 'Surge" Recalls MLK Challenge

The 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday finds a growing portion of Americans opposed to increasing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. As the first poll of Americans following President Bush's 'surge' address (PDF here) indicates, 66 percent of Americans oppose sending another 20 thousand plus troops to Iraq, while 32 percent are in favor. CNN notes further:

Half the respondents said they "strongly oppose" sending more troops, while 16 percent "moderately oppose." Only 19 percent "strongly favor" sending additional troops, and 13 percent "moderately favor" the idea...With Democrats controlling Congress, Americans show substantially more support for the Democratic Party on the issue of Iraq. Just more than half -- 51 percent -- said they have more confidence in the Iraq policies of the Democrats in Congress, while only 34 percent said they have more confidence in Bush's Iraq policies.

If this rising tide of dissent rings a bell, go back almost 40 years to February 25, 1967, when Dr. King had this to say in his speech "The Casualties of the War in Vietnam":

It's time for all people of conscience to call upon America to return to her true home of brotherhood and peaceful pursuits. We cannot remain silent as our nation engages in one of history's most cruel and senseless wars. America must continue to have, during these days of human travail, a company of creative dissenters. We need them because the thunder of their fearless voices will be the only sound stronger than the blasts of bombs and the clamor of war hysteria.

The entire speech may be read The King Papers Project website.

January 13, 2007

How 'Viral Video' Can Give Dems Edge

For those of us who are a little behind in understanding the use of viral video and other new video tools in politics, Peter Leyden' Blog at NDN provides a good introduction here. Leyden, director of the New Politics Institute, paints an interesting picture of the unfolding communications technology leading up to the 2008 elections:

Emotionally powerful, visually complex video has finally arrived on the internet – and it’s moving fast. Those in politics will need to hustle to keep up with it.

This urgency is particularly important today, because the forty-year reign of broadcast and cable television thirty-second ads is coming to a close. Among other things, the spread of digital video recorders (DVRs) like TiVo allows an increasing chunk of Americans to skip ads altogether. By the 2008 election roughly one-third of all American households will have DVRs, and the percentage of likely voters with them will be even higher.

Understanding video also requires understanding how people are accessing video. NPI Fellow Tim Chambers tells us that “by the 2008 election, more than 90 percent of the mobile phones used in the U.S. will be internet-enabled…by 2011, 24 million U.S. cellular subscribers and customers will be paying for some form of TV/video content and services on their mobile devices.” At that point mobile video services combined would have more than 3 million more users than the largest cable operator in the U.S. does today.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to visualize the potential power of such tools for creating buzz for candidates and campaigns with limited budgets. And it can cut both ways. Leyden notes that George Allen's "macaca moment" was first publicized through "viral video" (wikipedia also has an informative entry on the term here). Leyden introduces the first installment of NPI's new series "Re-Imagining Video" with former Hollywood producer Julie Bergman Sender's more in depth piece on the subject "Viral Video in Politics: Case Studies in Creating Compelling Video" Readers can link to the PDF full report from this summary.

January 9, 2007

Strong Dem Candidates Needed -- Women and Men

Gadflyer Sarah Posner's post "Why, oh Y?" criticizes the notion that the Dems need more macho candidates, recently addressed in Ryan Lizza's New York Times piece "The Invasion of the Alpha Male Democrat." Posner says:

I had a creepy feeling reading Lizza's piece, in part because I hate that silly macho pissing contest, where the Democrats feel they have to work so hard not to look French or worry about their hair (unless they're a woman, in which case they should worry very much about it) and drink Bud instead of latte. But also because I know that if success in Democratic politics depends on a macho test, female politicians will always face the eternal tug between flaunting their toughness while constantly tempering it with a prominent display of estrogen.

While Lizza's article was more reporting on a perceived trend than advocating a candidate recruitment strategy, Posner makes a good point: "Before they go too far down that path, Democrats should avoid overplaying the macho hand."

Who knows? Some candidates may win votes as a result of their macho vibes. But there is no feasable way to accurately evaluate what portion of a victory margin is due to perceived "manliness." In some elections, too much macho could be a liability. Either way, it's guesswork talking, not rigorous poll analysis.

Better Dems should focus on recruiting energetic, articulate and competitive candidates, and last time we checked they came in all genders. We can be fairly confident that Schumer, Van Hollen and Dean, who likely watched MN Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar shred her GOP adversary in Meet the Press and C-SPAN2 debates, get that.

Democrats can be proud of Speaker Pelosi, and that Senator Boxer and other Democratic women in Congress are now taking over the chairs of key Senate and House committees. And newly-elected Dem women are an equally impressive group. However, women are still substantially underrepresented at every level of representative government in the U.S. (See TDM's Nov. 24 post here for the latest percentages). Correcting this shortfall is the more worthy challenge for the party of the people.

January 6, 2007

Western Strategy Gains Cred

Sasha Abramsky's "The Blue-ing of the West" in The Nation makes a compelling case for The Western Strategy as the Dem's best option for '08. The mid-terms improved the Dems' western prospects considerably, as Abramsky explains:

November's election results vindicated this strategy. Building on gains in 2004, Democrats picked up four Congressional and Senate seats in the interior West, bolstered by one the number of governorships they control in the region and increased their presence in statehouses...In 2000 all eight of the interior Western states had Republican governors; today, with Bill Ritter's recent win in Colorado--springing from Senator Ken Salazar's victory in the state in 2004--five of the eight are run by Democrats....Many strategists, who tout more than thirty Electoral College permutations that would allow a Democratic victory based primarily on inroads in the West, believe every Western state but Idaho, Utah and Wyoming could fall to a strong progressive-leaning presidential candidate in 2008.

Further, Abramsky notes:

Such states as Montana are now electing Democratic populists. Moreover, even before November's election, most of the big cities throughout the region, including Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Boise and Missoula, were already run by Democratic mayors, or by mayors elected in nonpartisan races who openly identify with their state Democratic parties.

Abramsky details the Dems' considerable advantage on a host of key issues in western states. He discusses promising proposals to create a western regional primary and hold the '08 convention in Denver, promoting it as a "Rocky Mountain West Convention."

Abramsky makes a convincing argument that the west is the most fertile region for anchoring a well-rooted Democratic majority. But it will require a substantial investment. As DNC spokeswoman Stacie Paxton explains, "In Western states more people are coming our way, but we need to put in the resources to take it over the top and win in these states."

January 5, 2007

Anatomy of Close House Races Revealed

The Congressional Quarterly Staff has a New York Times post, "Fifteen Republicans Squeaked by in 2006, Analysis Shows," which sheds some interesting light on House races Dems lost by less than three percentage points. The article has short run-downs on each of the races, and on the two House races the Dems won by less than three percent. This should be interesting reading for potential challengers for their seats in '08, as well as Dem strategists.

January 4, 2007

Dems' Mandate: Full Speed Ahead With 100 Hour Agenda

Today begins a new era of Democratic control of congress. Much has been said by various pundits about the wisdom of the Dems embracing a more bipartisan spirit than their predecessors. But Digby gets the nod for most eloquent screeds as he makes the case that Dems were instead elected to, gasp, lead.

The Dems ran on a platform to stop the Republican insanity, not to "work with them" and I think those of us in the Democratic base might have noticed if they did that...The people who voted for the Dems are a little less concerned with that right now than ending the war in Iraq, overseeing the executive branch and restoring the constitution. Restoring civility is out of the Democrats' hands --- the Republicans are free to start behaving decently any time they choose. Meanwhile, somebody has to start thinking about the needs of the American people.

And in an earlier post, Digby hammers the point home:

...these past twelve years alone have been characterized by smears, toxic rhetoric, impeachments, abuse of power, stolen elections, power mad governance, corruption and ineptitude...the country just can't take another couple of decades of Republican politics and Republican rule. We have to stop it --- and it won't be stopped if Democrats play nice. The Republican undead never learn their lesson. We must defeat them at the ballot box until they get tired of being defeated and change their ways.

And in another, Digby channels a little Hunter Thompson to seal the deal:

...the best thing for the Dems to do is be quite ruthless out of the box. They can do it with a smile on their faces, but they should do it. The Republicans created these prison rules and the Dems will either survive and be respected or they will continue to be the Republicans' and the media's prison bitches. I'm encouraged so far. The pundits are already heading for the fainting couch.

In other words, Dems need to be all about doing the peoples' business, and we can extend the olive branch of bipartisan civility after the good fight is won.

January 3, 2007

Is Population Growth Red or Blue?

Chris Cillizza gets some grief in the comments section following his argument in WaPo that new census figures showing that 2004 red states are leading in population growth is good news for the GOP. Cillizza's analysis of population trends fails to acknowledge that much of the population growth will come from disproportionate increases in the percentage of African American, Latino and out-state migrants, none of whom are likely to favor the GOP. Some of those commenting on Cillizza's article put it this way:

When looking at the shift in population, it might be wise to consider who is shifting and to where they are shifting. My guess would be that you would find a lot of Democrats shifting from the Northeast to Florida, Georgia, N.C., etc. This will make the 2008 Election much less predictable than usual. (Gail Mountain)

Agree with Gail--this is an extremely specious and vacuous way of looking at these results. As usual, Chris, your republican slip is showing. Always looking for a 'bright spot' for your party. I have a feeling that just the opposite of your analysis is true -- that those who are moving will simply be making red states bluer. (drindl)

Some radically presumptious analysis here!
Who says that the people who are moving to these states will vote republican? In fact recent gains for democrats appear to be from new voters in states that have traditionally been republican. Indeed, this may be REALLY bad news for the republican party! (dONHAH)

Chris,
Please consider a follow-up that factors in ethnic and religion changes.It seems to me that Hispanics and immigrants may be as important as raw population numbers in determining the fate of the GOP.Thanks.(Paul Silver)

It goes on like this for more than 100 comments, providing an instructive lesson in what happens when one uses a static analysis to assess a dynamic situation. What is needed instead, is a more thoughtful analysis -- Where is the growth coming from? Are Republicans reproducing like rabbits on viagra? How much of the Hispanic influx is permanent or transitory? Is the African American "reverse migration" to the south still strong?

Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in southern cities knows that they are thick with northeastern and midwestern expats. Are these folks Republican refugees or a broader cross-section of sun-seekers and those longing for a slower pace of life? Let's discuss.

January 2, 2007

Dems' Future on Line As New Congress Convenes

The Democratic majority takes control of Congress this week for the first time in 12 years, and Lyndsey Layton and Juliet Eilperin have an insightful preview in their WaPo article "Democrats To Start Without GOP Input." Those who favor a strong "take charge" strategy for Dems over a more bipartisan approach will be encouraged. As Eilperin and Layton note:

Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking...instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.

But Speaker Pelosi's spokesman Brendan Daly indicated that the take charge strategy applies primarily to the much publicized "plan for first 100 hours" when the House convenes on Thursday:

Daly said Democrats are still committed to sharing power with the minority down the line. "The test is not the first 100 hours," he said. "The test is the first six months or the first year. We will do what we promised to do....We've talked about these things for more than a year," he said. "The members and the public know what we're voting on. So in the first 100 hours, we're going to pass these bills"

The authors point out that Senate Democrats will implement a more conciliatory strategy, owing to their slender majority.

WaPo has another article of interest regarding the Dems' congressional strategy, E. J. Dionne's "The New Crowd's First Test," in which he makes the case that Dems must pass strong ethics legislation. Noting that the November election was the first time since 1954 that Dems have taken back both houses of Congress, Dionne warns:

This allows the new Democratic majority, in principle at least, to come in with no commitments to doing business as it was done in the immediate past...If Democrats don't seize this rare opportunity, their party will pay for a long time. Not only will they disillusion their own supporters, but, more important, the angry centrists of the Ross Perot stripe who voted the Republicans out last year will either go back to the GOP or seek other options.

More specifically and with respect to ethics reform, Dionne notes:

...any Democrats who think this anti-corruption talk is just a fad should consult a memo written two weeks after November's elections by Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the incoming chairman of the Democratic caucus and the House's shrewdest electoral tactician.

Emanuel counted eight districts the Democrats won largely because of corruption issues. The Democrats, he said, need to be the reformers they said they'd be. "Failing to deliver on this promise," he added, "would be devastating to our standing with the public, and certainly jeopardize some of our marginal seats."

Dems have an unprecedented opportunity to solidify public support, and ethics reform is clearly Job 1.

January 1, 2007

Focus: Swing States and Electoral Votes

In long range terms, true blue Dems should be all about the 50 State Strategy, though we may differ on shorter range strategy options. With this in mind, we kick off the New Year -- and campaign '08 -- with a look at margins of victory in key swing states in '04. Swing State Project's, DavidNYC has a post listing states that voted for Kerry or Bush in '04 by a margin of less than 10 percentage points. The list includes 21 swing states, here broken down into subcategories (- denotes voting margins for Bush):

Squeekers (0 to 1% margin): WI (0.38); IA (-0.67); and NM (-0.79)

Nail-biters (1 to 3% margin): NH (1.37); OH (-2.10); PA (2.50); and NV (-2.59)

Swingers (3 to 5% margin): MI (3.42); MN (3.48); OR (4.16); and CO (4.67)

Winnables (5 to 8% margin): FL (-5.01); NJ (6.68); WA (7.8); MO (-7.2); DE (7.6)

Do-ables (8 to 10% margin): VA (-8.20); HI (8.75); ME (8.99); AR (-9.76;) and CA (9.95);

Any of these 21 states could provide the pivot in a close election. Nail-biters OH and PA merit heightened concern because they rank 6th and tied for 5th, respectively in electoral votes among all states. Winnables FL and NJ also rank among the top ten of all states in electoral votes. The good news is Dems did extremely-well in '06 state-wide races in top ten electoral vote states, and demographic trends generally favor Dems in all of them.

Democratic candidates and campaigners will have to navigate the complex demographics, political geography, polls and candidate profiles of the swing states, with an eye focused on building support among swing constituencies and independent voters. Meanwhile, Dem strategists should read the Swing State article and comment thread, which contains some interesting tips for different states.