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Political Strategy Notes

Kos gives due cred to OWS. "Until Tuesday, Republicans had been lukewarm on extending President Barack Obama's payroll tax cut for workers...In the world where Occupy had never happened, Republicans would've held these tax cuts hostage without suffering any ill repercussions...In this world, Occupy has thrust income inequality to the forefront of the political debate -- so much so that typically immovable Republicans are afraid to feed that narrative. In other words, a ragtag bunch of hippies with supposedly no demands have done what Democrats have never been able to do -- get Republicans to cry 'uncle'."

For an interesting 'down-home' regional take on OWS, read "Tale of a Southern 'Occupy': Nashville aims to bridge political divides" by MSNBC's Miranda Leitsinger. As one Occupy Nashville protester puts it in Leitsinger's article, "This is a place where if people were really going to come together and form that 'purple' (combination of blue and red political affiliations) that everybody lusts for, it's going to probably happen in this camp." Says another, "We kind of pride ourselves on being a common denominator movement."

George LaKoff has a different idea at HuffPo, where he urges OWS to "occupy elections" as the next step for the protest movement: "Whatever Occupiers may think of the Democrats, they can gain power within the Democratic Party and hence in election contests all over America. All they have to do is join Democratic Clubs, stick to their values, speak out very loudly, and work in campaigns for candidates at every level who agree with their values.''

Kyle Trygstad has a Roll Call Politics profile of the highly-regarded veteran Democratic Ad-maker Joe Slade White.

Joanne Boyer has a disturbing post up at OpEd news.com, "Is Your Vote Really Being Counted?," which takes a suspicious look at electronic voting systems in the U.S. Boyer quotes voting technology expert Brad Friedman, who explains, "You now have one person, who with a few keystrokes on a computer can flip the results of an entire election with no possibility of ever being detected. It's just that easy...we've seen scientific studies in state after state show how easy these voting systems are manipulated."

If you've ever wondered what evidence there is that presidential candidate travel has a measurable influence on campaigns, John Sides has the answer at Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight blog.

More bad news for GOP union-busters, and especially the more clueless Republican presidential candidates who have popped off on the topic in NH. As John Nichols reports in The Nation: "On Wednesday, after months of wrangling over the issue, the New Hampshire House of Representatives killed a plan promoted by the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to make New Hampshire a so-called "right-to-work" state. The law was blocked because not just Democrats but almost two dozen Republicans rejected the counsel of presidential candidate Perry -- who addressed the legislature Wednesday morning -- and voted with organized labor and community groups that rallied to defend collective-bargaining rights."

At Polls and Votes, poll analyst Charles Franklin charts the fall and rise of Newt Gingrich in light of his unique 'recognition' factor and "steady progress, rather than a sudden bounce."

At HuffPost Pollster, Mark Blumenthal looks at recent Quinnipiac and YouGov polls to explain why "Newt Gingrich Likely To See Poll Bump Should Herman Cain Exit Race."

I believe this. But I also believe in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

CNN Politics' Jessica Yellin and Ted Metzger take a look "Inside Obama's re-election math" and his campaign in Pennsylvania in particular. There are routes to 270 without the Keystone State, say the authors. But it's hard to see any of them materializing if Obama can't take PA, with it's bellwether demographics.

Lots of buzz out on the internets about Ron Paul's attack ad targeting Newt. But it strikes me as dingy, melodramatic and lacking humor, even from a Republican point of view -- not unlike Paul himself. I think Dems can do much better, when the right time for it comes, which would be after Newt's bull-in-the-china shop act plays out, Romney's coiffure has gotten all frizzed and his party has formed a perfect circular firing squad.