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Political Strategy Notes

It's not easy, being a Mighty Job-Creator, especially when Kevin Drum is on the case, challenging the conservatives' central meme in his Alternet post, "Rich People DON'T Create Jobs: 6 Myths That Have to Be Killed for Our Economy to Live."

John Sides has a reminder at The American Prospect about "More Hype about Political Independents." Sides grouses about a new Third Way report about independents which has "No acknowledgment of the fact that most of them lean toward a party and tend to vote loyally for that party. Or that presidential candidates routinely lose independents but win elections (at least the popular vote). See Jimmy Carter, Al Gore in 2000, and George W. Bush in 2004..."

Alyssa Battistoni's "5 Anti-Environment Policies Republicans Don't Want You To Notice" at Mother Jones should be of interest to Dems looking for an edge with green voters.

Fredreka Schouten of USA TODAY Politics has an update on the Republican war on early voting and the resistance to it. As for the motivation, Schouten makes it clear enough: "Overall, 34% of voters in the 2008 general election cast ballots before Election Day, up from 22.2% four years earlier, according to data from the Associated Press and Edison Research...In Florida, 54% of African-American voters cast their ballots early in the 2008 general election, and blacks made up nearly a third of statewide turnout the Sunday before Election Day, when some black churches organized a "Get Your Souls to the Polls" voter drive..."

This looks like fun, flagged and plugged by Digby.

Give Steve Kornacki's Salon.com post, "When Cooter Took on Newt" a read. Kornacki interviews Ben Jones, a two-term Democratic congressman/Dukes of Hazard actor who whipped Republican Pat Swindall and did battle with Gingrich, and got soundly trounced by redistricting more than anything else. Jones, one of the savvier Newt-watchers calls Gingrich "a great demagogue. He has the ability to fire people up and appeal to the worst in them...I've known presidents of the United States, and foreign potentates, and real big-shot movie producers and actors. Newt is the only one who I thought really considered himself to be an important world figure - a transformative sort of historical figure. I mean, he has that image of himself...If anything is ever going to galvanize the Democratic Party, which is somewhat dispirited at this point, it would be a Newt Gingrich candidacy."

The New Republic staff has a round-up of establishment Republicans dumping on Newt (They forgot to include Peggy Noonan). Call me paranoid, but there is something about the timing of the GOP old guard attacks that smells a little, well, concerted. The assault on Newt has a desperate "save Romney" feel about it. The prudent wing of the GOP is clearly worried.

Nate Silver goes kinda long on "Jon Huntsman's Path to Victory". I don't see it happening (Huntsman doesn't bring enough crazy for the 2011 GOP), but an interesting read nonetheless.

Suzi Parker's "2012 Political Online Ad Tsunami Coming" at US News Politics reports on a new development that could transform political advertising: "CampaignGrid, a Washington-based tech company, has figured out how to hyper-target any website a registered voter visits and drop in political ads aimed directly at the user." They've got a data base of 135 million registered voters, and yes, it's done with cookies.

At The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky ponders "Could Obama Be Headed for a Landslide?" Tomasky cites recent polls showing Obama narrowly beating Gingrich and Romney in SC and leading well outside the margin of error in FL, while Republican Governors of both states are tanking like leaden koi.

Simon Rosenberg of the New Democratic Network also sees cause for Democratic optimism in his post, "A Year Out, The National Landscape Is Changing." As Rosenberg notes, "President Obama is Stronger, Romney Weaker - President Obama is beating Mitt Romney in a direct head to head, 49% to 43%, up from 46%/44% in October. This puts Obama almost at 50, and at the same margin of victory as his landslide victory in 2008...Going deeper into the data there are many examples one can find of unexpected Obama strengths and surprising early Romney weakness. 64 percent say that Obama has performed better or just about as expected. On basic favorability, his number is net positive, 45/40. In all the measures about favorability and enthusiasm, Romney fares much worse than President Obama..."