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Political Strategy Notes

Down 15 points to Santorum in Michigan in a PPP poll, Romney could ill afford to write an op-ed in the Detroit News blasting the federal rescue of Big Auto and calling himself a "son of Detroit." But that's exactly what he did. As former Governor Jennifer Granholm put it, "He opposed the rescue package for the automakers...Mitt Romney turned his back on Michigan. I would say he stabbed us in the back during our darkest hour and we're not going to forget."

Or, as The Economist puts it in its 'Democracy in America' blog: "ONE of Mitt Romney's problems is that he lays it on too thick. He's not just a conservative, he's a "severe conservative". He feels your pain because he too is "unemployed". And he understands America's car industry because he's a Tigers-cheering motorhead, a true "son of Detroit"...The candidate was born in Detroit, though he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, one of America's wealthiest cities. He probably cheered for the Tigers as a kid, but his position has since evolved. And cars may really be "in my bones", as he claims, but he advocated letting Detroit go bankrupt in 2008...Free-marketeers that we are, The Economist agreed with Mr Romney at the time. But we later apologised for that position..."

Santorum up 7 over Romney in a big, bad bellwhether Ohio. But Romney does better than Santorum with RV's in a head to head with Obama. Go figure.

In collaboration with Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Mi Familia Vota, the League of United Latin American Citizens announces "strategies to increase the Latino voter registration and turnout; as well as the efforts to defend the rights of Latino voters across the country" and noting that "the Hispanic turnout is expected to be 26% greater than it was in 2008."

A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates enthusiasm among Republican voters is tanking --- a 13-percent decline since October, according to Catalina Camia's article "CNN poll: Republicans losing fire for election" in USA Today On Politics.

Paul Begala writes in The Daily Beast about Bruce Springsteen's new single "We Take Care of Our Own," in which "the Boss is at his blue-collar best," singing "We take care of our own/Wherever this flag's flown." Begala also has a plug for Jonathan Alterman's new book, "The Cause": Begala calls it "an important analysis of postwar American liberalism," featuring a chapter on Springsteen and his vision of America, "one in which working men and women were imbued with dignity, even heroism, where gays were embraced as brothers and sisters, where blacks and whites worked and played together, and where 'nobody wins unless everybody wins." Begala adds, "Something's happening here. From the Boss to Dirty Harry, our leading cultural indicators are foretelling a gritty, gutsy, all-American comeback. If the president is lucky, it will accelerate during Springsteen's upcoming concert tour, build through the Olympics, gain steam during the political conventions, and crescendo in November."

Nate Silver's "Why Obama Will Embrace the 99 Percent" in the New York Times Magazine makes an interesting case that Obama's new populist themes could serve him particularly well in key swing states, if he picks up 10 percentage points among white voters earning less than $50K: "All told, there are 101 electoral votes in swing states that Obama could either put into play or make more secure under the populist paradigm -- well more than the 36 he might lose among Virginia, Colorado and New Jersey...The reason for the imbalance is that most wealthy whites do not live in swing states but in enclaves that the sociologist Charles Murray calls SuperZIPs. Most of these are in states like New York, California, Maryland and Massachusetts that are very far from being competitive. "

At The American Prospect, John Sides argues in "Zombie Politics" that the only significant trend of white workers tilting to vote Republican is in the southern states.

Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, sounds the charge at HuffPo: "EMILY's List -- an organization committed to recruiting, training and electing pro-choice, Democratic women -- is on track to raise more money to than in any previous election cycle. And we now have more than a million members. It took 26 years for us to reach half a million members, but thanks to the Republican Congress, we doubled our membership in just one year. If their policies weren't so dangerous, we would have sent them a thank you note...More women are running for the United States Senate than at any time in our nation's history...We're confident that come November 6, there will be a record number of women serving on both sides of the Capitol.