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Political Strategy Notes

This New York Times editorial explains why women voters may be the political force that sinks Scott Walker in the Wisconsin recall: "..He signed the repeal of a 2009 law allowing the victims of wage discrimination to pursue damages in state court...The principal reason for the original law was to narrow a significant gap in compensation between men and women. At the time the law was passed, women earned an average of 75 cents for every $1 men earned; by 2010, after the law was passed, the average for women had edged up to about 78 cents...Mr. Walker was acceding to the lobbying demands of business groups, including hotel and restaurant trade groups that employ large numbers of women in low-paying jobs and do not wish their wage scale to be challenged in court."

GOP clown act summons unwelcome ghost of Joe McCarthy.

Dems need a stronger pitch for the votes of 11 million underwater or near-underwater homeowners, as SEIU activist Stephen Lerner reports at The American Prospect: "...In states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan--where tens of thousands of homeowners are looking for leaders to make some sense of the last five years--the "homeowner at risk" could well be the "soccer mom" of 2012, a group that demands attention, and will vote accordingly...Many economists believe a second settlement is needed to bolster the housing market and the overall recovery, so in this case the right thing is a win-win for the White House."

Apparently, the 'fair and balanced" network has a low tolerance for candor and transparency in the workplace .

In his post, "Understanding Political Codewords,"Richard Brodsky of Demos Policy Shop exposes some conservative euphemisms, wherein "sustainability" = pension benefit cuts for public workers and "fairness" = tax cuts for the rich.

Paul Begala makes a cogent argument that Sen. Rob Portman, a former Bush budget director, will be Romney's veep choice.

John Sides explains at FiveThirtyEight why Dems shouldn't crow too loudly about President Obama's 12-point "empathy gap" edge over Romney: "...Republicans win all the time without closing the empathy gap. This is because Democratic candidates are generally perceived as more empathetic -- more likely to "care about people like me" -- than Republican candidates, regardless of who wins. Ronald Reagan in 1984, George H. W. Bush in 1988 and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 were all perceived as less empathetic than their Democratic opponents."

If the 'War on Women" debate comes down to Ann Romney vs. Lilly Ledbetter, don't bet against Ledbetter as a more authentic voice of working women, as is suggested by this Obama campaign video, via TPM Live Wire.

Poll Analyst Mark Blumenthal chews on a new Pew Research Center poll at HuffPo Pollster and concludes that at least this one poll indicates that registered voters are not all that dumb, as far as assessing differences between the two parties: "...Registered voters answered an average of 12 of the 17 questions correctly, compared to an average of just nine correct answers from the unregistered." The questions seemed like pretty good indicators of basic political awareness. Even still, 70.6 percent correct answers isn't all that great for grown-ups. Hard to avoid the conclusion that "low information voters" are still a problem.