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Political Strategy Notes

Mariana Carreno, features editor for Portada, has a richly-detailed "Special Report: Political Advertising; Courting the Latino Vote."

Karen Tumulty discusses the GOP pitch to Latino voters at WaPo, but the appeal is limited, considering Romney's bridge-burning policies on immigration.

Lots of good posts about ALEC's 180 degree cave on social issues and desperate struggle to survive, including this New York Times editorial, "Embarrassed by Bad Laws," which notes "John Timoney, formerly the Miami police chief, recently called the law a "recipe for disaster," and he said that he and other police chiefs had correctly predicted it would lead to more violent road-rage incidents and drug killings. Indeed, "justifiable homicides" in Florida have tripled since 2005."

David Brooks gives surprisingly fair coverage to "The White House Argument" re the budget and debt, no doubt causing causing wingnut grumbling and teeth-grinding.

The Nuge has made himself the target of a Secret Service investigation, but he will probably walk with a very light slap on the wrist and GOP pats on the back. The incident may bring unwanted attention, however, to his reported inclusion in a "Chickenhawks" website listing outspoken conservatives who did not deign to serve in the military when called (backstory here and here).

The Pew Research Center poll "With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows" notes a 10 percent drop in 'swing voters' (includes 'leaners') to 23 percent from June 2008. The poll, conducted April 4-15, indicates the President has lost some ground vs. Romney during the last month among most demographic groups, but still leads 49-45 overall.

Political poll junkies should not miss Mark Blumenthal's illuminating post at HuffPo, which explains why "In late October, polls will be highly predictive of the outcome, but now, with more than 200 days remaining until the election, the predictive accuracy of polling is less than 50/50." In other words, you're better off flipping a coin.

Not surprising then, that CNN "Poll of Polls" calls Prez race a "dead heat."

Joan Walsh weighs in at Salon.com on the progressive populists vs. Third Way dust-up with some insightful observations, including. "A recent Greenberg Quinlan poll...found that roughly three-quarters of those polled backed a feisty fairness message." Walsh then crunches recent unemployment trends, indicating that "Declining unemployment alone can't explain the relative change in the president's political fortunes. His return to the populism that marked the end of the 2008 campaign almost certainly played a role. He has set up the 2012 election as a contest between the GOP's message of "You're on your own" vs. "We're all in this together." His economic feistiness, not just the GOP's contraception craziness, is likely driving his revival among women, who remain the most vulnerable in a recession."

Demos has a useful primer for Dems in this year of GOP voter suppression, "Got ID? Helping Americans Get Voter Identification."

Larry J. Sabato has a funny and instructive read for those who think presidential politics is predictable.