Political Strategy Notes
A.P.'s Thomas Beaumont reports on a 'reverse coattails' phenomenon shaping up, in which President Obama is likely to benefit from key House of Reps races with strong Democratic candidates, like Christie Vilsack in IA-4, Orlando Police Chief Val Demings in FL-8 and several others.
Jonathan Bernstein makes the case at WaPo's 'PostPartisan' blog that "Yes, the Democrats have become more liberal," while Kevin Drum argues that "Democrats Have Moved to the Right, Not the Left" at Mother Jones.
At the Washington Monthly 'Ten Miles Square' blog, Bernstein makes an interesting observation about the core dysfunctional weakness of today's GOP, which sounds a lot like the monomaniacal egotism of its leaders: "...When your leadership is so radical, and radically dishonest as well (consider, just as one example, the "fight" against the UN swooping in and taking away everyone's guns, or the claim that Democrats are trying to do that), it's very difficult for a party to really develop either viable policy or principled policy."
At FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver explains why some Dems are rooting for the defeat of once-moderate Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana's GOP primary: "If Mr. Lugar loses, it should increase Democrats' odds of picking up the Senate seat in November. Democrats have a fairly good candidate in Indiana in the form of United States Representative Joe Donnelly, who represents the Second Congressional District and who narrowly retained his seat in a very tough environment for Democrats nationally in 2010."
Chris Van Hollen outlines the Democrats' path to regaining a majority of the House at MSNBC.com. "The momentum is with us..."
At Salon.com, Steve Kornacki writes that "The Democratic Senate might just survive," noting that "A Senate map that looked bleak a year ago is now littered with surprise pick-up opportunities."
According to Betsy Towner's article the May Bulletin of the AARP (hard copy only), a Pew Research Center poll for the AARP sketches a snapshot ideological profile of senior voters, who have the highest turnout rates. In terms of political leanings, respondents over age 65 (includes the 'Woodstock Generation' and their older sibs) fell into these categories: "staunch conservatives" (15%); "Main Street Republicans" (14%); Libertarians (9%); "Disaffecteds (11%); "Postmoderns (moderates, liberal on social issues) (8%); "New Coaltion Democrats" (11%); "Hard-Pressed Democrats (15%); "Solid Liberals" (13%) and; "Bystanders" (3%). The study also has figures for the 50-64 demographic. The AARP has good infographics on seniors right here.
At WaPo's 'The Fix," Chis Cillizza discusses whether "The Catholic vote is the 2012 bellwether." Cillizza points out that "in the last two presidential contests the Catholic vote has tracked almost exactly with the popular vote." and "It's not just presidential elections where Catholics have been a key swing bloc. In the 2006 midterms when Democrats made huge congressional gains, the party won Catholics by 11 points. In 2010, when Republicans re-took the House, Catholics voted for GOP candidates by 10 points...In each of the past five presidential elections, Catholics have comprised somewhere between 26 percent and 29 percent of the overall electorate. (Catholics were 27 percent of the electorate in both 2004 and 2008.)."
Sen. Rob Portman, frequently-cited to be atop the GOP veepstakes short list, may have just uttered the political understatement of the year: "It's not about sizzle for me."