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Political Strategy Notes

Nate Silver makes a good case for using a new term, "elastic," rather than "swing state" to describe states that are "...relatively sensitive or responsive to changes in political conditions, such as a change in the national economic mood. (This is in the same way that, in economics, an elastic good is one for which demand is highly sensitive to changes in prices.) According to Silver's numerical rankings, the five most "elastic" states are, in order: RI; NH; ME; HA and VT. The least 'elastic' five (excluding DC) are, in order: MS; AL; SC; LA and GA.

The Democratic Governors Association ponys up $1 million for TV ads and GOTV to defeat Scott Walker in WI.

The Obama Administration and campaign are fighting back against the Romney/GOP meme that the President is a "big spender," hammering the fact that "the rate of spending growth under President Obama is lower than under any president since Eisenhower...Spending under Mr. Obama (including the stimulus) has grown by about 1.4 percent a year, compared to 7.3 percent in George W. Bush's first term, 3.2 percent in Bill Clinton's first term, and 8.7 percent in Ronald Reagan's first term. When inflation is taken into account, spending is now actually falling, the first decline since Richard Nixon." as David Firestone reports at the NYT.

An eyebrow-raising Quinnipiac University poll gives Romney a 6-point edge over President Obama, "after trailing Obama by 7 points in late March." But Palm Beach Post writers George Bennett and John Kennedy report that Dems have about a 40-36 percent registration advantage in FL, while Quinnipiac's weighted sample is 34 percent Republican and 31 percent Democrat.

Jamell Bouie's Plum Line post, "Why we should expect Obama to lose Florida in 2012" suggests Obama campaign resources might be more productively deployed elsewhere.

In the U.S. the argument is about the morality of felon disenfranchisement of 5.3 million American citizens, and whether people who have served time in jail should be allowed to vote. Meanwhile, The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that prisoners in the region have the right to vote, and the Brits are all bent out of shape about it, since they have had a ban on prisoner voting for 140 years and the uproar has generated lots of bipartisan jabber in the UK about affirming national sovereignty. Only two states in the U.S., Maine and Vermont, allow prisoners to vote.

At Politico, David Catanese reports that Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown are in a stat tie in their race for the Senate seat currently held by Brown. But the good news for Warren is that "more than two-thirds of voters -- 69 percent -- said Warren's Native American heritage listing is not a significant story, with just 27 percent saying it is."

Demos has an excellent guide to the Voter Empowerment Act.

At Political Animal, Ed Kilgore has a couple of zingers regarding Romney's responses in a recent interview with Mark Halperin. On Romney's explanation why the economy would almost certainly improve in the first year of his term: "Wow, this is a "confidence fairy" that doesn't even need to see any action; just one look at the manly visage of Mitt Romney, and the money will start flowing again!" On Romney's explanation for why he is not advocating spending cuts for that first year: "Keynesianism! Keynesianism! Call Jim DeMint! Romney's not for immediately balancing the budget! Romney thinks public-sector jobs are real! Romney doesn't think the confidence fairy would offset spending cuts!"