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Political Strategy Notes

One of the key lessons of the 2012 election is that it is not how much money Super-PACs spend on a campaign; it's how the money is invested -- and Dems did a damn good job of it, explains Rodell Mollineau at The Daily Beast.

...And this is also gratifying.

California may be providing an instructive lesson for advocates of moderation. Anthony York's "Election loss has Republicans seeking common ground with Democrats" in the L.A. Times notes a new willingness of business leaders to support moderates. York argues "Democrats now hold a two-thirds supermajority in both the Assembly and Senate, meaning they can pass taxes and place proposals on the statewide ballot without any Republican support..."For the business community, there is a recognition that the best path forward for the state from a governance perspective is with moderate Democrats," said Rob Stutzman, a Republican consultant who advised the California Chamber of Commerce on a number of legislative races this year." Put another way, the quickest road to more moderate politics lies not in converting Republicans to sweet reason, but in defeating sufficient numbers of them.

And when it comes to big state voter turnout, the west is the best. The formula, according to Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais: "In California, the triple combination of a simple, online registration process, the convenience of voting by mail and the presence on the ballot of issues that directly related to the self-interest of a significant sector of voters brought newcomers to the polls, kept the state's turnout at a high level (even when California's electoral vote result was a foregone conclusion) and resulted in no reports of major problems at the polls."

For revealing critique of the arguments of the economic gurus behind the tea party ideology and perhaps a majority of the Republicans in congress, try Robert M. Solow's New Republic review article, "Hayek, Friedman, and the Illusions of Conservative Economics" Solow reviews "The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets since the Depression" by Angus Burgin.

Paul Begala's "Denialists, Whiners, and Wackjobs" at The Daily Beast provides a useful typology of some GOP leaders.

Mike Lux makes a couple of salient points in his HuffPo post "Can Democrats Retake the House in 2014?," including: "...Most of the groups, bloggers, money, and talent in the Democratic party and progressive movement was focused elsewhere, on keeping Romney and Republicans in the Senate from running the table and taking over every branch of government. Most people and groups had given up on winning the House months ago and were spending their time, money, and brainpower on the Presidential race and those marquee Senate races like Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Sherrod Brown. We need to create a Manhattan project for retaking the House with the best thinkers, biggest groups, and most influential donors in the party involved."

At Time Swampland Michael Scherer's "Friended: How the Obama Campaign Connected with Young Voters" provides a good overview of a key element of Dem strategy.

At The National Review Michael Barone notes some of the eirie similarities in the '04 and '12 presidential elections and tries to put an optimistic spin on the numbers to encourage his fellow Republicans about the future. He adds, however, that "...Democrats have a structural advantage in the Electoral College. An extra 2.47 percent of the popular vote netted Obama 80 more electoral votes than Kerry. Obama won 58 percent or more in eleven states and the District of Columbia, with 163 electoral votes. He needed only 107 more to win."

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, shrewd GOP pillar in the U.S. Senate, has pointedly trashed Norquist's 'The Pledge,' reports Meghashyam Mali at The Hill.