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Political Strategy Notes

Jim Hightower's "Ballot-Measure Democracy a Notable Success in 2012" at Nation of Change, notes overwhelming majorities favoring a repeal or reversal of the Citizens United decision in CO (72 %), MT (76%) and Chicago (73%).

At The Atlantic Anne-Marie Slaughter reports on "The Gender Divide on Gun Control," explaining, "According to an ABC/Washington Post poll released on December 17th, 59 percent of women but only 47 percent of men support more gun control. Thus when we read that 54 percent of all Americans support greater gun control, that majority is actually a significant majority of 59 percent American women who support it overriding the 50 percent of American men who oppose it.

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich makes his case for 'going over the cliff.'

Regarding "Democratic leaders' handling of negotiations," a new Gallup poll finds that "Fifty-four percent approve of Obama's efforts in talks, up from 48 percent last week," according to Meghashyam Mali at The Hill.

From CNN's Political Ticker: "A CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday morning indicates that 46% say they expect Obama will do a better job as president over the next four years than he did the past four years, with 22% saying he'll do a worse job, and just over three in ten saying he'll perform about the same as he did in his first term."

File this one by Jamie Henn of Ecowatch News Report under "cool stuff Mayors can do."

At The Center for American Progress, Scott Keyes's "Strengthening Our Democracy by Expanding Voting Rights" reports on "11 pieces of legislation that lawmakers can enact to strengthen voting rights in their state. A number of these policies would make registering to vote more accessible, including online voter registration, Election Day registration, and requiring public schools to help register voters. Others would make it simpler for citizens to cast a ballot, such as expanding early voting, permitting citizens to vote at any polling location, and allowing no-excuse absentee voting. States can also discourage those trying to suppress the vote by outlawing voter caging, strengthening penalties for knowingly deceiving voters, and reforming the voter-challenge process. Finally, legislators can pass other pro-voting policies, such as restoring voting rights to ex-felons and enacting constitutional language affirming an equal right to vote."

"The Growing Electoral Clout of Blacks Is Driven by Turnout, Not Demographics,"
says Paul Taylor at the Pew Research Center."Blacks voted at a higher rate this year than other minority groups and for the first time in history may also have voted at a higher rate than whites, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data, election day exit poll data and vote totals from selected cities and counties...Unlike other minority groups whose increasing electoral muscle has been driven mainly by population growth, blacks' rising share of the vote in the past four presidential elections has been the result of rising turnout rates...These participation milestones are notable not just in light of the long history of black disenfranchisement, but also in light of recently-enacted state voter identification laws that some critics contended would suppress turnout disproportionately among blacks and other minority groups."

Alternet's Adam Lee reports on "There Are Now As Many Nonreligious Americans As Evangelicals -- 6 Ways Politicians Can Court Their Vote."

At The New York Review of Books, Andrew Hacker's "How he Got It Right" explores Nate Silver's impressive powers -- and methods -- of prognostication.