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Political Strategy Notes

New poll has 47 percent of Americans self-i.d. as Democrats or leaning Dem, compared to 42 percent for Republicans -- "based on an aggregate of all 2012 Gallup and USA Today/Gallup polls, consisting of more than 20,000 interviews."

Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake spotlight "5 senators to watch in gun control debate" explaining why they could have pivotal influence on prospects for assault weapons control.

Charles M. Blow has some cogent thoughts on "Reframing the Gun Debate" in his NYT column, including: "First, let's fix some of the terminology: stop calling groups like the National Rifle Association a "gun rights" group. These are anti-regulation, pro-proliferation groups. They prey on public fears -- of the "bad guys with guns," of a Second Amendment rollback, of an ever imminent apocalypse -- while helping gun makers line their pockets."

Some stats from Michael Medved's Daily Beast article on women in the new congress: "In 2012 married women gave a comfortable 7 percent edge to Mitt Romney, and in 2008 they chose John McCain 53-47 percent. In 2004 married females went even more decisively (55-44) for George W. Bush." But single women, "only 23 percent of the overall electorate ...chose Barack Obama in 2012 by a ratio of better than 2 to 1, and assured him the presidency." In addition, Medved reports that two thirds of women in the House are Democrats, as are three quarters of the women in the U.S. Senate.

Democratic party leaders should read Thomas F. Schaller's post, "Democrats Dread 2014 Drop-Off" at Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball. Schaller quotes experts who say that recruiting quality candidates and mobilizing African American and Latino volunteers offer the best hope for improving turnout in non-presidential elections.

I sometimes worry that a moderate, charismatic Republican presidential candidate might somehow rise from the ashes of the GOP's current festival of self-immolation (not Christie -- his bluster will eventually wear thin and he's peaking too soon). At The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky explores prospects for rebuilding a healthy moderate caucus in the GOP. As for moderate Republican voters, Tomaskys says "I have to believe that there are millions of such people out there. They just have no one to report to, no place to go. If someone builds this, they will come."

Speaking of Republican moderates, The Monitor's Liz Marlantes explains why once moderate Lindsay Graham has morphed into the GOP's lead attack dog.

At AFL-CIO Now Mike Hall's "10 Reasons All Workers Benefit from Fixing the Immigration System" provides some excellent talking points which could help persuade moderates to support the Democratic plan.

For those who were wondering if FL Gov. Rick Scott could get any sleazier, Sahil Kapur's "Rick Scott Under Fire For Inflating Cost Of Health Law's Medicaid Expansion" at Talking Points Memo provides the answer.

Somebody at the white house is doing some good thinking, selecting the bibles of both Lincoln and MLK for swearing in President Obama for his second term, as Michelle Boorstein reports at the Washington Post. You couldn't ask for better symbols for "binding up the nations wounds" and transforming "the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful sympathy of brotherhood" -- especially because 2013 should be a big year for anniversaries recalling the legacies of both King and Lincoln.