Author Topic: Senate Democrats struggle to define a message that can save their majority By Karen Tumulty  (Read 250 times)

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Senate Democrats struggle to define a message that can save their majority
By Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane, Published: March 28

Democrats are going into the 2014 midterm elections with their control of the Senate greatly imperiled and with the prospect of an Obama presidency completely hobbled in its final two years.

In response, the president and his party are struggling to come up with a broad economic message that can rebut, or at least deflect, the continued GOP assaults on the president and his new health-care law.

Thus far, what they have produced is a smaller, more targeted approach — one that seeks to gin up the enthusiasm that has been lacking in key parts of their base, but that strategy is a gamble since it targets many voters who historically spurn midterm elections.

Senate Democrats’ latest effort in that regard is a 10-point plan for legislation they intend to bring to the floor over the spring and summer.

The issues are familiar ones for Democrats, and poll well among Americans generally.

Yet they are top priorities to narrower slices of the Democrats’ constituency — particularly those who showed up to vote for President Obama in 2012, but who do not have a history or voting in off-year contests.

The first items up for Senate debate will be increasing the minimum wage, from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, and a bill to assure paycheck equity between male and female workers.

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said that those are measures that would have their greatest impact on young people, unmarried women, Latinos and African-Americans — all of whom can be difficult to turn out in years when there is no presidential election.

“This doesn’t replace a broader economic message. In the long run, we have to do that. But in the short run, this is very helpful,” said Lake, who has warned that the Democrats face a large turnout disadvantage in a year when Republican voters appear to be more motivated.

GOP pollster Neil Newhouse said the Senate Democrats’ targeted strategy echoes that of Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, where he emphasized a number of “niche group” issues such as the Dream Act, mandatory contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, student loan expansion and support for same-sex marriage.

“This is all about turnout. They’re not doing this to win swing voters,” Newhouse said.”They’ve got to do this. Otherwise, they’re totally doomed.”

While endangered Democrats support the measures, they also appear skeptical that those issues will be the ones that carry the day in their home states, many of which lean Republican.

“Raising the minimum wage I think is the right thing; it’s an important thing to do,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who is battling for reelection. “But the real goal should be to create thousands of jobs in Louisiana that pay between $50,000 and $100,000.”

Indeed, she said that she plans to be more focused on her support for policies that put her at odds with some in her party, such as increased domestic drilling and energy production.

“I’m not going to spend all my time talking just about the minimum wage,” Landrieu said,”because as chair of the energy committee, I want to focus on creating more jobs that pay 60-70-80-100 thousand dollars a year.”

Her views are shared by other vulnerable Democrats in conservative states, such as Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), who is publicly opposed to his party’s minimum wage proposal, and Mark Begich (Alaska), who has joined Landrieu in pushing for more drilling.

Among the other measures the Democrats have promised: a proposal to make college more affordable; to make it more difficult to cut Medicare benefits or boost the eligibility age; to discourage businesses from offshoring; to lower the cost of child care, and to put more money into infrastructure.

None of the Senate Democrats’ proposals stands much of a chance of actually making it into law this year, because they are unlikely to get through the Republican House. Instead, they are aimed at defining the message, and their consideration on the Senate floor is expected to be coordinated with campaign swings by Obama.

Republicans mocked the new legislative agenda that Democrats are calling “A Fair Shot for Everyone.”

“When they release a poll-tested, campaign-crafted Obamacare distraction ‘agenda’ packed to the brim with lefty show votes – I think middle-class families can tell whose side Washington Democrats are really on. And it’s not theirs,” Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a speech Thursday morning on the Senate floor.

“I mean, how will show votes help our constituents?” McConnell added. “How will they help the people who’ve been writing to me about the impact of Obamacare on them and their families?”

Democrats insist, however, that they are making a larger point, reinforcing the public perception that their party is more in tune with the concerns of average Americans.

“If they think that college affordability just applies to Democratic base, or jobs going overseas applies just to Democratic base — every one of these has a large amount of support among Republicans,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), the leadership strategist who worked with campaign operatives to craft the agenda.

However, Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who advises a number of Senate candidates, said that the direction of the economy and the president’s popularity are likely to be the biggest factors in the outcome of the election.

Trying to craft a message that can surmount those larger forces “is not easy. You do the best you can,” Mellman said. “This is one of the tools that’s available.”

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Offline Gazoo

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They have no message but complete progressive marxism; so they have to make the the other party the boogie man- that hates women, pushes old ladies off of cliffs in a wheel chair, hates kittens and sunshine.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 07:40:22 PM by Gazoo »
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline rustynail

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The republicans will take your benefits.

Offline speekinout

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The first items up for Senate debate will be increasing the minimum wage, from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, and a bill to assure paycheck equity between male and female workers.

Let them spend all of their time on those issues. The only people who get enthused about those are young college students. And those students will be out voting for dims anyway. The downside to those "solutions" is more of a sluggish economy and fewer jobs, so the net effect should be favorable to the GOP.

Online Fishrrman

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Article title:
[[ Senate Democrats struggle to define a message that can save their majority ...]]

I've got one for 'em:

"Communism -- we'll get it right this time !!"

Offline Once-Ler

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The problem for the rats is Obamacare and jobs.  Nothing they propose creates jobs.  They can't beat up Obama because that is racist.  They are screwed.
"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."  -  President Donald J Trump

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!.....
...They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own - brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security
       Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump 5:35 AM - Sep 14, 2017

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