Democrats Poll Better for Senate, Trump Rethinks TPP
The conventional wisdom in the United States is that Democrats are likely to take control of the House of Representatives in November while Republicans are likely to defend their majority in the Senate.
No Clear Evidence for Either Democratic Strategy, Politics as Identity
The big debate in America’s Democratic Party right now is whether it should attempt to win back working-class white voters, especially in the Midwest, who defected to Donald Trump in 2016, or if it should attempt to win over more middle-income, suburban voters, some of whom switched from voting for Mitt Romney in 2012 to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
I suspect the latter and I’ve made that case recently here and here.
Short version: the interests and views of middle-class, suburban voters align more closely with those of minorities, millennials and the urban upper class, which is the Democratic base, than they do with rural, small-town, reactionary voters, which is the Republican base.
Whether this is a winning strategy, though, is still up in the air. Nathaniel Rakich point out at FiveThirtyEight that special elections so far support both theses: Democrats have overperformed in the suburbs as well as among white voters without college degrees. Read more
Mainstream Parties Win Dutch Elections, Catalans to Swear In President
The far-right Freedom Party and the far-left Socialists underperformed in municipal elections in the Netherlands on Wednesday.
The ruling liberals and Christian Democrats shared first place. Both got 13 percent support.
Local parties took 33 percent of the vote, up from 28 percent four years ago.
The Greens gained at the expense of Labor and the liberal Democrats, especially in the major cities. Although they are still counting the votes in Amsterdam, the Greens are expected to overtake the liberal Democrats as the largest party there.
Cosmopolitan, left-leaning voters probably switched because they are disappointed the liberal Democrats went into government with three right-wing parties.
The outcome is nevertheless unlikely to destabilize Mark Rutte’s coalition, which includes the small Christian Union. Read more
Democrats Should Keep Superdelegates, Salvini Calls for Anti-EU Budget
BuzzFeed reports that Democrats in the United States are considering eliminating superdelegates from their presidential nominating contest.
That would be a mistake.
Superdelegates — governors, members of Congress and party officials — are a failsafe, to prevent a Democratic Donald Trump.
Opponents consider them undemocratic, but this fetishizes democracy. The point of the primary process is — or should be — to find the best candidate possible who can then go on to win in a democratic contest. Read more
“The party decides” theory — which argues that American party elites exert a strong behind-the-scenes influence on who gets nominated for political office — took a blow in 2016, when Donald Trump won the Republican presidential contest despite strong internal opposition.
One exception doesn’t discredit the whole theory, theory. Seth Masket argues at Mischiefs of Faction that this year’s nominating contests show activists and party leaders are still actively shaping the choices voters will get. Read more
What We Know About the Midterm Elections in the United States
The map is biased against Democrats, but don’t overestimate the Republican turnout advantage. It wouldn’t take that much for a Democratic wave to turn into a tsunami. White women and college graduates are likely to decide the outcome.
Here is what we know about the upcoming congressional elections in the United States. Read more
Best Takes on the American Federal Government Shutdown
The United States government ran out of funding on Saturday after Democrats and Republicans failed to do a budget deal that could get sixty votes in the Senate.
The two sticking points are the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which Republicans failed to reauthorize last year, and the deportation of migrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Democrats argue these so-called Dreamers should be allowed to stay in the country.
Here are the best takes I’ve read on the crisis. Read more