What’s bad for abortion rights-supporting Democrats legally could be beneficial to them politically. At least that’s the thinking among Democratic strategists after the Supreme Court ruled today that closely-held corporations can’t be forced to provide contraception to their employees. A key part of the Democrats’ Senate strategy is to find ways to mobilize single women, one of their most reliably supportive constituencies, to the polls.
— A new national survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, helps explain the Democratic game plan. Only 54 percent of unmarried women who are likely to vote said they plan to support the Democratic candidate in the midterm. That’s lower than in the GOP wave of 2010 (60 percent), and significantly down from the last election (67 percent). Fewer than three-quarters of those who voted in 2012 are “almost certain” to do so again — a much lower proportion compared to GOP base voters.
— Pollster Stan Greenberg found that populist messaging targeted to the middle class, focused on equal pay for women, affordable college and child care, and raising the minimum wage, has the most potential to engage these voters. After testing those female-centric arguments, Democrats gained seven points on the generic ballot.
— Two Senate races where the strategy will be on display: Colorado and North Carolina. Sen. Mark Udall has aggressively attacked Rep. Cory Gardner‘s past position on the state’s “personhood” amendment, raising the specter of restricted abortion rights if Republicans win. In 2010, the state’s Senate race featured one of the largest gender gaps in the country, with self-inflicted wounds from GOP nominee Ken Buck on gay rights and abortion. Gardner praised the ruling, but quickly pivoted to his support for oral contraceptives to be available over-the-counter. Outside groups are hitting Republican Thom Tillis over education cuts, an issue that resonates with women in the state. A new Civitas poll showed Hagan with a whopping 25-point lead among women under 45, reversing a six-point deficit she held the previous month.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, Sen. Elizabeth Warren tested the economic end of the argument campaigning for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Republicans were surprised to see such a polarizing liberal figure campaigning in a conservative state, but her core economic issues (on paper) poll well, according to Greenberg’s findings. Democrats need to exploit a gender gap to have a shot defeating Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but they may end up rallying more of the GOP base instead. —Josh Kraushaar
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Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."