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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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”