ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE

CEOs Worry About Populist Campaign Themes

Newly enfranchised felons in Virginia could help the Democrats.

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Ally Mutnick
April 25, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

“Chief ex­ec­ut­ives at big Amer­ic­an com­pan­ies are in­creas­ingly frus­trated by the pop­u­list tone of the pres­id­en­tial cam­paign, and con­cerns are mount­ing in board­rooms and corner of­fices that an­ti­busi­ness rhet­or­ic may so­lid­i­fy even after the Novem­ber elec­tion.” 

“[E]xec­ut­ives worry that for now, the rhet­or­ic of the elec­tion dis­cus­sion could weigh on con­sumer con­fid­ence, thwart any im­mig­ra­tion over­haul and de­rail a sweep­ing 12-na­tion trade pact, the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, that the U.S. struck last year and that many busi­nesses sup­port.” (Wall Street Journ­al)

A GROW­ING ELECT­OR­ATE. Gov. Terry McAul­iffe (D) re-en­fran­chised 200,000 former felons in Vir­gin­ia on Fri­day. “The state will be one of the cent­ral battle­grounds this Novem­ber, and it is widely be­lieved that ex-felons will vote heav­ily for Demo­crats. … And the big num­ber of newly en­fran­chised voters is ac­tu­ally lar­ger than Mr. Obama’s 149,298-vote mar­gin of vic­tory there in 2012.”

“But the elect­or­al ef­fect of felon re-en­fran­chise­ment is likely to be mod­est. The best-case scen­ario for Demo­crats might be that they im­prove their pop­u­lar vote mar­gin by a half-point. That’s a big deal, but only in a close elec­tion. The reas­on is de­cept­ively straight­for­ward. Ex-felons are less likely to vote than non­felons, even when ex-felons are eli­gible to vote.” (New York Times)

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