That video above of Explainer-in-Chief Bill Clinton is a product of the Democratic National Committee, which is holding its Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., over the next three days. The good news: It's offense instead of defense, which had been party's m.o. on this front.
The committee plans to establish a permanent team and put staff in battleground states to push back against Republican efforts to suppress the vote of people in certain demographic groups. The DNC campaign will include efforts to increase early voting, registering to vote online and continued opposition to requiring photo IDs be shown to cast a ballot. Part of Republican election strategy has long been to make it tougher to vote for people more likely to cast their ballots for Democrats, and the party has pushed that even harder in the past few years:
The former president said such moves are "designed to make it harder for working people, especially people of color, the elderly, those with disabilities, and young college students, to get to the polls. To form that more perfect union we have to expand rights, not take them away."Facing a tough midterm election this year—having to defend 21 of 36 Senate seats in the sixth year of a presidency would be difficult under almost any circumstances—the DNC seeks to use voter data and election tools that the Obama team built in 2008 and honed in 2012 in an effort to avoid the disaster of 2010 when Republicans gained 63 House seats, the biggest midterm turnaround since the midterms of 1938:
"It's not enough anymore just to be against these new voting restrictions. We need to get back on the road forward and work for more and easier voting," Clinton added.
Earlier this week the party committee said it will make accessible to Democratic campaigns nationwide this year a voter file with constantly updated data from past elections in an effort to coordinate voter information as well as help those campaigns better strategize and manage volunteers. At a meeting with reporters Tuesday at their Capitol Hill headquarters, a DNC official added that they are bringing on an additional dozen digital staffers to bolster the party committee's efforts.While battleground states are of necessity going to be the DNC's focus, one question is whether the new support will be provided to all Democratic candidates in the general election, including those engaged in longshot campaigns. Those campaigns could be less of longshots with stronger assistance. And they could help build party strength for the long haul even in districts where Democratic candidates don't win this year.