By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal
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How Democratic Progressives Survived a Landslide (TAP)
Bob Moser says that populist, localized campaign messages, not the party's own turnout strategy, saved a few key Democratic races in the 2014 midterm elections.
After every election, the losing side naturally tends to brood over where and how things went wrong. For Democrats this year, there’s no shortage of theories about the party’s avalanche of key losses in Senate, House, and statehouse contests. Perhaps it was wrong to sideline President Obama so thoroughly. Perhaps they shouldn’t have run away from the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps they still haven’t found the formula for turning out young and minority voters in midterms. Maybe it was just a bad map that couldn’t be overcome. Or maybe there had been, as the pundits chorused, no “coherent national message” for Democrats to run on.
You can find shards of truth in these tidbits of conventional wisdom, but it’s a gauzy, overgeneralized kind of truth. It’s more instructive to take a long look at what did work in 2014—at the candidates and campaigns that overcame the Republican drift. How did Democrats beat their odds in Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Michigan even as they fell short in Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, and Colorado? The closer you look, the clearer the picture becomes: They did it the way Kirkpatrick did. They ran with their populist boots on.
Roosevelt Take: Moser references Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch's post-election analysis on winning populist messaging.
Follow below the fold for more.
What ‘Audit the Fed’ Really Means – and Threatens (WSJ)
Robert Litan explains that Senator Paul's proposal calls on Government Accountability Office economists to go outside their expertise to report on the Fed's activity and minimize its independence.
Payday Loans Are Bleeding American Workers Dry. Finally, the Obama Administration Is Cracking Down. (TNR)
Danny Vinik breaks down how payday loans harm consumers: the initial loan might not be so bad, but the repeated roll-overs have a high cost. Limiting those roll-overs is one potential regulation.
The “War on Women” is a Fiscal Nightmare: Taxpayers on the Hook for Millions as Republicans Gut Family Planning (Salon)
Katie McDonough looks at Kansas as an example of where legal fees to fight for potentially unconstitutional abortion restrictions and cuts to family planning services create massive costs.
Is Republican Concern About Middle-Class Wage Stagnation Just a Big Con? (MoJo)
Kevin Drum doesn't think this is a sign of Republican reformers succeeding in shifting the party in a populist direction, and says that the more likely explanation is an attempt to defuse Democrats.
New on Next New Deal
The Politics of Responsibility – Not Envy
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch argues that voters are responding not to envy, but to the knowledge that everyone needs to take a fair share of responsibility for shared prosperity.