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Today is the first day of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual meeting. State legislators from around the country will be attending, as will representatives from corporations looking to pitch model legislation. There will also be spies. Activists from several progressive groups will sneak into the Salt Lake City conference, (at least, they'll try), in hopes of capturing some of ALEC's model legislation.
With Obama struggling among independent voters and Democrats likely to constitute a slightly larger share of the electorate than Republicans, Romney will probably carry independents in a close national election.
If there’s anywhere the GOP’s fundraising advantage could pay dividends, it’s in the demographically vulnerable and undefended flank of Obama’s path to 270: the Upper Midwest.
Are Republicans increasingly becoming the party of the white working class? So says Jonathan Haidt, but political scientist Larry Bartels offers up a convincing response: While the white working class has trended toward Republicans over the last few decades, the movement is exclusively a Southern phenomenon.
With the financial balance of power shifting toward the Republicans, Democrats are understandably alarmed that a deluge of cash from outside groups and Wall Street could swamp Obama’s reelection efforts. As an initial step, the Obama campaign has concentrated their expenditures on a smaller number of swing states, ensuring that they at least remain competitive in the markets they consider most important. But when you concentrate resources, some areas end up short-changed, and the decision to narrow the playing field has left Obama without substantial purchases in several media markets.
There is a strain of thought among some policy experts that manufacturing, especially in the Midwest, is a dead-end for regional economic development. In a series of recent Brookings reports, my co-authors and I have challenged that view. The conventional wisdom won’t die easily, though.