Quick Takes: The New Silent Majority

* Matt Yglesias writes that the new silent majority is the opposite of the one Nixon talked about.

In 1972, Nixon’s silent majority, grounded firmly in the white working class, delivered a smashing victory for the GOP, dashing the hopes of George McGovern supporters that a new coalition of young white professionals and racial minorities could upend American politics. Forty-four years later, America is facing another silent majority election — one in which the story has been all about Trump’s supporters but the victory will go to Clinton’s…

Clinton led in the Democratic primary from the first day to the last, and has consistently led in general election polling since the beginning of the campaign. Yet the Clinton voter has not made the same kind of impression on the media, in part because the new silent majority voter offers less visible evidence of being fired up and the new silent majority’s signature politicians — Clinton and Obama — do not do grand performance of anger, even at a time when rage is all the rage in American politics.

* The Democratic political data firm TargetSmart reports that we’ve already reached one political milestone in this election that is being shaped by that new silent majority.

The 2016 campaign may have reached dispiriting new lows, but voter registration in America has soared to new heights as 200 million people are now registered to vote for the first time in U.S. history.

The milestone is a sign of the aggressive voter registration efforts ahead of Nov. 8 and a symptom of the fast-growing and demographically shifting electorate that is expected to redound to the benefit of the Democratic Party in the coming years…

The figure means more than 50 million new people have registered to vote in the past eight years. Only 146.3 million were registered as recently as 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama first won the White House — a remarkable 33 percent surge in the electorate during a single presidency…

Overall, TargetSmart found that 42.6 percent of the new voters registered this year lean Democratic, and only 29 percent lean Republican (28.4 percent lean independent).

* Josh Marshall uses some colorful language to describe the Clinton campaign’s likely reaction to the debate guest drama.

I already noted the comedy of the Trump camp’s aggressiveness on this front since Hillary is fairly unflappable and it’s Trump who gets knocked off stride by the slightest provocation. But surveying this debate guest drama, what strikes me more than anything is that I cannot imagine anyone in the Clinton camp giving the slightest rat’s ass about any of this. This is no longer really about Clinton at all. It’s more like a ‘release all the animals from their cages in the menagerie’ freakout, go-for-broke primal scream inside the WND/Breitbart mind bubble. It’s operating entirely within that world. It doesn’t really connect up with anything outside of it. I’m not sure that’s even the intention.

* I’ve written a couple of times about the race for the open seat (vacated by the retirement of Republican John Kline) in the Congressional district where I live. The contenders are Democrat Angie Craig and radio shock-jock Jason Lewis. The local ABC affiliate teamed up with SurveyUSA to conduct a poll of this race and found Craig leading Lewis by 5 points (46 to 41). Beyond that, in a suburban district that Obama barely won, Clinton is leading Trump by 8 points (44 to 36). As we’ve been hearing about all over the country, the gender gap is the story.

There is a notable gender gap in both the congressional race and the presidential contest. Trump leads 42 percent to 38 percent among men, but trails among women 50 percent to 30 percent. Lewis leads among men 44 percent to 42 percent and trails among women by a smaller margin, 50 percent to 39 percent.

* As his second term comes to an end, I’ve heard people say that President Obama is waxing professorial. They say that as if it’s a bad thing. Personally, I often find it fascinating because he is such an astute observer of human nature. For example, when Obama sat down for a conversation with staff at WIRED, he was asked about the benefits people on the autism spectrum offer to society. Take a look at his answer:

Part of what makes us human are the kinks. They’re the mutations, the outliers, the flaws that create art or the new invention, right? We have to assume that if a system is perfect, then it’s static. And part of what makes us who we are, and part of what makes us alive, is that we’re dynamic and we’re surprised.

* Finally, in light of what Martin wrote earlier today, I’d like to note that Stevie Nicks has offered a song that she would like to sing at Hillary Clinton’s inaugural. It’s always been one of my favorites.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.