Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
5 Days To Go - Keep Working It Everyone!
Rethinking How We Look At The Economy, Tuberville's Betrayal of America
Happy Thursday everyone. 5 days to go! Here’s what’s top of mind for me today:
5 Days Left! Keep Working It Everyone - Know folks in the Hopium community are working hard on races across the US - thank you! If you haven’t signed up for a shift of calls or canvassing this weekend, or have a bit of money to donate, hope you will help us win Virginia. The polling is good there, new financial reports show our candidates are raising a lot of money and will be competitive down the home stretch, but the early vote is still not where we want it to be and we need to close strong. It’s been a very good year for Democrats in elections across the country, and it’s important we head into 2024 with the momentum we need to get to 55 next year.
On Tuesday night I talked to Joy Reid about the Ohio and Virginia elections and the national battle over reproductive rights. Here’s the clip:
And A Few Reminders……
The Democratic Party Is Strong and On A Very Good Popular Vote Run - Democrats have won more votes in 7 of the last 8 Presidential elections, the best popular vote run of any political party in US history. In the last 4 Presidential elections, Democrats have averaged 51% of the vote, our best showing over 4 elections since FDR’s Presidency. Can we improve on that performance and get to 55% nationally in 2024? I think so.
A reminder that Democrats only broke above 50.1% of the vote once from 1948 all the way to 2004 - 1964, the year after JFK’s assassination. So, that we’ve broken above 51% in 3 of our last 4 elections is a pretty remarkable achievement.
2008 52.9-47.5 Obama-McCain
2012 51.1-47.2 Obama-Romney
2020 51.3-46.8 Biden-Trump
Democrats Keep Outperforming Expectations - In a “red wave” year, 2022, Democrats gained ground from 2020 in 7 key battlegrounds: AZ, CO, GA, MI, MN, NH, PA. We also picked up 4 state legislative chambers, 2 governorships, and 1 US Senate seat. As we’ve written 2022 was not a single nationalized election, but really two elections - a bluer election in the battleground where we gained, and a redder election outside where we did not.
We’ve seen this strong Dem performance continue into 2023 with impressive wins in CO, FL, OH and WI and in special elections across the US. A new 538 analysis: Democrats have been wining big in special elections finds Dems outperforming the partisan lean in districts this year by an average of 10 points in close to 40 special elections across the US - this is a big deal, and similar to what we saw post-Dobbs last year. The Daily Kos special election tracker now has Dems up 7.6 points over 2020 in 27 elections this year. Very encouraging stuff - hope we see it again this Tuesday.
Brutal New Polling for Congressional Republicans - New Economist/YouGov polling is very bad news for House and Senate Republicans:
Republicans in Congress Fav/Unfav 34-59 (-25)
Democrats in Congress Fav/Unfav 44-51 (-7)
The Blueing of the Southwest - Democrats are having their best run in the Southwest since the 1940s and 50s. In 2004 Bush won AZ, CO, NM, NV, Rs controlled 5 of their 8 Senate seats, 14 of their 21 House seats. In 2020 Biden was the first Democratic President to win all 4 of these states in a single election since FDR. Today Rs control none of those 8 Senate seats and we control 14 of 24 House seats there. Our performance with Hispanic voters and in heavily Hispanic parts of the country remains one of the Democratic Party’s most successful party-wide efforts over the past generation of US politics.
It’s Time For A Big Rethink On How We Poll And Talk About The Economy, Part 2 - Part of the reason Tom Bonier and I got the 2022 election right was that we expanded the electoral data set we were looking to include measures beyond polling, including party and candidate fundraising totals, voter registration changes, performance in special elections and the early vote. All this additional data gave us a more detailed look at the election, one which suggested a close, competitive election and not a red wave. Tom and I discussed what we did and how we did it in our recent talk here at Hopium if you want to dive into it a bit more.
A few months back, I wrote an initial post about how we need to go through a similar process with how we look at and understand the economy. In 2022 much of the analysis about the election hinged on a single point of data - Biden’s low approval rating. Low Biden approval = bad election was the conventional wisdom, even when lots of other data pointed to a close, competitive election. This year much of our understanding about the economy comes from similarly simple questions like is the economy good or bad, or do you approve of Biden’s handling of the economy. The answers to these questions would lead you to believe the economy is bad, and that Biden is in trouble. But if you expand the questions beyond these simple questions, as we did in 2022, you get a much more complex, and less negative view of how people see the economy, their work and their lives.
The following data comes from a recent YouGov/Economist poll, and all results are from registered voters.
Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the way things are going in your life today? Satisfied 64%, Dissatisfied 35%
How happy would you say you are with your current job? Great deal/somewhat 80%, A little/not at all 19%.
Do you think your family income will increase or decrease in 2024? Increase 45%, stay the same 41%, decrease 15%.
Do you consider yourself paid fairly or underpaid in your job? Paid fairly 56%, Underpaid 38%.
So, not big angry, or dissatisfaction with life, work, income, and not an expectation that things will get worse next year. It’s consistent with this data I’ve been sharing in recent months showing that last year despite it all we had the highest job satisfaction ever recorded in one influential survey:
But look at what happens at when you ask questions about the over economy, something more abstract and not necessarily connected to their own lives:
Do you think the economy is shrinking or growing? Growing 22%, staying the same 25%, shrinking 37%. The economy has grown at 3% on average under Biden, the highest for any President since Clinton. The economy grew at 4.9% in the third quarter, one of the strongest quarters of growth in recent decades.
How would you describe the current state of the American economy? Excellent/good 30%, fair/poor 64%. Strongest recovery in G7, fastest job growth perhaps ever, very strong GDP growth, inflation is way down, wage growth is very strong, deficit is way down from Trump…..
Are the number of jobs in the United States…. Increasing 42%, staying the same 36%, decreasing 22%. Under Biden 14m new jobs have been created, and we’ve had the fastest job growth rate of any President since WWII.
So only 22% of Americans know the economy is growing, 58% don’t know jobs are increasing, and 64% think the economy is fair/poor - but yet they are satisfied with their lives, their work, their pay and do not think their wages will decrease next year…..
Chew on this data a bit, review all the remarkable economic news from the last few months, and let’s come back to this discussion next week…..
Republicans’ Ongoing Betrayal Of The Country - Last night, the Senate, and Republicans themselves, began confronting the intolerable, dangerous and ongoing betrayal of the United States by some of their colleagues. Here’s Senator Dan Sullivan speaking on the Senate floor reminding us that by the end of the year 89% of all general officer positions in the US military will have been effected by Tuberville’s authoritarian blockade:
The Tuberville blockade has to be understood as only one part of what appears to be a coordinated campaign to undermine the United States and our democracy in a time of rising global instability and challenge. Right now Republicans are:
Blocking hundreds of Pentagon appointees, weakening our military and encouraging our adversaries to challenge us across the world./
Blocking over 60 State Department appointments, including 37 Ambassadorships and the Ambassadors to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Makes is far harder to achieve diplomatic solutions to our global challenges.
Blocking critical cybersecurity legislation, turn off a DHS program called Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), and are now working to terminate DHS programs to counter use of drones by terrorists here in the US and the office which works to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction against the American people. What possible justification is for any of this?
Blocking the appointments of US Attorneys, as a way of weakening the Department of Justice and the rule of law more broadly
Fighting additional aid to Ukraine, once again appeasing Putin and enabling Ukrainian genocide; holding hostage aid to Israel. In recent days Trump has made it clear he intends to withdraw from NATO if he comes to power.
Excusing and covering for Trump’s theft and wanton dissemination of America’s secrets, which is almost certainly the most significant national security breach in US history.
Elevating Insurrectionists including a man who was the one of the primary architects of the Republican Party’s effort to overturn the 2020 Presidential election and end American democracy to the Speaker’s Chair.
5 days to go - keep working hard all - we cannot let these guys win - Simon