Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Democrats Just Keep Winning, Biden Administration Engages Young Americans
Early vote starts this Friday in Virginia!
Friends, a few things today:
Democrats Just Keep Winning - Last week I posted here about our ongoing success in elections across the US this year, and how it was similar to what we saw in the run up to our very strong general election performance last year. Well, last night we won 2 more specials in NH and PA. We won the NH State House seat by 12 points in a district Trump won in both 2016 and 2020 - another remarkable performance. So to recap:
The DailyKos special election tracker has Democrats outperforming 2020 results by 7.6 points over 25 races across the US this year. Amazing!
A recent 538 analysis found in a broader set of elections Democrats were outperforming the partisan lean of the district by 10 points. Today 538 published an update, Democrats have been winning big in special elections: that could bode well for them in the 2024 election. It includes this passage: “It’s also the latest example of Democrats outperforming in a special election, a trend that could be a harbinger of a very good year for Democrats in 2024. This New Hampshire district is 6 percentage points more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole, according to a weighted average of the 2020 and 2016 presidential results in the district.* Yet Rafter won by 12 points — an 18-point Democratic overperformance above their partisan baseline.”
This year Democrats also flipped the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, winning by 11 points and getting all the way to 56%: we flipped 2 Republican leaning cities, Jacksonville and Colorado Springs; and we won the August Ohio ballot initiative 57-41. In 2022 we got to 59% in CO, 57% in PA, 55% in MI and 54% in NH. We keep performing at the upper end of what’s possible.
On Twitter today prominent GOP strategist Chris Wilson, sharing the NH results, wrote: “Precursor to what would occur should Trump be the GOP nominee. Republicans will be wiped out in 2024.”
All of this is deeply encouraging. Given that we are talking about so many different kinds of elections across this vast country this is clearly a serious trend and cannot be easily dismissed. The heightened Democratic performance we saw in the elections after Dobbs last year has carried over, powerfully, to 2023. Is it predictive of what will happen next year? Of course not. But is it really good news? Absolutely. As I often say - as we head into 2024 I would much rather be us than them. We keep winning. They have Trump.
Why we need to keep our heads down, and work together to make these coming November elections another round of encouraging wins for us. Will send a very loud message about 2024. Know folks are already working hard on races across the US already. Early vote starts this Friday in Virginia, and I am hoping all members of our community will help out there in the coming days and get the early vote off to a rollicking start.
The Election Data and Narratives I’m Focused On
The Democratic Party Is Strong - 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.
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, PA and WI. A recent 538 analysis finds Dems outperforming the partisan lean in districts this year by an average of 10 points in 38 special elections across the US - this is a big deal, and similar to what we saw post-Dobbs last year. The Kos average has Dems up 7.6 points over 2020 in a smaller sample of elections this year.
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 success 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.
Team Biden Leans Hard Into Engaging Young Americans - As the Hopium community knows I’ve been calling on Democrats to launch an unprecedented effort to engage young Americans this year. Sure appears the White House has decided to do just that, and it is so great to see:
These two announcements come on the heels of the Vice President launching an ambitious effort to engage young Americans across the US:
In our paid subscriber gathering last night we discussed the importance of engaging young people, registering them to vote and turning them out in 2024. Here are some of the Hopium resources we discussed:
If we put young people at the center of everything we do 2024 is going to be a very good year for us.
My Hopium-Filled Interview With Fred Wellman - If you can’t wait till our community gathering next Tuesday at 7pm ET, sending along my recent conversation with Fred Wellman for MeidasTouch. It was a good one, and think you will enjoy it.
Keep working hard all. We are making a difference! - Simon