Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Encouraging Hispanic Poll, Biden Heads To The Picket Line, Early Vote Has Begun In VA
Hopium Gathering Tonight at 7pm ET/Welcome New Subscribers!
A few things I’m thinking about today:
The President heads to the UAW picket line later today. Going to be quite a moment. Excited to see the Biden-Harris campaigning sending our good friend Governor Gavin Newsom to the Reagan Library to be the lead Dem responding to the GOP debate tomorrow night. Congress returns today with progress on avoiding a Sunday government shutdown unlikely.
Trump has gone on a bit of an authoritarian spree in the last few days, we’ve gotten more information on the blatant corruption of the Roberts Court and both the NC and WI legislatures are pushing their states deeper into something that isn’t democracy - we cannot look away at this stuff. The descent of the GOP into extremism and illiberalism remains the most important story in American politics today.
New Hispanic Poll Very Good for Biden and The Dems - A new large sample, high quality, bi-partisan Univision poll of Hispanic voters has Biden leading Trump 58-31 (+27). Given that our campaign is not yet turned on, I will take this result, as my hope is that next year we get to 65-35 (+30) with Hispanics. This seems well within reach given this poll.
As I discuss in my writing and presentation on Democrats and the Hispanic vote, there needs to be a bit of a rethink about how we look at the Hispanic vote. Yes, Democrats’ percentage of the vote has dropped a bit in recent years, but a slightly lower percentage of a bigger vote still yields more net votes for Democrats. Or as I like to say a slightly smaller piece of a bigger pie gives you more pie.
Let’s dive into the math here a bit. In 2004 our net margin with Hispanic voters nationally was 700,000. In 2020 it was 4.5m-5.5m votes. As the Hispanic population has grown our margins nationally and in the states have grown, dramatically. This is a central reason why the Southwest has gone from a lean red region of the country in 2004 to a lean blue/blue region today. Whether we are winning 65-35 in Arizona or 68-32 doesn’t really matter that much as these large margins keep giving us more net votes as the population grows. So to be clear - with a growing segment of the population, it is possible to drop from 68-32 to 65-35 and still walk away with a larger net margin and a stronger Democratic Party.
If there has been any real erosion with the Hispanic vote, it has been with Republicans, as our net Hispanic vote margins in the Southwest keep growing, and the region keeps slipping further and further away from them. No doubt we have suffered setbacks in Florida, but in the rest of the US the story of Democrats and the Hispanic vote has been a rousing success. In this memo I argue that our success with Hispanic voters may the single most important party-wide success story in Democratic politics over the past 25 years. Any attempt to characterize it as “erosion” is in mind red wavy.
Like with everything we do, getting to where we want to be with Hispanics is not guaranteed. Opportunities only become reality when do the work. Given how young the Hispanic vote is, and now many new voters enter the Hispanic electorate every year, this community needs to hear from us, aggressively, every year - perhaps more so than any other part of our coalition. We cannot take anything for granted with Hispanic voters. But I like where this Univision poll has us. It is where we need to be right now, a little more than 13 months before the election.
Given the challenges with national polling these days, it’s possible that the best information we are going to get about the election is going to come from a combination of the ongoing elections themselves and larger sample polls of narrower groups, like a single state or single demographic. This Univision poll is a large sample (more accuracy) of a narrow slice of the American electorate (most natl polls poll between 125-200 Hispanic voters for example). A new large sample CNN poll of just New Hampshire also had encouraging data for us - Biden up over Trump 52-40, 5 points better than 2020, consistent with the strong results we are seeing across the US this year. I think to really know where the election today is we would need a series of large sample polls in the core battleground states now - AZ, GA. MI, NC, NV, PA, WI. Hopefully we will get those soon, but of course producing 7 large sample polls of these states is 7 times more expensive than doing a single national poll. Which is why we don’t see these kind of narrow, large sample polls that much, despite how valuable they are.
Virginia Early Vote Has Begun! - Click here to learn more about the Virginia election, including the best ways to volunteer and donate. Also plan on joining us next Tuesday, Oct 3rd, for a live briefing from Delegate Dan Helmer, who is overseeing the campaign to take back the Virginia State House. All hands on deck on this one, and thanks to all who are already working hard to keep our strong 2023 performance going this fall.
Here’s the Election Data I Am Most Focused on Now
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.
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.
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.
Gas Prices - With Saudi Arabia and Russia maliciously cutting production global oil prices are rising and gas prices here in the US have started climbing again. We will be spending time on the issues around energy and climate change in the coming weeks but wanted to send along some data shared by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla this morning. It reminds us as American’s incomes have climbed even slightly elevated gas prices are far less of a burden on families then in the recent past.
Events This Week (click here for full schedule)
Tue, September 26th, 7pm ET - Full Hopium community Political Briefing and Discussion with Simon - RSVP here. Lots to talk about - looking forward to getting together with everyone! Video will be available hear for those who can’t make it.
Wed, September 27th, 11am ET - Simon presents to Seniors Taking Action
Wed, September 27th, 7pm ET - Simon and Robert Hubbell join Big Tent USA, “Building A Pro-Democracy Coalition” - Learn More, RSVP
Keep working hard all - Simon