Last Few Weeks Have Been Good Ones for Democrats
Strong Biden Launch, Important Electoral Wins, Rs All Sorts of Ugly
So, as we head into the weekend, let’s reflect on what I think has been a very good few weeks for the Democrats….
Strong Biden Launch - The Biden election narrative/frame of more freedom/less freedom is very powerful, their early ads and videos have been great, they are working to expand the battleground (really important) and they have started the campaign early.
Starting the campaign early really matters because to win now Democrats have to architect and build their campaigns around what I call the virtuous cycle of participation. You raise some money, that money allows you to reach more people, those more people help you raise more money, reaching even more people and on and on. This virtuous cycle enables our campaigns to get very big now, much bigger than what Republicans, who are far more reliant on large donations to a handful of outside groups, can build. These large, muscular campaigns allow us to more effectively control the information environment in contested states and races, and to build and manage unprecedentedly large both in-person and remote field operations which are helping push Democratic performance to the upper end of what is possible. As more and more of our grassroots patriots out there get used to doing this field work - postcards, calls, texts, canvassing - we get better at it, and our field operations are becoming ever more powerful every two years. It’s a central reason why we did better in the early vote in the battleground states in 2022 than we did in 2018 or 2020 - our field operations are becoming bigger, more sophisticated and more effective every cycle.
Going early allows the Biden campaign to begin building this virtuous cycle of participation earlier, which will result in a larger, more powerful, and more effective campaign next year - making it more likely we win. This grassroots-based electoral machine we’ve built over the past decade - driven to a great degree by the clear and present danger MAGA represents - has become perhaps our greatest political asset as a national party.
What is also true is that as MAGA grows more radical and moves further away from mainstream voters that increasing radicalization also pushes more people into this system of ours, and encourages those already in our grassroots to do more work. So as Trump and DeSantis try to out-crazy each other, pushing the Rs further away from voters, this escalation is also strengthening this virtuous cycle, making our campaigns even bigger and more powerful. Their extremism is like warming water in the ocean - it makes our grassroots hurricane ever more powerful.
It’s also why I am advocating that the Dems launch a national campaign to register young voters now. Launching that campaign kicks in another piece of this virtuous cycle process, as we will be doing the work to literally bring more people into our politics, accelerating this virtuous cycle process.
All of this is why I think this election is all about expansion. Rs are giving us an incredible opportunity to grow; we have the infrastructure to do it; now that the campaign is up it is time to get going. So much is possible for us now.
We Just Keep Winning, Everywhere- As we did in 2022, so far this year Dems are performing at the upper end of what is possible. We’ve won Supreme Court races, mayoral races, state rep races. We’ve won in Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. We’ve flipped two cities, Jacksonsville and Colorado Springs, which have been Republican for decades. Just look at how awful the GOP brand is now (below). These are horrific numbers. We need to stay on offense and keep taking more political real estate away from them.
Both Trump and DeSantis Have Had Bad Stretches - Trump was found guilty of sexual assault, and was indicted for felony level crimes in Manhattan. His legal problems are likely to get far worse in the coming months, and I am sorry but I just don’t know how he wins the Presidency with all this additional baggage. Since 2020 he has led an insurrection against the United States, stolen secrets and lied to the FBI about it, is a convicted sex offender, and is likely to get indicted several more times. Whether it is showing up in the polls or not yet, he is a degraded political figure who already lost a Presidential. He will be a deeply problematic nominee for Republicans.
DeSantis’ core narrative - electoral prowess and good Governor - has taken big hits in the last few weeks. He trails Trump badly in the polls (not a winner). The first major political test in Florida of his brand post-rightward lurch in his legislative session, Jacksonville, was a disaster for him. Disney’s forceful response to his wild assault on the company is a huge blow to his positioning as a pro-growth, competent governor. It makes him look ridiculous to the whole nation, deservedly so. Finally, his public performance on the stump continues to be really, um, awful.
So I think over the last few weeks both Trump and DeSantis have seen their brands degraded in ways that will make it harder for either of them to win next year.
To Sum Up - it’s been a good few weeks for us peeps. We have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of us, but I end this week feeling good, and in every possible way as we look to 2024 I would much rather be us than them.
Have a good weekend all - Simon