I am sending along a recording of our monthly Hopium-wide gathering from last night, above. We had a great crowd - thanks everyone! Tom Suozzi joined us for the first 20 minutes to give us an update on his critical in NY-3, and I followed it with an overview of I think the 2024 election is today and took some questions. Enjoy.
In a post yesterday and in my talk last night I laid out a few initial steps you can take now to help us make 2024 the year we want it to be:
Donate to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, join their campaign and send early resources and support to North Carolina, our most important 2024 expansions state
Support Tom Suozzi and help him win his Feb 13th special election. Voting has begun, and he leads in early polling. He will win if we do the work and get him the resources he needs.
Please take an action today of any kind, of any amount. It’s how we win.
In my talk last night I offered this bottom line take - the post-Dobbs dynamic of Dem overperformance/Republican struggle is showing up now in early 2024 as it did in 2022 and 2023. Turnout in Iowa was way below expectations and Trump only won 56,000 votes from the almost 750,000 registered Republicans in the state. Trump ran 10 points below pre-election polling in New Hampshire, and about half of those who voted in IA/NH voted against him. In both states entrance/exit polling found more than 30% of Republican voters having really serious problems with Trump if he’s convicted of a crime, and in Iowa more Haley voters said they would vote for Biden than Trump in the general election. It’s a willingness to cross over and support the other party I am not sure we’ve seen in the last 40-50 years of Presidential polling.
I am beginning to believe that something broke inside the Republican Party when Roe ended. Republican extremism and ugliness just became too much for too many Republican voters, and the party and MAGA have had serious performance issues ever since. In 2022 Trumpy candidate in the battleground states could not bring their party together after their contentious primary, and lost. Based on this early data it is very likely Trump is going to have that same struggle to bring along non-MAGAs into his coalition, and like the 2022 MAGAs will lose in the battlegrounds where the Presidential race will be decided.
These questions about broad possible defections from Trump if convicted of a crime may be the most worrisome data of all for Republicans, for juries and courts have already found that he committed extraordinary misdeeds, and there is no question about what he has done:
A jury of his peers found that he raped E. Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room
A court has determined he committed massive, decades-long financial fraud, and the State of New York has asked for $380m in fines and penalties
The Colorado Supreme Court has determined that he led an insurrection against the United States, and may still get barred from running in this election. Of course Trump has promised to end American democracy if he somehow ends up in the White House next year, confirming the gravity of these historic and unprecedented political crimes and why disqualification has to be a serious option
He stole America’s secrets, lied to the FBI about it, and shared those secrets with others. It is may be the single greatest betrayal of the country in our history
He and his family have taken billions of dollars from foreign governments, putting all sorts of foreign governments first and Americans last and establishing a norm of corruption that has no parallel in modern American history
All of these things are facts. They have already happened; and we know from polling that large numbers of Republicans - 20%-30%-40%- would consider them disqualifying. As a matter of messaging we should stop talking about “91 indictments” and “if he is convicted” and talk bluntly and forcefully about the crimes themselves, and the judgments courts and juries HAVE ALREADY rendered. For we can say now, without hesitation, that Donald Trump is a rapist, a fraudster, an insurrectionist; that he is the most corrupt politician in modern history and has serially betrayed the country. None of this information was available to voters in 2020. It is all new. And when we share it in the months ahead there is a lot of data suggesting it will be devastating for him and Republicans more broadly.
It’s why I keep arguing 2024 Trump is far weaker than 2020 Trump. He is no longer President, and has limited capacity to generate positive news this cycle for himself and his party. He is far more degraded, extreme, dangerous. His performance on the stump is far more erratic, impulsive, unhinged and disturbing. Because of his impulsivity and mental decline he keeps making deeply consequential unforced political errors, like opposing the ACA and taking credit for ending Roe on camera, mistakes that cause candidates to lose election. He is not strong. He is weak. He’s profoundly unfit, a terrible candidate and a horrible and dangerous man. We should be able to get to 55 and kick his ass this year.
Watch this video of Nikki Haley from South Carolina yesterday. It’s remarkable stuff. Trump is damaged goods, and she can feel it. Also note her attacks on Biden, for as I wrote the other day their talking points about him are evaporating and their indictment of him is sounding ever more hollow and ridiculous. Watch, and see how much fun she is having now:
All of this is a reminder that Trump never had magical powers or some deep and powerful connection with the American electorate. In 2016 ten days out he was losing the election. His performances in the 3 debates were terrible. Clinton was up 5-6 points and cruising. Then Comey intervened and gave the election to Trump. He and Republicans lost in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. He is struggling out of the box in early 2024, we flipped an important state house seat in his home state last week, and as Lawrence O’Donnell said last night in my discussion with him Biden got a higher percentage of the vote in his NH primary than Trump did in his and HE WASN’T EVEN ON THR BALLOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Republicans have made an enormous mistake in rallying behind Trump. In his fantasy world he was a strong and popular President; he won the 2020 election; all these crimes he committed never happened, are witch hunts, and his jailed co-conspirators are hostages; that US economy is weak; there is a war on energy, and inflation is raging; that Putin and Orban and Xi are his friends….it’s all so ridiculous, insulting and profoundly pathetic.
Republicans may have chosen to join Trump in this fantasy world, but we don’t have to. Either does Nikki Haley. Or Jack Smith. Or E. Jean Carroll. Or the State of New York. Trump is weak, a desperate, diminished, and horrible man. Yes, this delusional Emperor has no clothes, and it is time we all start shouting it from the rooftops. We all need to, as Timothy Snyder tells, stop obeying in advance, and playing along with this absurd and delusional strongman fantasy.
Joe Biden is a good President. The county is better off. The Democratic Party is strong and winning elections all across the country. And they have Trump, the most unfit person to ever run for President in our history.
Keep working hard all, and let’s go win this thing this year - Simon