Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
2024 - Biden Leads In Recent Polling, Some Early Thoughts on 3rd Party/Rogue Party Efforts
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Happy Friday all! A few things for you today:
Presidential Poll Roundup - Part of the reason Tom Bonier and I got the election right last year was that we dismissed a lot of the junk polling out there and kept focused on higher quality, independent polls. Those polls showed a close, competitive election, not a wave. Applying that technique to our current moment, here is where the Presidential race stands today among polls I consider to be more reliable:
Yahoo/You Gov 47-43
NBC News 49-45
Economist/You Gov 44-40
Morning Consult 43-42
This averages out to a 3-4 point lead for Biden. An AARP poll done in the House battlegrounds - not a national sample - also had Biden up 4, 47-43. So give Biden a slight advantage now.
I’m happy with this polling. Many voters have not checked in on the 2024 race yet, which is particularly true on our side as we have no primary campaign right now to engage people. So if anything Biden’s support may be a bit soft right now, meaning he’s got a bit more upside in the coming months. If we are to get to 55 in 2024 this is where I would expect the race to be right now. To get there Biden needs to keep improving his standing on the economy and his job approval overall (a doable thing), and we need to further degrade Trump and the GOP brand (also a doable thing).
It is also core to my understanding of the moment that given our really strong performance in the battleground states in both 2022 and early 2023, the battleground states are a little harder now for the Rs than they were in 2020, meaning it will be harder for Trump to squeak by with a 2-3 point Dem popular vote lead as he did in 2016. The battleground is tougher for them this time; we have many strong Dem govs in these states now; and our campaigns and grassroots are stronger, more mature, and more sophisticated than in 2020. It is also true that millions of young voters have turned 18 since 2020, making many of these states a bit more Dem than 4 years ago.
Putting all this together I am good with where we are now and will continue to argue that our path to victory is much clearer than theirs. Joe Biden has been a good President and will have a strong case to make. We keep winning critical elections, they keep struggling. They will be running Trump, a serial criminal, sex offender and someone who has repeatedly betrayed his country. As I often say 15 months out I would much much rather be us than them.
August Events - Just posted RSVP links to three new events:
Tuesday, August 15th, 7pm EST - Hopium Paid Subscriber Political Briefing and Hangout. If you want to become a paid Hopium member click on the subscribe button below.
Friday, August 18th, 1pm EST - With Democrats Things Get Better
Tuesday, August 22nd, 7pm EST - Monthly Hopium Political Briefing and Discussion
Looking forward to seeing everyone! Lots to talk about!
The Third-Party/Rogue Candidates - I get a lot of questions about this so let me do a quick summary of my thinking - I am not as worried about all these efforts as many others are. Given what happened in 2000 and 2016 we need to pay attention of course, and be as aggressive as we can to denigrate them - none of them can win the Presidency, all are spoilers. I think RFK is being groomed to be on the ticket with Trump, as he is only talking to Republican voters, not Democrats. Will a Trump-Kennedy ticket be formidable? Given what a loony buffoon RFK is, hard for me to see.
Like Trump, RFK and No Labels are frauds, lying incessantly about their political intent. RFK claims to be a Democrat but is only talking to Republicans, keeps praising Trump and is clearly running now to be Trump’s VP. As for No Labels, I have been surprised by how fundamentally full of shit this effort has been - there is no middle lane, they can only be spoilers, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are not two sides of a political coin, you can’t be a reform movement if all your funding and processes are hidden from the public. The whole early effort is LOL ridiculous, and I think will really struggle to gain traction with voters. If Manchin is the candidate he will profile far more as a Republican than a Democrat or independent, dramatically limiting his appeal. I also just believe that once Joe Manchin realizes his only option is to be a grumpy Jill Stein he just won’t do it. It’s why we need to keep talking about how silly this effort is, how Manchin can only get to single digits, only be a spoiler - we need to make them look small and ridiculous, not big and powerful.
It is possible that something like No Labels could make it in our politics, but I think they lack a candidate who can pull this off, and the way they are going about it - lying, loads of dark money - makes it far less likely it succeeds.
At this point, my recommendation is don’t worry about any of them. Focus on building up Biden, particularly on economic issues, and keep our winning streak going this fall. My hope is that if we really can get to 55 next year, none of these efforts will matter. I also want to thank everyone who has taken steps to register young voters this summer. It is the other big thing we need to begin this year.
My other recommendation is that we need to be talking far more about what has already been the most significant third/rogue party effort in US politics - the Never Trumpers. These courageous Republicans - think Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, Lincoln Project, the Bulwark, Joe Scarborough, Matthew Dowd, Nicole Wallace, Michael Steele, Stuart Stevens, etc - have already had a significant impact on our politics. They have repeatedly created permission structures for Republicans to not vote Republican, and even vote Democratic in some cases. They have helped splinter an already weakened GOP coalition and helped make these last few elections successful for us. They are a critical part of this emerging pro-democracy coalition that has thwarted MAGA in recent years and are poised to do so again in 2024.
These other efforts may mount to something in 2024, but there already is a powerful third-party/rogue effort in America - the Never Trumpers/Never MAGA Rs, and we should be talking about them much more, building them up, welcoming them into our family, thanking them for their courage and making sure that any conversation that talks about Cornell West/Jill Stein or Joe Manchin also includes Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, and their allies. For it’s my view today that if any of these efforts are going to have a real impact in 2024 it is likely to be them, and not these other ridiculous efforts. And finding a common cause with these proud patriots is one of the ways we expand our coalition and get to 55 next year.
Happy Friday all. Keep working hard, and keep savoring that big win in Ohio this week. The Democratic Party has had a very good summer. The Rs have had a really bad summer, and in every way possible I would much rather be us than them as we head into 2024 - Simon