Core Election Data
Updated 11/9/23. Not Yet Updated to Include the November, 2023 Elections - Friends, yes, there is a lot of polling out there. Some of it is good, some of it’s not so good. I’m not really worried about it. In fact, here’s the election data I’m most interested in right 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.
A reminder that Democrats only broke above 50.1% of the vote once from 1948 all the way to 2004 - 1964, the year after JFK’s assassination. So, that we’ve broken above 51% in 3 of our last 4 elections is a pretty remarkable achievement.
2008 52.9-47.5 Obama-McCain
2012 51.1-47.2 Obama-Romney
2020 51.3-46.8 Biden-Trump
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 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 6.2 points over 2020 in 33 special elections this year. Very encouraging stuff.
Current Congressional Polling is Very Encouraging for Democrats - We are starting to get data now in the aftermath of the GOP’s Speaker debacle and it’s seriously bad news for Republicans. The current Economist/YouGov tracker has Congressional favs/unfavs at
Congressional Ds 44-51 (-7)/Congressional Rs 35-59 (-25)
Navigator just released its quarterly in-depth look at battleground House districts, and it too finds truly terrible numbers for Congressional Republicans right now:
If this data holds, it’s significant for two reasons: 1) Democrats will be the clear favorites to win the House 2) This degraded GOP Congressional brand will drag down Trump and the overall GOP brand in the Presidential battlegrounds.
I’m beginning to think that this is the most important polling out there right now.
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.
Simon Rosenberg - Washington, DC