Tom Keen Wins, GOP Limps Into 2024, Axios: "Americans Are Actually Pretty Happy With Their Finances"
With Dems Friday, Tom Suozzi Next Wed, Jan 24th - Let's Win NY-3 Together
Friends, got a few things for you today:
Tom Keen Wins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - A big win last night. Home of Trump and DeSantis the day after they place 1-2 in Iowa. Dems outspent 2-1 in a GOP seat. Outspent, hostile territory, GOP seat and we flipped it! Congrats everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know many of you donated and worked on the race - thank you. What a great way to start this critical election year.
As we often discuss here the central dynamic in American politics since Dobbs in the spring of 2022 has been Dem overperformance, Republican struggle in race after race, all across the country. We saw it in the battlegrounds in 2022, as we improved our standing over 2020 in AZ, CO, GA, MI, MN, NH, PA; and got all the way up to 59% in CO, 57& in PA, 55% in MI, 54% in NH. We saw it all throughout 2023 as we took away Colorado Springs and Jacksonville, two of the largest GOP held cities; the Supreme Court seat and rancid gerrymandering in WI; the six week abortion ban in OH; the Virginia Assembly and the fantasy that the 15 week abortion ban would be a safe haven for Republicans; and so much more, all across the country.
When I started Hopium in early 2023 I wondered whether this dynamic that we saw in 2022 would continue in 2023, and it did. 2023 was really a blue wave year across the US. And here in early 2024 we’ve been wondering would this same dynamic carry over to this year? And look what we’ve seen this week:
Iowa - huge sums spent, competitive race, unprecedented investment in ground operations, lots of candidate time, and overall GOP turnout was abysmal, coming in at 110,000, down from 186,000 in 2016, and the lowest 24 years. If Rs were fired up, ready to take on Biden they would have shown up and voted. They didn’t. It’s another sign of this ongoing GOP struggle we discuss aboe.
Don’t let weather be an excuse here - the drop was much too big to be explained by weather; the test of the strength of a campaign or party is whether they can get their voters to show up - and here they didn’t; this GOP enthusiasm problem is something that just keeps repeating all across the country in election after election.
Florida - Dems flip this GOP held seat, despite all the advantages Republicans currently have in Florida. Another sign of Dem heightened performance, GOP struggle, another Dem takeaway of something Republicans hold.
There it is. Same dynamic, two different states. In a post yesterday I explained why I think this is all happening, why Republicans continue to struggle, why they are limping into 2024 - for at it’s core the GOP is an ugly party now, deeply unattractive even to its own voters.
Our next big test comes on February 13th, in NY-3, in the special election to fill the Santos Congressional seat. Our candidate there is Tom Suozzi, and many of you have already donated or volunteered - thank you!!! Tom is joining our monthly Hopium gathering next Wed night, Jan 24th, at 8pm - register here. Here are ways you can donate and volunteer for this next critical test in 2024:
As I wrote to you earlier this year, in 2024 our work together here at Hopium will be focused on growth, expansion and taking stuff away from them. It’s what we did throughout the country in 2023, and we’ve continued it now in our first 2024 test. That we just keep winning and overperforming, everywhere, again and again is the central reason why I am so optimistic about this November, and why, in every way possible, I would much rather be us than them.
I talked about all this on Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show last night. Here’s an excerpt, via Christoper Webb:
Excited and proud to be in this fight with all of you. Congrats on another important win last night. Now let’s go win NY-3, together.
Upcoming Hopium Events
Wed, Jan 17th, 7pm EST - Monthly Hopium Paid Subscriber Gathering With Simon - Paid subscribers can register here, and subscribe if you’d like to be included in our paid subscriber activities. Your financial support keeps the Hopium flowing!!!!!!!
Wed, Jan 24th, 8pm EST - Monthly Hopium Community-Wide Gathering with Special Guest Tom Suozzi. Register here.
Axios: “Americans Are Actually Pretty Happy With Their Finances” - As readers of Hopium know, I have been arguing for some time that the “how do you feel about the economy” question in polling has been a bit like the Biden approval question - it’s interesting, but doesn’t tell the whole story and centering your understanding of politics around it is risky. We know from polling that Americans have high levels of satisfaction with their lives, work and incomes, and that Democrats overwhelmingly approve of the job Biden is doing on the economy. Like with the question around Biden’s approval, if you dig a little deeper and look at a wider set of data you get a more complete picture of what’s happening; and not surprisingly, given how strong the economy is - no buts, howevers, just historically strong - Americans are feeling pretty good about things.
From Axios today:
….Americans overall have a surprising degree of satisfaction with their economic situation, according to findings from the Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.
Why it matters: That's in spite of dour views among certain subsets of the country — and in contrast to consumer sentiment polls that remain stubbornly weak, partly because of the lingering effects of 2022's inflation.
The Axios Vibes poll has found that when asked about their own financial condition, or that of their local community, Americans are characteristically optimistic.
Be smart: It's broadly understood that economic well-being influences electoral outcomes. By the same token, however, political affiliation influences the responses that Republicans, in particular, give when they're asked about the economy.
So asking about personal finances rather than the broader economy can reveal optimism not seen in consumer-sentiment polls.
Axios Vibe Check: How people feel about their economic prospects: 😁
What the data show about the overall economy: 😁
By the numbers: 63% of Americans rate their current financial situation as being "good," including 19% of us who say it's "very good."
Neither number is particularly low: They're both entirely in line with the average result the past 20 times Harris Poll has asked this question.
The survey's findings were based on a nationally representative sample of 2,120 U.S. adults conducted online between Dec. 15-17, 2023. (More on the methodology.)
Americans' outlooks for the future are also rosy. 66% think that 2024 will be better than 2023, and 85% of us feel we could change our personal financial situation for the better this year.
That's in line with Wall Street estimates, which have penciled in continued growth in both GDP and real wages for the rest of the year.
Stunning stat: 77% of Americans are happy with where they're living — including renters, who have seen their housing costs surge over the last few years and are far more likely than homeowners to describe their financial situation as poor.
Indeed, a substantial majority of renters are happy renting, with 63% of them saying they're not interested in homeowning and having a mortgage.
The reality is similarly upbeat. Asking rents finally started falling rather than rising recently. That, of course, is great news for renters.
Meanwhile, most mortgages carry very low interest rates of below 4%, and homes have soared in value — so homeowners are sitting pretty too.
More than half of Americans say that if they lost their job tomorrow they'd be OK; that they could find an equivalent or better job quickly; and that "my employers need me more than I need them."
63% of respondents describe their job security as "a sure thing."
That shouldn't be surprising, given that the number of job openings in America is still much higher than at any point before the pandemic.
The bottom line: Americans who believe their community's economy is strong outnumber those who think it's weak. They're right.
And let’s end with the Hopium core take on things:
Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. The Democratic Party is strong and winning elections all across the country. And they have Trump.
Congrats again on a big win, now let’s go win NY-3 together. Donate, volunteer today and let’s keep our wining streak going, together - Simon