Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
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It’s a big week in American politics. The President speaks to the UN General Assembly today about Ukraine, climate change, our future together. President Zelenskyy is visiting the US and comes to Washington on Thursday. The Republicans of course rose to the occasion by spending all day yesterday talking about John Fetterman’s shorts and hoodies and the House has completely melted down……says it all, doesn’t it? One side governs and tries to lead the world, the other preens in the hope of getting on Fox News and struggles to rub two sticks together.
Tue, September 19th, 7pm ET - Hopium Paid Subscriber Political Briefing and Hangout - RSVP here. Looking forward to seeing folks tonight!
Tue, September 26th, 7pm ET - Full Hopium Community Political Briefing and Discussion - RSVP here.
The Importance of Day 1 Voting - I’ve gotten a lot of interest in this topic we discussed the other day in relation to early voting starting in Virginia this week (learn more, volunteer, donate) - the importance of Day 1 voting and voting early. So here’s a short clip of me talking about it with Fred Wellman in our recent MeidasTouch discussion. The bottom line - voting on Day 1 (or 2 or 3) increases Dem turnout and makes it more likely we win. It’s a strategy we need to adopt across the country in every election which has early voting. Love how our friends at Network NOVA are celebrating Day 1 voting in Virginia this Friday. It’s a great model for others to follow.
Let’s Spend Some Time With New Navigator Polling - One of my favorite polling outfits is Navigator Research, which is a consortium of center-left pollsters and data folks. They publish every two weeks and their polls are data-rich, smart and often come with easy to read charts and graphs. If you like to study polling you should sign up for their emails and geek out as I do when it arrives in your inbox.
They just dropped a new report I want to spend some time with today. First up, issue advantages for each party. Note that we are doing really well on a host of issues that matter. But also note we are not where we want to be on the economy and inflation.
This next chart looks at the question of what issues are most important for Congress to be focusing on:
You can see that economic issues dominate now, which is why I talk so much about Dems needing to win the economic argument. We simply cannot have the election we want to have next year and get to 55 if we trail Republicans on the two most important issues for the overall electorate by double digits. We have work to do here, and need to keep focused on talking about and selling Biden’s achievements. We also cannot ignore the intensity here around corruption. This is something we will be returning to in the coming weeks.
Let’s also look at how different the top issues are for Democrats and Republicans, as we do live in two entirely distinct information universes:
Top Issue Dems Top Issue GOP
Climate Change 46% Inflation 56%
Inflation 41% Jobs/Econ 55%
Jobs/Economy 37% Immigration 45%
Health Care 37% Corruption 41%
Guns 37% Crime 31%
Abortion 33% Soc Sec/Medicare 27%
A few things to note here:
Republicans have lots of intensity around a few issues, Dem intensity is more distributed.
Climate change is now a top tier issue for Democrats, something that is not well understood in the Democratic consulting class.
Going back to the first chart, our negatives on the economy, crime, corruption and immigration are just too high, and we need to close the gap on all of these in the coming months.
Though abortion and democracy may be a bit lower than folks would have imagined, we know from other polling that they can be the #1 or #2 issue for many voters. So while they aren’t top tier for all voters - for example in states where MAGA isn’t strong - they are top tier/voting issues for many voters in our coalition. And no we don’t have state based breakouts on this data but one could imagine that both of these issues have far greater intensity and salience in the battleground states where theses issues have been litigated in recent elections.
I don’t think the way this polling looks at issues captures the most important dynamic in American politics today - the fear and opposition to MAGA. So like all polling it is a snapshot in time, a sketch and not a full on painting or photograph. Polling informs, it doesn’t predict or dictate. It’s just helpful in understanding where we are now, and I find this “most important issue” work from Navigator really instructive. Hope you do too.
So bottom line - I feel good about where we are, but we have a lot of work to do in the next 14 months to have the election we all want to have next year. I am particularly encouraged by the Biden campaign and Biden SuperPAC starting to spend a lot of money on TV and digital ads, and by the content and quality of the ads themselves. Their ads have been focused on the two areas I think we need to be working on now - making the economic case, and building up Biden as leader of the country (what is often called strong leader/weak leader in research).
Of the many ads the campaign has released so far, my favorite is below. To make the economic sale I think we need to make it about what we’ve done together, what we’ve built together, how far we’ve come from COVID together. The strong position America is in now is due to the strength, grit and resilience of the American people themselves (with help from Biden and the Dems of course). Which is why I like the line in this ad so much: “It’s the American people who are the heroes of this story:”
Keep working hard all - Simon