Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Zelensky Comes to America, Dems Strong 2023 Performance Continues, MAGA = Historically Terrible and Dangerous
The Monday Hopium Roundup/Welcome New Subscribers!/VA Early Vote Begins Friday
Happy Monday all, let’s get to it!
The UN General Assembly begins this week in New York and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy will be visiting Washington on Thursday. Lots of focus on foreign policy, climate change and Ukraine in the coming days. President Biden addresses the UN tomorrow, Tuesday.
Here is an excerpt of a new 60 Minutes interview with Zelenskyy. It’s pretty intense, and vital, and a reminder of the conflict the US now finds itself in:
Democrats won two more special elections this past week, in New York and Tennessee. The DailyKos special election tracker now has Democrats up an average of 7.4 points over 2020 results in 25 races across the country. Our continued strong 2023 performance is very encouraging, and more important data than national polls 14 months out and with only one party engaged in the Presidential election. This high single digit overperformance is similar to what we saw across the US in the run up to our successful 2022 election.
In Virginia, early vote begins this Friday. You can learn more and find ways to help here. New data shows VA Senate Democrats out-raised their opponents this summer, and enter the home stretch with a bit of political momentum. This is a big one - need everyone in the Hopium community involved here in whatever way you can.
We wake up this morning to the news that the deeply unserious deal House Republicans negotiated amongst themselves over the weekend - just 13 days before the government shuts down - is already failing. As the world comes to New York this week, America moves closer to another GOP government shutdown and more MAGA chaos in DC. The emerging Republican plan arrogantly abandons the framework negotiated by the President, House and Senate just a few months ago; advances draconian cuts in domestic spending which will almost certainly throw the US into recession; has no chance of passing the Senate; helps Putin by eliminating funding for Ukraine. Last week the ridiculous capitulation to the MAGAs on the Biden inquiry; now this budgetary train wreck and legislative terrorism from the Trumpists, who are clearly working now to shut down the government and crash the US economy for the former President’s benefit. The deep ugliness of a desperate MAGA is front and center again in our politics. Stay tuned - going to be a hard and difficult few weeks here in DC.
Now to our Monday roundup……..
Tue, September 19th, 7pm ET - Hopium Paid Subscriber Political Briefing and Hangout - RSVP here.
Tue, September 26th, 7pm ET - Full Hopium Community Political Briefing and Discussion - RSVP here.
Three New Pods
On Democracy with Fred Wellman and MeidasTouch (Audio and Video)
Jen Rubin’s Green Room (Audio only)
The Lincoln Project with Reed Galen (Audio only)
Here’s a clip from my talk with Fred Wellman about the necessity of re-inventing the War Room for a new day:
Winning Virginia/Our Democratic Grassroots Is Stronger Than It’s Even Been/Becoming An Info Warrior for Democracy
Winning Virginia (New, with links to volunteer and donate)
Sharing Your Work With Others in The Hopium Community (Fun, Exciting and Inspiring)
The Economy is Strong, Inflation is Down, There Is No Recession On The Horizon And America Is A Global Leader on Climate Once Again
Election and Polling Analysis - I Would Much Rather Be Us Than Them
Some Notes on Current Polling and Political Data (Asymetrical Engagement)
The DailyKos 2023 Special Election Tracker - Dems up 7.4% over 2020!
The Election Data and Narratives I’m Focused On
The Democratic Party Is Strong - 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.
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, PA and WI. A recent 538 analysis finds Dems outperforming the partisan lean in districts this year by an average of 10 points in 38 special elections across the US - this is a big deal, and similar to what we saw post-Dobbs last year. The Kos average has Dems up 7.4 points over 2020 in a smaller sample of elections this year.
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.
Getting to 55 and The Importance of The Youth Vote
Republicans Are Saddled With Trump, MAGA, Dobbs and Treason
A post from the former President this weekend. Takes credit for eliminating Roe, 6 week abortion bans. It’s why we are fighting.
Hopium Chronicles Basics
What I Mean By Hopium (Audio)
With Democrats Things Get Better - August, 2023
Finally, here’s how Ron Brownstein of CNN and The Atlantic wrote about this political moment and our emerging opportunity:
Simon Rosenberg, the long-time Democratic strategist who was proven right as the most prominent public skeptic of the “red wave” theory in 2022, argues that Trump, in particular, is unlikely to match his 47% of the vote from 2020 if the GOP nominates him again. “We are starting at a place where it is far more likely in my mind that he gets to 45% than he gets to 49%,” Rosenberg said. “And if he gets to 45%, we have the opportunity to get up to 55%. The key for Democrats is we have to imagine growing and expanding our coalition for it to happen.”
Beyond the personal doubts about Trump among voters outside the GOP coalition, Democrats such as Rosenberg and Anzalone see several other factors that give Biden a chance to widen his winning margin from the last election. Perhaps the most important of those are the slowdown in inflation, continued strength of the job market, and signs of accelerating recovery in the stock market – all of which are already stirring some gains in consumer confidence. Democrats are encouraged as well by recent declines in the number of undocumented immigrants attempting to cross the Southern border and the crime rate in big cities – two issues on which polls show substantial disappointment in Biden’s performance.
Another change since 2020 is the broad public backlash, especially in Democratic-leaning and swing states, against the 2022 Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to abortion, which Trump has directly claimed credit for engineering through his nominations to the court. Finally, compared to 2020, the electorate in 2024 will likely include significantly more young people in Generation Z, a group that is preponderantly supporting Democrats, and fewer Whites without a college degree, now the GOP’s best group.
All of these factors, Rosenberg said, create “an opportunity” for Democrats to amass a bigger majority next year than most consider possible. But to get there, he argues, the party will need to think bigger, particularly in its efforts to mobilize younger voters aging into the electorate. “It’s a man on the moon kind of mindset,” Rosenberg said. “We have to want to go there to get there. We have to build a strategy to take away political real estate from the Republicans because they are giving us the opportunity to take it away from them.”
Many Republican strategists privately agree that the combined effect of the January 6 insurrection and the court’s abortion decision will make it difficult for Trump to expand his support from 2020 if the GOP nominates him again.
Keep working hard all - Simon