Dem victories are not inconsistent with tough polls, but they offer a path victory next year
Was watching James Carville last night. He said when it comes to personal freedom issues that hit close to home like abortion, voters don’t trust Any Republicans! They don’t trust “moderate” restrictions either, because they lie about everything. So Republicans are boxed in on abortion. No escape. Hammer that with your point person, Kamala Harris. She is popular among women and the young. Raise her profile and sell the ticket as a true team. I personally Love Joe Biden. We exchanged correspondence after our son was killed in an auto accident around the time Beau died and met him at a fundraiser in San Antonio. He is as good a person as a leader can be. Contrast that with the most malignant personality to ever occupy the white house. Then amplify Harris. Trump will pick a MAGA running mate like Kari Lake. Then build a campaign on who cares for you, delivers for, and who you Can trust.
Biden Harris ticket should not be a hard sell.
We need to go sell it!
Also, we just had thousands of volunteers like me work really hard for an OFF YEAR election (not even a midterm). Just think of what we'll do next year. The polls and media narratives cannot capture this. The media is going to spend the next 12 months hammering why we won't win, but our fate is largely in our own hands. Yes it might be close and yes there are obstacles we can't control, but let's start acting like we have a shot here because we do know how to win and they are a mess.
1. I will take winnings elections over good polls.
2. I would much rather be us than them now.
3. Let’s get to work and put another nail in the coffin of MAGA next year.
One would think that the supposedly pro-business party would recognize that people aren’t buying what it is selling. They can repackage it all they want, but the product sucks and enough voters know it. A 15-week “compromise” is still an assault on abortion rights just as a bland MAGA Speaker is still a right-wing zealot. All being squatted on by a blustering, loathsome toad. Have fun with that one.
Always good to read your sharp analysis. I do quibble with this sentence: "The Biden folks and the DNC deserve an immense amount of credit for not allowing the infrastructure or the grassroots enthusiasm to atrophy during otherwise tough times." As a founding member of Markers For Democracy ( https://markersfordemocracy.org/) a grassroots group that started in the aftermath of the 2016 election and has not stopped -- we meet 3 or more days a week to write postcards; host candidates and speakers (well over 600 since we started meeting on zoom in 2020); share plans for phone banks, text banks, canvassing; raise money for our States Project giving circles and candidates -- our activism is not dependent on the Biden team or the DNC. We meet and work because we want to strengthen democracy and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. This cycle we wrote postcards for school board candidates, candidates for state legislature and candidates for local offices because we know those elections are essential to the health of our democracy. And, as I'm sure you realize, we are just one of thousands of groups like ours around the country. The grassroots movement on the Democratic side is bottom up, not top down, and while we support the Biden campaign, our work is mostly focused on down-ballot races.
It’s really heartening to read Dan’s column and the comments today.
Somehow it’s easy for Dems to get pushed into a defensive crouch by a poll. But let’s all lock into the realization that—and I can’t stress this enough—every Republican position is an outlier, and the MAGA extremists seem to have no answer but to double down on these unpopular positions.
If they were honest, when a journalist asks, “Can you tell me your position on abortion?” A truthful answer would be “Crouching in fear and bewilderment.” Isn’t the same true on jobs, guns, taxes, and new ideas?
This will be a turnout election. We know how to outwork them and deliver a win.
As a NYC born Cuban American and USCG/USN veteran, I would urge the Dems and President Biden to come out more strongly against trump. I think Biden is great, but too many of my Latino brothers see him as weak compared to trump and that is one reason why they have turned against the Dem. party.
I have seen a lot of punditry say that because the Democrats Electorate have attracted the most civically minded and engaged voters, that means the least engaged have gone to the Republicans. That seems like all squares are rectangles so all rectangles are squares to me.
I suspect more that most people of color and younger voters still prefer what the democrats are selling. They way I see it, the Democrats were able to persuade college educated voters to come to our side, while older white voters stuck with the Republicans. Both groups turn out in off years, but the Republicans lost a critical part of their base.
Of course open minded voters are open to going to Trump, when he has been out of the news and Biden is man on the bathroom door for every irritation in life. But put the spotlight on Trump, and show off Biden's charm and accomplishments and I think most of them come home.
I sure hope that Dems prevail. But we need to dig in and really work hard. I am not a big fan of David Leonhardt, but he made a point in his morning NYT newsletter that several Democratic candidates who made abortion central to their campaigns didn't prevail last year, including Stacey Abrams, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan, and others. He wrote, "Nationwide, not a single Republican governor or senator has lost re-election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade." I hope some autopsies of those races are being explored to see why the Dems didn't prevail. I still have whiplash from Trump winning in 2016, as I'm sure we all do, and I have not had a confident feeling in any election since. Not even in Oregon.
In addition to the Dobbs backlash, I wonder whether the results indicate rising voter disdain for the MAGA nuttiness in the House (and elsewhere).
So, if trump is convicted before their convention, they have the opportunity to nominate someone else, yes? So, I’m guessing these remaining candidates are not auditioning for VP but rather they’re biding their time waiting to make the case for being his replacement. It’ll probably look a lot like the speaker shit show but they’ll end up with someone younger than Biden and that will be enough for most people to vote for whichever person emerges. My money is on the irony of Haley being the first female president, leading a party that is decidedly anti-woman.
Really helpful contextualization. So much can change in a year to affect voter attitudes that are external to campaigns: economic conditions (eg the WeWork bankruptcy could trigger a wave of tightened credit and all attendant ripple effects that reach consumers and bum them out) and headline news (eg the Gaza conflict which is already showing coalition-splitting effects for Ds), so please keep the analysis coming!
This analysis not only makes sense, it gives all of us some very specific objectives:
-Convince our engaged friends not to get complacent;
-Ramp up our outreach to disengaged and marginally engaged voters likely to share our values, starting now.
When I was a kid, my cross-country coach said that when you get to the top of a hill, your instinct is to let up and recover. But the best thing you can do is accelerate. Your body will still recover, and that is when you can make big gains on your competitors and set a more aggressive pace for the rest of the race. That's how I feel this morning. We just crested a big hill, now it's time to hit the gas.
And one other observation: Abortion won big. And so did sanity in education - it was a bad night for the Moms for Liberty types too. Cheers to that!
Hey Dan, great analysis, as always. I'm thrilled by Tuesday's results and I want to just take the win. But I am a doomsdayer at heart and so I search for the bad news. Which is always the nightmare of trump returning to power.
It really does seem like he not only has his own special universe of voters but that the base is growing by the day, mostly with resentful bros who adopt "the Left made me do it" attitude. (It's never not an infuriating take, always drooled out in the context of the lazy "cancel culture" bs.) As such, I'm less concerned about Biden's 81M+ voters staying home than I am about trump actually gaining on his 74M from last time.
I'm not sure there's a question in here – I may just be venting – but I guess if you read this I'd like to know if you've experienced or witnessed anything that leads you to believe that there were dormant trump sympathizers in 2020 who will vote in 2024. And if so, do you see a scenario where Biden can add to his totals in the key swing states or is that nearly impossible for an incumbent with low approvals?
One of the points made (among many) is that abortion brings out “single issue” voters. To Dan’s point earlier this week we need to drive home all the good that has happened during Biden’s term to appeal to the diverse needs of all voters. We are all, collectively and individually, better off now than we were four years ago (see Reagan-Carter debate 1984).
Fair point. But I’m not sure the independents and undecideds have an appetite for a convicted felon.