NDN Blog

Invite: Feb 16, 1pm ET - NDN Talks High Crimes with Glenn Kirschner

We are very excited for this episode of NDN Talks - an extended conversation with television commentator and former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner.  Reserve your spot for Tuesday, February 16th at 1pm today. 

While we admired Glenn's commenator on television, what originally drew us to develop a working relationship with Glenn was this terrific legal analysis back in 2018.  In this NBC NewsThink essay, Glenn made a big argument, one which we think is particularly relevant today - that the Department of Justice needs to treat electoral crimes committed by the President as grave crimes, ones which cannot be subject to it's current "no prosecution" policy.  In this essay he wrote:

"If a president can act unlawfully to influence an election, he does not deserve the protections of his ill-gotten office. This incongruity encourages lawlessness in the quest for the presidency and then rewards that lawlessness by inoculating the criminal president against prosecution. Such a construct is dangerous....

We now find ourselves with a president whose crimes may outpace those of Nixon and Clinton. Failing to hold criminal presidents accountable in a court of law arguably emboldens, or at the very least does not dissuade, corrupt individuals from seeking the presidency. At some point, we must learn from our institutional mistakes. Department of Justice officials would be wise to reflect on American history lest we once again succumb to a governmental crisis."

What he is saying here, very clearly, is that if a President cannot be prosecuted for election crimes, then he has ever incentive in the world to cheat with impunity, which is exactly what we saw in both the Ukraine fiasco in 2019 and the months long effort to disrupt and cheat in the 2020 election.  Simon wrote an extended essay about Glenn's argument back in August, in the midst of what we called Trump's original electoral crime spree. 

With the 2nd Trump Impeachment trial starting in a new days we hope help to put Glenn's big argument back into the national debate, as a step we can take to ensure that these dark days don't return to America soon, or perhaps ever.

Glenn's Bio:

Glenn is a former federal prosecutor with 30 years of trial experience. He served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for 24 years, rising to the position of Chief of the Homicide Section. In that capacity, Glenn supervised 30 homicide prosecutors and oversaw all homicide grand jury investigations and prosecutions in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the DC U.S. Attorney’s Office, Glenn served more than six years on active duty as an Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) prosecutor, trying court-martial cases and handling criminal appeals, including espionage and death penalty cases. Glenn currently works as an NBC News/MSNBC on-air legal analyst and teaches criminal justice at George Washington University. He has a YouTube channel and Podcast, “Justice Matters with Glenn Kirschner.”

Glenn tried hundreds of cases in his 30 years as a prosecutor, including more than 50 murder trials, multiple lengthy RICO trials and precedent-setting cases.  His cases have been made into major motion pictures (murder conviction of a sophisticated con man who ran in elite DC circles, subject of upcoming film “Georgetown”, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christoph Waltz and Annette Bening) and TV documentaries (defendant Andre Burno convicted of the ambush shooting of an on-duty police officer, subject of the Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, “Thug Life in DC”). Glenn has lectured at Federal Bar Association seminars, judicial conferences and professional association events.  He has presented at the National Advocacy Center on the topic of homicide prosecutions and taught advanced criminal law at George Washington University School of Law as an adjunct faculty member. He traveled as a Department of Justice representative to address Ukrainian prosecutors and detectives regarding the U.S. Criminal justice system.   

As an Army JAG, Glenn served as prosecutor at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, where he handled dozens of court-martial cases and served as legal advisor to Army commanders on criminal justice matters. He then served as an Army appellate attorney at the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency in Falls Church, Virginia, where he handled death penalty and espionage cases, among others.

Glenn attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and was First-Team All American football player in 1983.  In 1987, he graduated with honors from New England School of Law in Boston, where he was named a Trustee’s Scholar. Glenn has received numerous awards, including: the Harold J. Sullivan Award for Fairness, Ethics and Trial Excellence; the John F. Evans Award for Outstanding Advocacy; the Metropolitan Police Department’s Chief of Police Medal of Honor; the United States Attorney’s Office STAR Award; U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal; Washington & Lee University Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee; and induction in September 2018 into the American College of Trial Lawyers.   

Invite: Dec 6th, 1pm ET - With Democrats Things Get Better

To help celebrate and promote Joe Biden's far-sighted economic agenda and important accomplishments, NDN has rebooted its signature presentation, With Democrats Things Get Better, and will be showing it once or twice or a month throughout 2022.

With Dems is updated with every showing, so it is always new and fresh. Our next showing will be Tuesday, December 6th at 1pm ET (RSVP) but if you cannot wait till then you can watch our latest presentation recorded on Friday, October 21.  

To learn more about the big arguments in With Dems start with our recently published analysis The Economy Remains Strong, 10m Biden Jobs and an essay, The Case for Optimism, Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism. which was the basis of the earliest version of this presentation.  We also strongly recommend reviewing David Leonhardt’s recent NYT essay "Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?" It makes very similar arguments and has lots of terrific and useful charts.  Our discussion with noted economist Rob Shapiro, and his 2 recent essays on the Biden Boom, also provide useful context.

Maria Cardona cites our research in her CNN column, as does David Rothkopf in this USA Today essay.   Mike Tomasky’s rave review of With Dems in a recent Daily Beast column is a great read.  Mike writes: “Simon Rosenberg heads NDN, a liberal think tank and advocacy organization. He has spent years advising Democrats, presidents included, on how to talk about economic matters. Not long ago, he put together a little PowerPoint deck. It is fascinating. You need to know about it. The entire country needs to know about it."  We agree of course!

You can find even more background below.  Thanks for your interest, and we hope to catch you at one of our upcoming presentations!

Background on With Dems

The impetus for With Dems comes from the big argument Donald Trump started making in his 2016 campaign - that this new age of globalization ushered in after the end of the Cold War had weakened the United States, leading to his infamous phrase "American carnage."

At NDN we always found that argument misguided and wrong. When Trump came to office the US had a very low unemployment rate, record high stock market, declining deficits and rapidly growing incomes for American workers. The uninsured rate was the lowest of the modern era, crime rates were half of what they'd been, and the flow of undocumented immigrants to the border was a fraction of what it was in the Bush and Clinton years.  The world was largely at peace, a great deal of the world was modernizing and growing, and a global effort to address climate change was picking up steam.  While things weren't perfect, what President Trump inherited when he came to office were some of the best overall geopolitical, societal and economic conditions America had seen in decades.  It is something Simon discusses at length in this Medium essay.

So over the past few years we've been talking about just how wrong former President Trump was about this great country and its achievements.  It has driven a great deal of our research and advocacy and the creation of an earlier version of With Democrats Things Get Better called Patriotism and Optimism.  In the spring of 2020 we retooled Patriotism and Optimism into our new presentation, With Dems, which is a data filled look at America during this age of globalization, and how each party has navigated its challenges while in the White House. 

Central to this presentation is the notion that the Democratic and Republican parties aren't mirror images of one another, but rather that they have followed separate, organic pathways in a big, diverse country like the US. The result of this differing evolution is that the Democrats have been a remarkably successful governing party since 1989, while the Republicans have presided over three straight recessions, historic foreign policy failures and a deeply dangerous embrace of illiberalism.  

One thing we discuss in With Democrats is how Americans who have grown up in this post-1989 era - those under 45 - understand this divergence, and view the parties very differently as a result. In 2018, voters under 45 voted for Democrats by a margin of 25 points, whereas in the seven elections from 1992 to 2004, voters under 45 (who had grown up in a fundamentally different political era) voted for Democrats by an average margin of just 0.3 points. 

We hope you enjoy this new project and do note that one of our existing programmatic areas, Countering Illiberalism's Rise, has some overlap with the work you will find here.  We are pleased that CNN Commentator Maria Cardona featured our work in her recent column in The Hill, and it got a wonderful rave from Mike Tomasky in a new Daily Beast column, writing  "It is fascinating. You need to know about it. The entire country needs to know about it." 

Simon recently published an essay, "Build Back Better/Reconstruir Mejor - Joe Biden's Historic Opportunity" in the Mexican-based intellectual journal Letras Libres.  It addresses many of the themes we explore in With Dems and offers some thoughts on the big challenges ahead for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. A passage: "A President Biden would have an extraordinary opportunity to do what he calls “build back better” here in America, and around the world.  It would be wise for Biden to view this moment as the beginning of a new era, a generational long project to reset America and the world after a collective trauma.  Perhaps the most analogous moment in our history would be the years after World War II in which new institutions were established around a new vision for humankind."

We hope you enjoy With Dems, and if you do, please invite others to come experience it too. It is free and open to the public – all are welcome. 

Background Readings

Build Back Better/Reconstruir Mejor - Joe Biden's Historic Opportunity - Simon Rosenberg, Letras Libres, 10/1/20 - In a new essay for the influential journal Letras Libres, Simon offer his thoughts about what Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrats should fight for if they prevail in the election this fall (English and Spanish). 

Crossing the Rubicon - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 1/29/20 - The GOP's increasing acceptance of illiberalism and actions at odds with our democratic tradition to gain/maintain power has become the most important political story of our time.

To Defeat Illiberalism, Democrats Must Embrace Their Success As A Governing Party - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 12/14/19 - Over the past 30 years, the Democratic Party has been the most successful center-left party in the developed world.   It is time it started acting like it, and begin to far more purposefully lead the fight against rising illiberalism here and abroad. 

Americans Under 45 Are Breaking Hard Toward The Democrats - And For Good Reason - Simon Rosenberg and Chris Taylor, NDN, 8/2/19 - Among the most significant political developments of the Trump era is the dramatic shift of under 45 year old voters towards the Democrats. From 2000 to 2016 D margin w/under 45s was 6 points. In 2018 it was 25. 

In New Global Age, Dems Have Produced Prosperity, the GOP Decline - Chris Taylor, Medium, 1/29/19.  Since 1989, Democrats have overseen strong and inclusive economic growth when in the White House, while the Republican Presidents have repeatedly seen economic under-performance and even recession and decline. 

The Case for Optimism: Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism, Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 6/2/17. In an essay that originally was published on Medium, Simon argues that the great rationale of Trump's Presidency  –  that America is in decline – simply isn't true, and must be challenged more forcefully. 

Chin Up, Democrats, Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 1/20/17. In his column, Simon argues that Democrats should have pride in their historic accomplishments and optimism about the future of their politics. This one is very relevant to the presentation itself. 

A Center-Left Agenda for the Trump Era - Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 12/9/16.  In the early days after Trump's election, Simon layed out a possible agenda for the Democrats centering on prosperity, security, shoring up the American led liberal order and ambitious efforts to reform our political system. 

Older, Related Work

An Enduring Legacy: The Democratic Party and Free and Open Trade Jan 21, 2014 - The global system created by Presidents FDR and Truman has done more to create opportunity, reduce poverty and advance democracy than perhaps any other policies in history. 

TIME Features NDN Economic Analysis, Chart, Labels It "Most Important Chart in American Politics" Feb 5, 2013 - Michael Scherer of Time reports on the influence Dr. Rob Shapiro's analysis has had on shaping recent thinking about how the American economy is changing.

"Forward, or Backward?" - The Descent of the GOP Into A Reactionary Mess 10/25/12 - In a new magazine essay, Simon argues that the more the world moves away from the simplicity of the Reagan moment the more angry and defiant the Republican offering is becoming.  In both Spanish and English.

Crafting an American Response to the Rise of the Rest, January 21, 2010, Cross posted on NDN.org and Salon.com.  Simon argues that the second generation Obama narrative must be a strategic response to the most significant transformation taking place in the world today, the rise of new global economic powers, or what Fareed Zakaria has called the “rise of the rest.”

The 50 Year Strategy, November/December 2007, Mother Jones. Simon and Peter Leyden offer a landmark vision for how progressives can win and prosper in the decades to come.

With Democrats Things Get Better - Video, 12/6 Live Presentation

To help celebrate and promote Joe Biden's far-sighted economic agenda and important accomplishments, NDN has rebooted its signature presentation, With Democrats Things Get Better, and will be showing it once or twice or a month throughout 2022.

With Dems is updated with every showing, so it is always new and fresh. Our next showing will be Tuesday, December 6th at 1pm ET (RSVP) but if you cannot wait till then you can watch our latest presentation recorded on Friday, October 21.  

To learn more about the big arguments in With Dems start with our recently published analysis The Economy Remains Strong, 10m Biden Jobs and an essay, The Case for Optimism, Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism. which was the basis of the earliest version of this presentation.  We also strongly recommend reviewing David Leonhardt’s recent NYT essay "Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?" It makes very similar arguments and has lots of terrific and useful charts.  Our discussion with noted economist Rob Shapiro, and his 2 recent essays on the Biden Boom, also provide useful context.

Maria Cardona cites our research in her CNN column, as does David Rothkopf in this USA Today essay.   Mike Tomasky’s rave review of With Dems in a recent Daily Beast column is a great read.  Mike writes: “Simon Rosenberg heads NDN, a liberal think tank and advocacy organization. He has spent years advising Democrats, presidents included, on how to talk about economic matters. Not long ago, he put together a little PowerPoint deck. It is fascinating. You need to know about it. The entire country needs to know about it."  We agree of course!

You can find even more background below.  Thanks for your interest, and we hope to catch you at one of our upcoming presentations!

Background on With Dems

The impetus for With Dems comes from the big argument Donald Trump started making in his 2016 campaign - that this new age of globalization ushered in after the end of the Cold War had weakened the United States, leading to his infamous phrase "American carnage."

At NDN we always found that argument misguided and wrong. When Trump came to office the US had a very low unemployment rate, record high stock market, declining deficits and rapidly growing incomes for American workers. The uninsured rate was the lowest of the modern era, crime rates were half of what they'd been, and the flow of undocumented immigrants to the border was a fraction of what it was in the Bush and Clinton years.  The world was largely at peace, a great deal of the world was modernizing and growing, and a global effort to address climate change was picking up steam.  While things weren't perfect, what President Trump inherited when he came to office were some of the best overall geopolitical, societal and economic conditions America had seen in decades.  It is something Simon discusses at length in this Medium essay.

So over the past few years we've been talking about just how wrong former President Trump was about this great country and its achievements.  It has driven a great deal of our research and advocacy and the creation of an earlier version of With Democrats Things Get Better called Patriotism and Optimism.  In the spring of 2020 we retooled Patriotism and Optimism into our new presentation, With Dems, which is a data filled look at America during this age of globalization, and how each party has navigated its challenges while in the White House. 

Central to this presentation is the notion that the Democratic and Republican parties aren't mirror images of one another, but rather that they have followed separate, organic pathways in a big, diverse country like the US. The result of this differing evolution is that the Democrats have been a remarkably successful governing party since 1989, while the Republicans have presided over three straight recessions, historic foreign policy failures and a deeply dangerous embrace of illiberalism.  

One thing we discuss in With Democrats is how Americans who have grown up in this post-1989 era - those under 45 - understand this divergence, and view the parties very differently as a result. In 2018, voters under 45 voted for Democrats by a margin of 25 points, whereas in the seven elections from 1992 to 2004, voters under 45 (who had grown up in a fundamentally different political era) voted for Democrats by an average margin of just 0.3 points. 

We hope you enjoy this new project and do note that one of our existing programmatic areas, Countering Illiberalism's Rise, has some overlap with the work you will find here.  We are pleased that CNN Commentator Maria Cardona featured our work in her recent column in The Hill, and it got a wonderful rave from Mike Tomasky in a new Daily Beast column, writing  "It is fascinating. You need to know about it. The entire country needs to know about it." 

Simon recently published an essay, "Build Back Better/Reconstruir Mejor - Joe Biden's Historic Opportunity" in the Mexican-based intellectual journal Letras Libres.  It addresses many of the themes we explore in With Dems and offers some thoughts on the big challenges ahead for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. A passage: "A President Biden would have an extraordinary opportunity to do what he calls “build back better” here in America, and around the world.  It would be wise for Biden to view this moment as the beginning of a new era, a generational long project to reset America and the world after a collective trauma.  Perhaps the most analogous moment in our history would be the years after World War II in which new institutions were established around a new vision for humankind."

We hope you enjoy With Dems, and if you do, please invite others to come experience it too. It is free and open to the public – all are welcome. 

Background Readings

Build Back Better/Reconstruir Mejor - Joe Biden's Historic Opportunity - Simon Rosenberg, Letras Libres, 10/1/20 - In a new essay for the influential journal Letras Libres, Simon offer his thoughts about what Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrats should fight for if they prevail in the election this fall (English and Spanish). 

Crossing the Rubicon - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 1/29/20 - The GOP's increasing acceptance of illiberalism and actions at odds with our democratic tradition to gain/maintain power has become the most important political story of our time.

To Defeat Illiberalism, Democrats Must Embrace Their Success As A Governing Party - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 12/14/19 - Over the past 30 years, the Democratic Party has been the most successful center-left party in the developed world.   It is time it started acting like it, and begin to far more purposefully lead the fight against rising illiberalism here and abroad. 

Americans Under 45 Are Breaking Hard Toward The Democrats - And For Good Reason - Simon Rosenberg and Chris Taylor, NDN, 8/2/19 - Among the most significant political developments of the Trump era is the dramatic shift of under 45 year old voters towards the Democrats. From 2000 to 2016 D margin w/under 45s was 6 points. In 2018 it was 25. 

In New Global Age, Dems Have Produced Prosperity, the GOP Decline - Chris Taylor, Medium, 1/29/19.  Since 1989, Democrats have overseen strong and inclusive economic growth when in the White House, while the Republican Presidents have repeatedly seen economic under-performance and even recession and decline. 

The Case for Optimism: Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism, Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 6/2/17. In an essay that originally was published on Medium, Simon argues that the great rationale of Trump's Presidency  –  that America is in decline – simply isn't true, and must be challenged more forcefully. 

Chin Up, Democrats, Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 1/20/17. In his column, Simon argues that Democrats should have pride in their historic accomplishments and optimism about the future of their politics. This one is very relevant to the presentation itself. 

A Center-Left Agenda for the Trump Era - Simon Rosenberg, US News and World Report, 12/9/16.  In the early days after Trump's election, Simon layed out a possible agenda for the Democrats centering on prosperity, security, shoring up the American led liberal order and ambitious efforts to reform our political system. 

Older, Related Work

An Enduring Legacy: The Democratic Party and Free and Open Trade Jan 21, 2014 - The global system created by Presidents FDR and Truman has done more to create opportunity, reduce poverty and advance democracy than perhaps any other policies in history. 

TIME Features NDN Economic Analysis, Chart, Labels It "Most Important Chart in American Politics" Feb 5, 2013 - Michael Scherer of Time reports on the influence Dr. Rob Shapiro's analysis has had on shaping recent thinking about how the American economy is changing.

"Forward, or Backward?" - The Descent of the GOP Into A Reactionary Mess 10/25/12 - In a new magazine essay, Simon argues that the more the world moves away from the simplicity of the Reagan moment the more angry and defiant the Republican offering is becoming.  In both Spanish and English.

Crafting an American Response to the Rise of the Rest, January 21, 2010, Cross posted on NDN.org and Salon.com.  Simon argues that the second generation Obama narrative must be a strategic response to the most significant transformation taking place in the world today, the rise of new global economic powers, or what Fareed Zakaria has called the “rise of the rest.”

The 50 Year Strategy, November/December 2007, Mother Jones. Simon and Peter Leyden offer a landmark vision for how progressives can win and prosper in the decades to come.

Simon's 2022 Election Analysis - New Insights, Pods, Press and Presentations

Sunday 11/27 - As the votes have come in it's clear our pre-election take - not a typical midterm, close competitive election, rather be us than them, red wave may be coming but not here yet - is what happened.

With COVID receding, the economy doing well and things returning to something close to normal, voters choose to stay the course, once again choosing normalcy over chaos.  Americans could feel safe staying with the incumbent party because things are better. Joe Biden has been a good President. We are on the other side of COVID. The economy has recovered, Despite MBS and Putin trying to push gas prices up they did come down these last few weeks. We have made historic investments in our future prosperity and in tackling climate change.  We passed the first gun safety bill in 30 years. In the last few months we saw the lowest uninsured and poverty rates in American history, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. We have successfully mobilized a global coalition to defeat Putin in Ukraine. The West has been revitalized. 

The American people chose to stay the course because Joe Biden has been a good President, and MAGA remains too extreme.  This has made the 2022 election a good one for Democracy, Democrats, Biden and Zelensky, and a bad one for MAGA, Trump, Putin and autocrats everywhere. 

Let's dive a little deeper on this election full of hope and promise:

Our Core 2022 Election Analysis - Simon's first articulation that 2022 was not likely to be a typical midterm, and that Dems could overperform expectations, was in this Nov 1st, 2021 memo, 3 Reasons Why 2022 Won't Be 2010.  A lot of the thinking in this memo flowed out of a conversation Simon had with Joe Trippi on his podcast a few days earlier, "Simon Rosenberg: 3 Ways To Win in 2022."

In mid-May we, along with Future Majority and Fernand Amandi, did a series of polls of Hispanic voters in AZ, NV and PA.  These polls found something which surprised us - Dem overperformance, Rs struggling.  This was the first real data we had other than the stubbornly strong Dem performance in the Congressional generic that this election may not be playing out as everyone thought. This polling and other data Simon was seeing led him to then write a memo, The Strategic Context Of The Election Is Changing, which posited that a combination of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Uvalde, the Jan 6th Committee hearings and the ending of Roe was creating a new electoral environment far more favorable for Democrats.

NDN was perhaps more open to the idea that the election could change because it was our belief that a deeper and more thorough read of polling suggested the impact of inflation on consumers was being exaggerated, and that the recovery itself was stronger than the media was portraying.   In June, a few days before the Dobbs decision, Simon did a comprehensive review of public polling, "Red Wave? Hard To See One Now," and found this same electoral dynamic - Dem overperformance, R struggling all across the country. Then Dobbs happened, extremist trigger laws went into effect and "a better than expected election for Democrats" went from a possibility to the defining dynamic of the 2022 election. 

In the months which followed Simon wrote daily, did pods and presentations, and was cited frequently in the media about the new, bluer election we were seeing.  It came quickly in the early polls post Dobbs and the strong Dem overperformances in the AK, KS, MN, NE, NY elections.  We saw more of it through the great analysis Tom Bonier did of spiking Dem voter registration rates.  We saw it in Dems just crushing Rs in candidate fundraising.  And then we saw it in the early vote in our work with Tom and his remarkable site, TargetEarly.  In this October 3rd memo, Five Weeks To Go, It's A Very Competitive Election, Simon wrote: "All this data suggests that the Democrats have a real shot at keeping both chambers this fall."

Despite some very public challenges to our analysis, the data kept telling the same story and so did we. We closed the election with this memo, On This Election Eve Would Rather Be Us Than Them, and this Election Day thread, "Media commentators shouldn't be surprised if Ds outperform expectations today."  In his Monday afternoon pre-election memo Simon wrote: "At this point the non-partisan polling in the states have Dems ahead in AZ, GA, NH, PA.  NC, OH, WI perhaps lean a little R but we consider them toss ups. In the polling NV is a true toss up now, but we will go with Ralston and give it to the Dems.  All this means the Senate is leaning Dem today.  But it is very close."

Of course we were very pleased to see everything go as we hoped. As new data has come in, and new understandings develop, Simon has offered new insights in this post from Saturday 11/12, another from last Wednesday and a new one from yesterday.  To stay in touch with our emerging post-election analysis sign up for our newsletter (if you have not already done so), keep checking back here on our site, follow Simon on Twitter and subscribe to Simon's growing YouTube channel. 

In our efforts to challenge the red wave narrative, we also publicly identified a GOP effort to flood the zone with very R heavy polls and game the polling averages.  Here is a bit more on that, though we will be talking more about all this, and steps we need to take to prevent this from ever happening again, in the coming days.  Here's a clip of Simon talking about the GOP's campaign to game the polling averages with Joy Reid on MSNBC. 

NDN wants to formally thank all the NeverTrumpers, including Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, Michael Steele, Matthew Dowd and so many others.  Their work this cycle really made a difference, as it created a powerful permission structure for GOP leaders and voters across the US to break from MAGA.  For more on this see this interview we did with Bill Kristol in October. 

Finally, our understanding of the American economy and the role of inflation was heavily influenced during this year by the writings of our long time collaborator, Rob Shapiro. Rob wrote in January that employment was booming at historic levels, in May that inflation was having little effect on people’s incomes, in July that pundits’ talk about recession was flat-out wrong, in August that Americans were clearly better economically off under Biden, and in October that Democrats should tout their economic record.  Like the red wave, we think too many commentators in 2022 bought into the "inflation is killing the Democrats" narrative far too easily.

Podcasts/Public Discussions/Presentations - In the first few days after Election Day Simon has taken part in a series of great conversations with some of the smartest commentators in politics today: David Rothkopf's Deep State Radio, Meidas Touch, former RNC Chair Michael Steele, TPM’s Josh Marshall, Matt Lewis and Joe Trippi. Simon joined Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC to discuss why we got it right and so many got it wrong. 

On Friday 11/11, Simon conducted his first election briefing after the encouraging 2022 election.  You can watch it here.  This video is Simon's most comprehensive public discussion of the election so far.  Be sure to stay through the Q & A.  It was a spirited and illuminating back and forth. 

This conversation with Ryan Lizza for Political Playbook which took place just before the election is perhaps Simon's most comprehensive and far-ranging political interview ever.  This pre-election conversation with the venerable Rick Wilson was also memorable.

We also share this wonderful Democracy Dialogue conversation with Eric Farnsworth of the The Council of the Americas on the 2022 elections and the Hispanic/Latino vote, and this related presentation Simon did this fall on the success of the Democratic Party's Hispanic strategy over the past 20 years.

Media Citations - You can find Simon cited in these post-election stories in CNN, CNN/Ron Brownstein, Financial Times, The Guardian, Haaretz, LA Times, New York Times, The New Republic, Univision, Washington Examiner, Vox, Washington Post and in Jonathan Alter's Old Goats Newsletter

Some Memorable Stories, Quotes

Before The Election

Democrats' 'optimistic apostle' offers hope for the midterms - Politico

Meet the lonely Democrat who thinks his party can win in 2022 - Washington Post

Is there a serious case for a non-awful election for Democrats this fall? - The New Yorker

Meet the most optimistic Dem online - Politico

Forget the Red Wave.  Why '22 Could Go Blue - Jonathan Alter

Democrats hope a ‘tidal wave’ of Republican-sponsored polls aren’t midterm reality - Semafor

"If Democrats do better than expected, ⁦‪@SimonWDC⁩ is gonna look like a genius" - Jonathan Alter, Longtime Political Commentator, 10/26/22

After The Election

"There was no red wave. Few laid out such a case more forcefully and consistently than Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist, who had presented his arguments in this pre-election podcast, in interviews and on his Twitter feed. A flood of low-quality partisan surveys really did skew the polling averages to the right, as Rosenberg had asserted, while higher-quality nonpartisan polls proved to be much more accurate." - Blake Hounshell, NYT

"Rosenberg, a longtime Democratic strategist, was telling anyone who would listen that the seeming movement to Republicans in the final weeks of the race was misleading – fueled by a series of Republican-sponsored polls that moved polling averages in a more favorable direction for the GOP. He was right. Period." - Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Winners and Losers In the 2022 Election So Far"

"The only person I paid any attention to about polls is @SimonWDC who was always right." - Lawrence O'Donnell, The Last Word, MSNBC

"Let's all give some credit to @SimonWDC, who has faced relentless abuse for simply arguing all along that this election would be a competitive one, which proved prescient. Here's my interview with him way back in July, and he didn't waver off this case" - Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

"The guy who got the midterms right explains what the media got wrong" - Nicole Narea, Vox

"MAGA performance issues? No better example than the last three elections. @SimonWDC does a deep dive into the why and how the #2022Midterms turned out pretty much the way he said it would." - Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, The Michael Steele Podcast

"Any thoughts on the polls?....Who won the Nate off? Is Simon Rosenberg our God now? I think so. Yes on Simon Rosenberg." Pod Save America, Episode 693, 59th Minute

"When all the experts were predicting a 'red wave,' one man called BS. He got the midterms right, and never backed down. On today's podcast, I ask @SimonWDC what he saw—& why he never backed down. (He also names names.) Don't miss this conversation!" - Matt Lewis, Matt Lewis Podcast

"While many analysts acknowledged that they were caught off guard by the midterm results, Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg said there was evidence back in the spring that his party would overperform." - Melanie Mason, LATimes

"Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg has been saying for months that the widely predicted Republican “red wave” in the midterm elections was greatly exaggerated and that Democrats would remain competitive in races across the country.

Rosenberg, whose hypothesis was roundly rejected by pundits on both sides of the aisle, was vindicated after the shockingly lackluster GOP showing at both the state and national levels this week.  Ben Samuels, Haaretz, 'Red Wave'? This Democratic Strategist Said All Along It Wasn't Coming

NDN's 2022 Election Analysis - New Insights, Pods, Press and Presentations

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Thursday 11/17 - As the votes have come in it's pretty clear our basic take - not a typical midterm, close competitive election, rather be us than them, red wave may be coming but not here yet - appears to be what happened.

This election has been good for Democracy, Democrats, Biden and Zelensky, and bad for MAGA, Trump, Putin and autocrats everywhere. 

With COVID receding, the economy doing well and things returning to something close to normal, voters choose to stay the course, once again choosing normalcy over chaos.  Americans could feel safe staying with the incumbent party because things are better. Joe Biden has been a good President. We are on the other side of COVID. The economy has recovered, Despite MBS and Putin trying to push gas prices up they did come down these last few weeks. We have made historic investments in our future prosperity and in tackling climate change.  We passed the first gun safety bill in 30 years. In the last few months we saw the lowest uninusred and poverty rates in American history, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. We have successfully mobilized a global coalition to defeat Putin in Ukraine. The West has been revitalized. 

The American people chose to stay the course because Joe Biden has been a good President, and MAGA remains too extreme. 

Let's dive a little deeper on this election full of hope and promise:

Simon's First 2022 Election Briefing - On Friday, Simon conducted his first election briefing after the encouraging 2022 election.  You can watch it here.

This video is Simon's most comprehensive public discussion of the election so far.  Be sure to stay through the Q & A.  It was a spirited and illuminating back and forth. 

Essays/Analysis - Simon's first articulation that 2022 was not likely to be a tpical midterm, and that Dems could overperform expectations, was in this Nov 1st, 2021 memo, 3 Reasons Why 2022 Won't Be 2010.  A lot of the thinking in this memo flowed out of a conversation Simon had with Joe Trippi on his podcast a few days earlier, "Simon Rosenberg: 3 Ways To Win in 2022."

In mid-May we, along with Future Majority and Fernand Amandi, did a series of polls of Hispanic voters in AZ, NV and PA.  These polls found something which surprised us - Dem overperformance, Rs struggling.  This was the first real data we had other than the stubbornly strong Dem performance in the Congressional generic that this election may not be playing out as everyone thought. This polling and other data Simon was seeing led him to then write a memo, The Strategic Context Of The Election Is Changing, which posited that a combination of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Uvalde, the Jan 6th Committee hearings and the ending of Roe was creating a new electoral environment far more favorable for Democrats. NDN was perhaps more open to the idea that the election could change because it was our belief that a deeper and more thorough read of polling suggested the role of inflation in the election was being exaggerated. In June, a few days before Roe ended, Simon did a comprehensive review of public polling, "Red Wave? Hard To See One Now," and found this same dynamic - Dem overperformance, R struggling all across the country. Then Dobbs happened, extremist trigger laws went into effect and "a better than expected election for Democrats" went from a possibility to the defining dynamic of the 2022 election.   

In the months which followed Simon wrote daily, did pods and presentations, and was cited frequently in the media about the new, bluer election we were seeing.  It came quickly in the early polls post Dobbs and the strong Dem overperformances in the AK, KS, MN, NE, NY elections.  We saw more of it through the great analysis Tom Bonier did of spiking Dem voter registration rates.  We saw it in Dems just crushing Rs in candidate fundraising.  And then we saw it in the early vote in our work with Tom and his remarkable site, TargetEarly.  In this October 3rd memo, Five Weeks To Go, It's A Very Competitive Election, Simon wrote: "All this data suggests that the Democrats have a real shot at keeping both chambers this fall."

Despite some very public challenges to our analysis, the data kept telling the same story and so did we. We closed the election with this memo, On This Election Eve Would Rather Be Us Than Them, and this Election Day thread, "Media commentators shouldn't be surprised if Ds outperform expectations today."  In his Monday afternoon pre-election memo Simon wrote:

"At this point the non-partisan polling in the states have Dems ahead in AZ, GA, NH, PA.  NC, OH, WI perhaps lean a little R but we consider them toss ups. In the polling NV is a true toss up now, but we will go with Ralston and give it to the Dems.  All this means the Senate is leaning Dem today.  But it is very close."

Of course we were very pleased to see everything go as we hoped. Simon offered some new insights in this post from Saturday morning and another on Wednesday.  Both are well worth a read. 

In our efforts to challenge the red wave narrative, we also publicly identified a GOP effort to flood the zone with very R heavy polls and game the polling averages.  Here is a bit more on that, though we will be talking more about all this, and steps we need to take to prevent this from ever happening again, in the coming days.  Here's a clip of Simon talking about the GOP's campaign to game the polling averages with Joy Reid on MSNBC. 

Finally, NDN wants to formally thank all the NeverTrumpers, including Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, Michael Steele, Matthew Dowd and so many others.  Their work this cycle really made a difference, as it created a powerful permission structure for GOP leaders and voters across the US to break from MAGA.  For more on this see this interview we did with Bill Kristol in October. 

Podcasts/Public Discussions/Presentations - In the first few days after Election Day Simon has taken part in a series of great conversations with some of the smartest commentators in politics today: David Rothkopf's Deep State Radio, Meidas Touch, former RNC Chair Michael Steele, TPM’s Josh Marshall, Matt Lewis.  Simon joined Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC to discuss why we got it right and so many got it wrong. 

This conversation with Ryan Lizza for Political Playbook which took place just before the election is perhaps Simon's most comprehensive and far-ranging political interview ever.  This pre-election conversation with the venerable Rick Wilson was also memorable.

We also share this wonderful Democracy Dialogue conversation with Eric Farnsworth of the The Council of the Americas on the 2022 elections and the Hispanic/Latino vote, and this related presentation Simon did this fall on the success of the Democratic Party's Hispanic strategy over the past 20 years.

Media Citations - You can find Simon cited in these post-election stories in CNN, Financial Times, The Guardian, Haaretz, LA Times, New York Times, Univision, Washington Examiner, Washington Post and in Jonathan Alter's Old Goats Newsletter

Some Memorable Story Headlines

Meet the lonely Democrat who thinks his party can win in 2022 - Washington Post

Meet the most optimistic Dem online - Politico

Is there a serious case for a non-awful election for Democrats this fall? - The New Yorker

Forget the Red Wave.  Why '22 Could Go Blue - Jonathan Alter

'Red Wave'? This Democratic Strategist Said Along It Wasn't Coming - Haaretz

Democrats' 'optimistic apostle' offers hope for the midterms - Politico

 

Invite: Fri, 1pm ET - Simon on the 2022 Elections

Please join Simon for a live briefing about the election tomorrow, Friday, November 11th, at 1pm ET.  RSVP here.  Feel free to invite friends and colleagues.  He will speak for 15 minutes or so then open it up for questions and discussion.

To connect with Simon’s initial takes on what has been a very good election for Democrats, read his latest analysis; or check him out on this Deep State Radio podcast, this spirited discussion with the Meidas Touch crew, this new remarkable conversation with former RNC Chair Michael Steele, this terrific back and forth with TPM’s Josh Marshall or this wonderful conversation from this morning at the Council of the America’s on the 2022 elections and the Hispanic/Latino vote.

See you tomorrow at 1pm ET.  And remember – the red wave may be coming, but it’s not here yet. 

Sincerely – the NDN Team

Memo: On This 2022 Election Eve Would Rather Be Us Than Them

So I just published an updated analysis of the 2022 election with a day to go. My bottom line – it’s a close, competitive election.  Dems have checked all of what Tom Bonier calls the recent intensity boxes – strong performance in 5 House specials/Kansas, spiked voter registration post-Dobbs, far superior candidate fundraising, big early vote performance.  Rs haven’t checked any of these intensity boxes. Polls and early vote on balance have been far better for Dems in recent days than Rs.  A red wave may be coming but it is not here yet. 

Heading into Election Day I'd rather be us than them.

You can catch me talking about the 2022 elections in a new Politico Playbook Deep Dive interview with Ryan Lizza; a new Deep State Radio podcast with Cecile Richards; a MSNBC segment with Joy Reid; a Meidas Touch pod; a NoLie pod with Brian Tyler Cohen; and a memorable chat with the venerable Rick Wilson.  You can find all of these via this link

Let's get to the meat of the analysis:

Dems Lead 50-39 In The Early Vote, Now With 4.4m Vote Lead

Using TargetEarly, the official data source for NBC News, we know the early vote is running between 8-10% higher than 2018, an election which had the highest turnout in almost 100 years.  Dems are running way above both 2018 and 2020, something which is a very direct challenge to the red wave narrative.  This is how the vote breaks down at this point in the last 3 elections, D/R:

2018 – 46%-45% (+1) – 600k Dem vote lead

2020 – 48%-41% (+7) -  n/a

2020 – 50%-39% (+11) – 4.4m Dem vote lead

It should be noted this 11 point lead is with an electorate older and whiter than 2018 and 2020, and with two of the nation’s largest states, CA/FL seeing drop offs for Dems from 2020.  All of this is very good news for Democrats.

Last night, citing the strong Dem performance in the early vote, famed journalist John Ralston called Nevada for Senator Cortez Masto.  In what must be concerning to Republicans here is a list of states where Dems are currently doing better relative to 2020 than Dems are in Nevada right now: AZ, GA, MI, MN, IA, IN, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, VA, WA, WI.  To be clear that means the early Dem vote “firewall” that led Ralston to call Nevada is actually bigger in all these states.  This too is good news for Democrats.

The Washington Post has a new story today from Arizona today, “Some in the party worry their assaults on early voting could ultimately suppress GOP turnout,” where questions have begun to be raised about why Rs decided to try to turn their voters out on a single day rather than over 2-3 weeks, as Democrats are doing. It’s a good question, as having more time to turn out voters in an election with far more irregular voters is kind of a no-brainer. The weeks Dems have had to turn out our voters has built powerful early vote leads in these states that may just be too big for the Rs to match tomorrow, particularly if their enthusiasm for voting has waned, as this new NBC News poll finds.

In the past week many states have seen big Dem gains as our field operations kicked in, but the one which moved the most was Texas.  Beto’s field army is doing something remarkable, as two years ago at this point Rs had an 11 point lead in the early vote in an election Biden only lost by 5 points. Today Beto is only down 2, a 9 point improvement over 2020.  Win or lose Beto has run a remarkable campaign in a very tough state.

In another worrisome bit of data for the Rs the variance from the final early vote results and the final election results in 2018 and 2020 was 2-4 points.  Tomorrow Dems will enter Election Day with an 11 point lead, meaning Rs will have to have an Election Day turnout many magnitudes better than either party in the last two elections.  Can it be done? We will find out.

Recent Polls Show Dems Up in the Generic and Favored to Win the Senate

The polls have actually been pretty good for Dems in the last few weeks, far better than is current conventional wisdom.  In the past week Dems have shown rising intensity and performance, as the early vote came in 3 points more Democratic relative to 2020 today than a week ago.  The last 7 non-partisan generics on 538 show a similar trend, having Dems up an average of 1.4 points:

Economist/YouGov   48-49

Politico/Morn Cons   48-43

NBC News                48-47

ABC/WaPo               48-50

Big Village                50-46

Yahoo/YouGov         46-44

Reuters/Ipsos           37-36

Even the GOP pollster Rasmussen showed the Dems picking up 2 points in their latest national track.  Many of the recent national polls showing Rs with 3-4 leads had Republicans with greater vote intensity, something many polls have not found, and is certainly something we are not seeing in the early vote. The new daily track of the highly regarded firm Civiqs has Dems gaining a few points in recent days and closing 2020 with Dems up 50-47.

We’ve seen similar positive Dem results in recent non-partisan polls in the battleground states.  Due to time restrains we won’t be able to go through these states today but here’s how non-partisan and GOP polls have seen Georgia in recent weeks, a dynamic we are seeing in most state polling now:

          Non-partisan polls – Warnock +3.2

          GOP polls -  Walker +4.4

At this point the non-partisan polling in the states have Dems ahead in AZ, GA, NH, PA.  NC, OH, WI perhaps lean a little R but we consider them toss ups. In the polling NV is a true toss up now, but we will go with Ralston and give it to the Dems.  All this means the Senate is leaning Dem today.  But it is very close. I have no special insights about the House at this time.

We’ve also seen very encouraging youth and Hispanic polling.  The most respected poll of young people, from Harvard’s Institute of Politics, found 18-29 year old with similar or higher levels of intention to vote as the record breaking 2018 midterm, and Dems with a 56-31 advantage with them (that’s a lot).  We also saw high quality Univision and Telemundo polls in AZ, NV and TX which found Dems reclaiming some of their lost ground with Hispanics this year.

To NDN the biggest question about this election was always whether that strong Dem energy and overperformance that we saw in Kansas, the 5 House specials and spiking post-Dobbs voter registration would carry over to the election itself.  Based on the remarkable Dem performance across the US in the early vote it is clear now that it has.  We are still, however, waiting on the red wave, and have actually been waiting for it since that June 28th House special election in Nebraska. It may come, but it has not come yet.  Rs have shown reduced intensity these past few months in the House specials, Kansas, in declining voter reg, anemic candidate fundraising and in the early vote.  But somehow, after being absent all these months it is just going to show up tomorrow? We will see.

We also wonder whether part of the reason we've seen Rs struggle with enthusiasm for months is that the 20 percent of the party not aligned with MAGA continues to be concerned about the MAGA takeover of the party.  Meaning that just too many Liz Cheney Republicans aren't going along with the radicalization of the GOP, and are holding back or even supporting Dems.  Yes, we will see about that too tomorrow. 

Based on everything we see with one day to go we would rather be us than them. But it is very close, and let’s hope and pray nothing interferes with our elections over the next few days. 

- Simon, November 7th, 2022

Tue, 3pm ET - Simon Does A 2022 Election Update

Please join NDN tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1st at 3pm ET for a special election preview with Simon Rosenberg.  

You can RSVP here.  Friends and colleagues are welcome to join.  It is free and open to all.

To prep for the session review Simon's latest look at the early vote, and why he doesn't think there is a red wave

See you tomorrow!

 

Video: A Conversation With Bill Kristol

In the last few years a courageous set of Republicans have fought the rise of MAGA and Trumpism in their own party. But with MAGA now clearly outlasting Trump, and deepening its hold on the GOP, what is the future of the anti-MAGA movement inside the GOP?

To explore this vital topic we are pleased that one of the most important and visible leaders of the anti-MAGA movement inside the GOP, Bill Kristol, joined us for a live, public discussion on Tuesday, October 18th.  You can watch this lively and important conversation here.

One of the most interesting topics we discussed is the possibility of the Democrats entering into some kind of formal alliance with the anti-MAGAs to keep them from power in the coming years. 

This was a really compelling discussion.  Please do watch, and share it with others. 

BILL KRISTOL: William Kristol is a founding director of Defending Democracy Together, an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to defending America’s liberal democratic norms, principles, and institutions. Kristol is also editor-at-large of The Bulwark, a publication dedicated to providing political analysis free from the constraints of partisan loyalties or tribal prejudices. Kristol has long been recognized as a leading participant in and analyst of American politics. He was a founder of the Weekly Standard in 1995 and edited the influential magazine for over two decades. Before that, he served in senior positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations. Prior to coming to Washington in 1985, Mr. Kristol taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. He received his undergraduate degree and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Video: Democrats and the Hispanic Vote - A New NDN Presentation

NDN is pleased to release a new 25 minute data-filled presentation which reviews the history of the Hispanic vote over the past two decades, and discusses what we are seeing this year. 

You can watch the presentation here.

The presentation's toplines:

  • The net raw vote margin for Democrats with Hispanic voters has increased from 700,000 in 2004 to between 4.5m and 5.4m votes in 2020.  That is growth, not erosion.
  • In the past 20 years Democrats have turned the heavily Mexican-American parts of the US – AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX – far more blue.  2020 was the best year for Democrats in the SW – AZ, CO, NM, NV – in 80 years.  2022 could be better.
  • Even with their gains in 2020 Rs fell further behind in this region (yes, erosion).  If they can’t make further gains here they will further and further behind, and the region will keep slipping away from them. 

Background For the Presentation

Memo: The Remarkable Success of the Democratic Party's Hispanic Strategy

2020 Was The Best Year for Dems in the Southwest in 80 Years.  2022 May Be Even Better.

Learn more about our May polls in AZ, NV, PA showing Dems making gains with Hispanics.

Analysis: The Southwest Has Become A Democratic Stronghold (2020)

In Florida Democrats Lost Ground With All Important Hispanic Voters  (2018)

Among "New Coalition" Voters in 2018, Dems Have Best Performance Ever

Notes On The GOP's Erosion In The Southwest (2017)

Trump Is Right To Be Worried About Arizona (And Texas Too) (2017)

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