NDN Blog

Analysis: Dems Are Closing Strong. Republicans Are Closing As Ugly As It Gets

A few updates: strongly recommend our new video conversation about the surge in women voting and registering - a big 2022 development - with TargetSmart's Tom Bonier.  We've just posted a new, updated version of our "New, Bluer Election" presentation, and you can me on three new podcasts talking about the election: with Joe Trippi on That Trippi Show; with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld on The Brief; and with David Rothkopf on his Deep State Radio program. 

Newly updated on Thursday, Sept 29th -  The 538 generic has Dems up 1.3 points, a 4 point shift since June. In the 538 "lite" model Dems have a 79% chance of keeping the Senate and a 39% chance of keeping the House. President Biden has jumped 10 points in 538's approval tracker over the past few weeks, from 38.2-56.9 (-18.7) to 43.5-52.2 (-8.7). That's a lot. 

In a Fox News interview on Wednesday, Aug 3rd Mitch McConnell acknowledged the new, bluer reality of the election, and even raised the possibility of Dems keeping the Senate this year: " I think it’s going to be very tight.....And I think when this Senate race smoke clears, we’re likely to have a very, very close Senate still, with us up slightly or the Democrats up slightly."  McConnell's repeated acknowledgements that the Senate may stay Democratic has led to Sean Hannity and Donald Trump calling on him to step down as Senate GOP leader. 

Let's look at some recent GOP polls which might be leading him to believe this election is slipping away from the GOP.  These five polls, all from influential and established GOP institutions, have Dems up an average of 3.8 points in the generic:

        Chamber of Commerce     46-41 (+5)

        Echelon Insights                49-44 (+5)

        Wall Street Journal           47-44 (+3)

        Fox News                          44-41 (+3)

        Americans for Prosperity   42-39 (+3)

Additionally, these 6 GOP-aligned polls which had initially shown the GOP with meaningful leads in the generic have shown swings to the Ds in recent months:

        Fox News                              39-46 to 44-41 - 10 pt shift to Dems

        American Greatness             42-50 to 45-44 - 9 pt shift 

        Rasmussen                           39-49 to 42-44 - 8 pt shift  

        WSJ                                      41-46 to 47-44 - 8 pt shift

        Cygnal                                   45-49 to 47-47 - 4 pt shift  

       Senate Opportunity Fund       42-47 to 43-46 - 2 pt shift  

A Fox News poll released Sept 14th finds: " Overall, if the Congressional election were today, 44% would back the Democratic candidate and 41% the Republican. The Democrats’ 3-point edge is within the survey’s margin of sampling error – and Fox News modeling suggests it translates into a GOP gain of about one House seat."  And thus Democrats keep the House.  In Fox News polling. 

It should be noted that the 5 independent media polls out in recent days found gains for Democrats since their last poll of 3 points (Fox), 2 points (NBC), 1 point (CBS, Economist, NYT). 

A recent poll for the John Locke Institute in North Carolina finds many of the same trends.  This data is from its pre-Roe June poll and one recently released:

         State House Generic     39-51 (R+12) to 43-48 (R+5)

         Congressional Generic  41-52 (R+11) to 44-47 (R+3)

         Beasley-Budd Senate    40-45 (R+5) to 42-42 (Even)

         Biden Approval               33-60 (-27) to 39-56 (-17)

This data is from their polls - Dems with big generic leads and/or big movement towards Democrats. This is what they are seeing, and this is why McConnell and others are now admitting we are in an entirely new election much more favorable to Democrats. 

As the new Fox polling suggests Dems will need a 2-3 point national win to keep the House.  G. Elliott Morris of the The Economist also believes Dems are now at a level of support where they can keep the House.  Data suggests the electorate itself is becoming Democratic as we get closer to election day.  Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has been documenting a huge surge of women registering and requesting early mail ballots post-Roe, and a new NBC News poll shows the GOP advantage on vote enthusiasm dropping from 17 pts in the spring to just 2 pts now.  It is our belief that these trends will continue to break in Democrats’ favor over the next few months.  A recent CBS/You Gov poll had this bit of omnious data for Republicans - when asked about whether a party's agenda was extreme or reasonable, independent voters said Dems were 29-33 (-4) reasonable/extreme, Rs 25-49 (-24). 

All this data suggests that the Democrats have a bit of wind at their back and a real shot at keeping both chambers this fall.  Senate polling remains very strong for Democrats, as Kelly in AZ and Hassan in NH have strong, solid leads, and Warnock in GA and Cortez Masto in NV continue to lead in most polls - though these two races appear closer.  In the 5 GOP held seats Fetterman appears to have a comfortable lead, things are now tied in NC, OH and WI and Rubio maintains a 3-4 pt lead in Florida. Georgia's polls has been all over the place in recent days, though the three highest quality polls had Warnock with leads of 5, 5 and 6 points.  If the election were held today the Senate would clearly stay in Democratic hands. 

In retrospect, the big Dem overperformance in the NE House special on June 28th appears to have been a harbinger that a new, bluer election was at hand, and should not have been treated as some weird outlier.  It was after all actual voters voting, not a poll. That big Dem overperformance has now been replicated in Kansas, the MN-1 House special, NY-19 and NY-23 and Alaska. Six key elections with actual voters, six overperformances by anti-extremist electorates, three in very red states and two more in red districts.  In the 5 House specials Dems have outperformed their 2020 results by an average of 7 points (and it was much more in Kansas):

NE-01 - Trump +15 in 2020 R+5 in 2022

MN-01 - Trump +10 to R+4

NY-19 - Biden +1.5 to D+2.2 (was +5 over their internals)

NY-23 - Trump +11 to R+6

Alaska - Trump +10 to D+3

To put a bit of emphasis on this – in all of these races Dems significanly outperformed the public polling and their 2020 numbers.  In Pat Ryan’s victory in NY-19 he outperformed his internal polls by 5 points.  This means there is a possibility that current polling is actually underestimating the current standing of Democrats by 3-5 points.  The “hidden vote” in 2022 may turn out to be a Democratic not a Republican one. 

The new climate and health care reconciliation bill (IRA) has been a big boost to Democrats.  It has made our closing argument stronger; lifted Joe Biden's approval rating; brought the party together for the home stretch; and gave us a powerful tool to reach young voters who are overwhelming Democratic but also are the most likely not to vote this year.  It is as Joe Biden likes to say "a big fucking deal."  The student loan relief package should also help as new Navigator polling suggests it is broadly popular.

Republicans, on the other hand, are closing this election with a truly ugly mix of extremism, criminality and acts of national betrayal which once again feel like treason.  There are signs that the GOP is struggling to put its coalition together this year, is splintering and cracking up. For we see broad underperformance in polls and significant defections by prominent Republicans across the country.  It's not just national Republicans like Liz Cheney, Joe Scarborough, Matthew Dowd, Nicolle Wallace, Michael Steele and Bill Kristol working against Republicans, you can now find local GOP leaders in CO, MD, MI, OH, PA, TX raising opposition to the direction Rs are heading.  This story of 150 leading Rs in Michigan backing Gov. Whitmer is a very good example of this growing trend.

Our current 2022 election toplines: 

  • The election has moved 4-5 points towards Democrats in recent months. The anti-MAGA majority has been awakened. Biden's approval is up 9 points. 
  • Dems have significantly overperformed expectations in 5 House specials and in Kansas, and there's been a surge of women registering, voting, requesting mail ballots. Dem coalition appears energized.
  • The Senate is leaning Dem, House is up for grabs
  • GOP is struggling - few candidates at 50, money/candidate troubles, unprecedented infighting, Trump is a ongoing torrent of negative news, abortion restrictions realities getting worse and worse
  • Democratic candidates have a huge cash advantage heading into the home stretch

In May of 2021 NDN published a memo, Learning To Talk About Democracy, Patriotism and The GOP's Radicalization, that argued that Democrats needed to put the GOP's radicalization and embrace of MAGA at the very center of our politics.  In November we published a followup memo, Memo: 3 Reasons Why 2022 Won’t Be 2010, that posited the GOP's escalating embrace of MAGA would make it likely that 2022 would not be a traditional midterm and that Democrats could end up overperforming expectations. In May we predicted that the combination of a return of mass shootings, the ending of Roe, and the fallout from the Jan 6th Committee would reawaken the anti-MAGA majority and make this election much closer than many thought possible.  In mid-June, we released an election analysis which argued we were already looking at a competitive not a wave election - that there were signs of what we call the MAGA hangover (GOP underperformance) even before Roe ended.  Then Roe ended, and NDN has been at the national forefront of charting what is now clearly a new, bluer election.    

To dive even deeper into our 2022 election analysis check out our 25 minute data-filled presentation, “A New, Bluer Election.”  Our recent conversation with Tom Bonier about the surge of women registering, voting and requesting early mail ballots is very much worth your time.  We have also rolled out an updated version of "With Democrats Things Get Better," our in-depth look at how the two US parties have fared over the past 30 years. 

In recent weeks our election analysis has been cited in articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Peter Nicholas on the NBC News site, Susan Milligan in US News, Nicholas Riccardi in the AP, Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast, John Skolnick in Salon, AB Stoddard in The Bulwark, Peter Weber in The Week, Dick Polman in his nationally syndicated column, Jim Puzzanghera in the Boston Globe, Kiran Stacey in the Financial Times, Caroline Vakil in The Hill, Byron York in The Washington Examiner, Kerry Eleveld in Daily Kos and Matt Lewis in The Daily Beast

front page Washington Post story on the 2022 election by Michael Scherer, Coby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey features this quote from Simon: “The question is, are there forces in the election more powerful than the disappointment in Biden?” asked Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist. “The answer is yes, and that is opposition and fear for MAGA, which is the thing that has driven the last two elections.” Ron Brownstein gives our big argument serious consideration in a comprehensive CNN analysis.  Greg Sargent devotes a whole column to our analysis, "Meet the Lonely Democrat Who Thinks His Party Can Win."  This one is a particularly good read. 

Kristian Ramos has a new take in Salon that includes our work, and comes down where we come down - time for Dems to go on offense now.  I did a long sit down with Jonathan Alter for his Old Goats substack - was a deep and rich conversation about this election and the state of our politics today.  Check it out.  Nicole Narea does a great treatment of our concept of "The MAGA hangover" in a new Vox piece and the FT's Courtney Weaver cites us on the struggles of GOP candidates across the country.  Politico's Max Tani and Alex Thompson do a deep dive on our analysis in a fun new piece, "Meet The Most Optimistic Dem Online."  Susan Glasser gives our 2022 election take serious consideration in a new New Yorker essay, "Is There A Serious Case for A Non-Awful Election for Democrats This Fall?"  Jonathan Weisman features some of our insights in a New York Times article about Dem chances for taking the House.  EJ Dionne quotes us in a new Washington Post essay about Democratic optimism post the NY House specials.  Blake Hounshell features our analysis in a New York Times article, "Republicans in Disarray."

I've also hit the pod and radio circuit, discussing of our electoral thesis with Matt Lewis on his podcast, Ian Masters for his radio show/podcast, a new episode of That Trippi Show our good friend Joe Trippi, David Catanese's Too Close to CallHotMics with Maria Cardona and Alice Stewart and the Start Me Up pod with Kimberley Johnson.  On Thursday, August 4th I joined Mehdi Hasan's show on Peacock for a spirited discussion of the 2022 elections. 

The week of August 29th I returned to Matt Lewis' podcast for an episode he called "How Democrats Got Their Groove Back," and also had a long and really excellent discussion with former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, "How and Why the Democrats Can Hold The House This November."  Do watch, listen.  As an architect of the GOP's big midterm win in 2010 it is very interesting to hear him explain why he thinks this year is nothing like that red wave year.   In recent days I made a return to Joe Trippi's show, joined Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld on The Brief and had a terrific and comprehensive conversation with David Rothkopf on his Deep State Radio podcast. 

And we appreciate this shoutout from DNC Chair Jaime Harrison!

That we are in a new election now has begun to take hold in other influential national commentary. 538's Nate Silver, The NYTimes' Nate Cohn and The Cook Report have acknowledged there is a chance now this new, bluer landscape could end up keeping the House and Senate in Democratic hands.  A Sunday, August 28th Washington Post headline read: "Democrats see the once unthinkable: A narrow path to keeping the House."  Even those analysts who have Rs flipping the House, have it now by just a few seats - a disastrous outcome which will empower the many extremists in their ranks. 

As I discuss in the Greg Sargent column, another big piece of the strategic context for the 2022 election – the economy and inflation – has started to go through a profound and potentially electorally significant change.  Gas prices have dropped over a dollar in the last two months.   This means that the huge psychological and economic effects of rising prices will certainly ease in the coming months.  It gives Democrats an opening to get louder and broaden out the economic conversation to include their achievements – very strong recovery, big job gains, record new businesses formed, historically low uninsured/unemployment rates, infrastructure investments, historic climate bill, more affordable and better health care, etc.  And it will create more room for Democratic candidates to make the indictment of their opponents as too extreme, too MAGA.  Having inflation drop all the way down to zero in July and real wages turning positive again certainly helps!  This new essay by noted economist Rob Shapiro in the Washington Monthly does a good job at crunching the numbers and showing that most Americans are indeed better off today. 

As we’ve been saying opposition to MAGA has been the driving force of the last two elections (6.5 pt Dem wins in 2018/2020, Dems win the House, Senate, Presidency) and with mass shootings, the end of Roe, fanatical abortion restrictions, a radicalized Supreme Court, extremist/terrible candidates, an unfolding criminal conspiracy involving dozens of top Republican officials to overturn an election it is now likely to be the most powerful force in this election as well.  When the Republicans chose to run towards a politics the country had just rejected in record numbers twice, the GOP made the political physics of this election different from a traditional midterm.  It’s our view that as of today the Senate is likely to stay in Democratic hands; a pickup of a 1-2-3 Senate seats by Dems not impossible; and Democrats are likely to outperform expectations in the House now.  Will it be enough for Democrats to keep the House? It's pretty clear that Dems have a shot now, particularly with the fundraising advantages our candidates hold in key incumbent Senate and House races. 

Some new data from Politico/Morning Consult helps shine a bit more light on this dynamic. For the GOP to have a good midterm either many Dems will have to stay home or switch to the GOP.  Staying home is far less likely now.  This means the GOP needs to give these voters a reason to come to them.  And what do voters see when they look at the two parties in Congress:

Favorability Rating:

Dems in Congress 41-52 (-11) 

Rs in Congress 35-58 (-23)

Schumer    28%  McConnell   20%

Pelosi         33%  McCarthy    21%

And in this Morning Consult analysis they find Dem approval on a wide set of issues improving, with Dems now leading the GOP by 6 points, 45-39.  In the report Morning Consult writes: "the improvements represent good news for those working to hold control of the House and Senate, showing that at least some voters may be able to shake off their dim views of President Joe Biden when thinking about their votes in November."  The ugliness of MAGA, and how hard it would be for voters to embrace a politics they rejected twice, has been overly discounted by analysts this cycle. The GOP is a big unpopular and extremist mess and folks just don't want to go there. And this was before the relevations about Trump's stealing of America's secrets.  

A few more 2022 notes:

Dem candidates with big cash advantage in the home stretch - 2nd quarter fundraising data finds Democratic candidates with huge cash advantages over Republicans in Congressional races. Notably Dem House incumbents in competitive races have an 8:1 advantage over their opponents.  GOP candidate continue to struggle to raise money - a bit of a shocking development for a party that suppossedly had all the mo'. 

Hard to find a Republican at or above 50 - As I wrote in an earlier version of this analysis, it's just hard to find a public poll with a Republican in a potentially competitive race in a strong position.  As we saw in our May Hispanic polling, what you see almost everywhere you look - GA, IA, MI, NE, OH, PA, TX, WI - is GOP underperformance.  I call this the MAGA hangover.  Since Trump won the nomination in 2016 Republicans have not gotten higher than 47% of the national vote, and current data suggests that they are struggling to break above that this time too. A strong and durable anti-MAGA majority really may have emerged in America, one which could keep the Rs from power - as long as they remain MAGA - for years to come.  

In recent polling Abbott (TX), Rubio (FL), Gov. Reynolds and Grassley (IA) and Gov Stitt (OK) are all under 50, and Budd (NC), Johnson (WI), Oz (PA) and Vance (OH) are closer to 40 than 50 in GOP held Senate seats.  Even GA's incumbent Governor Kemp is now polling regularly under under 50. Democrats, on the other hand, are hitting 50 and above across the country in post Roe polling.  You can find Dems at 49/50 and above in the following races - Barnes (WI), Cortez Masto (NV), Fetterman (PA), Healy (MA), Hobbs (AZ), Hochul (NY), Kelly (AZ), Murray (WA), Pritzker (IL), Shapiro (PA), Sisolak (NV), Walz (MN) and Whitmer (MI).  If this was such a good GOP year why aren't we seeing better GOP numbers? Why are their candidates struggling to raise money?

We are finally starting to get some district specific House polling, and here too we find chronic GOP underperformance.  Consider these 7 GOP held seats from 538 polling data - everyone under 50, 2 candidates under 40, only two even leading.  All sorts of signs of GOP struggle, underperformance here:

        PA-10 Daniels (D) 44 Perry (R/INC) 41

        NE-2 Vargas (D) 46 Bacon (R/INC) 47

        CA-22 Salas (D) 43 Valadao (R/INC) 35

        TX-34 Gonzalez (D) 47 Flores (R/INC) 43 (yes that Rep. Flores)

        FL-27 Taddeo (D) 34 Salazar (R/INC) 39

        IA-3 Mathis (D) 44 Hinson (R/INC) 44

        NM-2 Vasquez (D) 45 Herrell (R/INC) 44

Want to put some emphasis on this point - there are currently no major races where Republicans are overperforming or in comfortable positions.  While on the Democratic side there are many competitive races where we are overperforming or in comfortable positions.  Any fair look at publicly available polling data of actual candidates this cycle will not find that there was ever any evidence of a red wave.  A lot of folks jumped the gun, and made assessments outside of what the data was telling us. 

4 Polls Have Dems Improving Their 2020 Numbers with Hispanics - In a new thread NDN lays out why we are skeptical of the Hispanics moving to the GOP narrative.  In this thread we review large sample size Hispanic polls taken this spring which show movement from 2020 towards the Democrats, not towards Republicans, in AZ, NV, PA and TX.  Yes, even Texas. 

Guns/Gay Marriage - The recent Congressional GOP embrace of gun safety and gay marriage is a sign that Republicans are not comfortable with where they are in the 2022 election, and had to make huge concessions to Democrats on issues that matter to them.  These are signs of weakness, not strength for the GOP. 

- Simon

Video: With Democrats Things Get Better (7/15/22)

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. We will be annoucing our fall dates soon, but in the meantime you can watch our latest presentation recorded on Friday, July 15th. 

To learn more about the big arguments in With Dems start with our recently published analysis The Biden Boom and 43m 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 recent 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.

Analysis: Dems w/2.4 Point Lead in 17 Polls - It's A Competitive Not A Wave Election

Updated on 7/20 - Over the past month we’ve been arguing that publicly available data suggested we were looking at a competitive not a wave election. 

For this week’s election update we averaged the Congressional Generic results of 14 independent polls taken since Roe ended on June 24th, and found Democrats leading 44.1% to 41.7, +2.4 Dem.  That’s a 4-5 point shift from where the election was a month ago.

Our current 2022 election toplines: 

  • The election has moved 4-5 pts towards the Democrats, GOP brand has taken big hit
  • The anti-MAGA majority has been awakened
  • The Senate is now leaning Dem, NE House Special was encouraging for Dems
  • The landscape is likely to get worse for GOP

In May we predicted that the combination of a return of mass shootings, the ending of Roe and the fallout from the Jan 6th Committee would reawaken the anti-MAGA majority and make this election much closer than many thought possible.  In Mid June we released an election analysis which argued we were already looking at a competitive not a wave election.  Then Roe ended, and NDN has been at the national forefront of charting what is now clearly a new, bluer election.    

We’ve put together our electoral work over the past few months into a 20 minute data-filled presentation, “A New, Bluer Election.”  You can watch it here.  We also rolled out an updated version of With Democrats Things Get Better, our in-depth look at how the two US parties have fared over the past 30 years.  You can learn more and watch here.  

In recent weeks our election has analysis has been cited in articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Peter Nicholas on the NBC News site, Susan Milligan in US News, Nicholas Riccardi in the AP, Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast, John Skolnick in Salon, AB Stoddard in The Bulwark and Peter Weber in The Week. Simon has done two in-depth discussions of our electoral thesis with Matt Lewis on his podcast and with Ian Masters for his radio show/podcast.  Joe Trippi discusses our analysis in his newest That Trippi Show podcast and we appreciate this shoutout from DNC Chair Jaime Harrison!

A front page Washington Post story on the 2022 election by Michael Scherer, Coby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey features this quote from Simon: “The question is, are there forces in the election more powerful than the disappointment in Biden?” asked Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist. “The answer is yes, and that is opposition and fear for MAGA, which is the thing that has driven the last two elections.” Ron Brownstein also gives our big argument serious consideration in a new and comprehensive CNN analysis.  Greg Sargent devotes a whole column to our analysis, "Meet the Lonely Democrat Who Thinks His Party Can Win."  This one is a particularly good read.  Kristian Ramos has a new take in Salon that includes our work, and comes down where we come down - time for Dems to go on offense now. 

Importantly, two of country’s most influential election analysts, Nate Cohn of the NYTimes and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, have joined this may be a competitive election after all camp.  Nate Silver wrote “Instead, as voters have gathered more information about the race, they have drawn more of a distinction between how they feel about Biden and what they'd like to see happen in Congress. Maybe this trend will reverse itself. But the "fundamentalists"- the analysts who think the races for Congress are predictable based on presidential approval and other baseline conditions - have been wrong so far.”

As I discuss in the Greg Sargent column, another big piece of the strategic context for the 2022 election – the economy and inflation – has started to go through a profound and potentially electorally significant change.  Gas prices have dropped 45 cents in the past month and are dropping now 2-3 cents a day, every day.  This means that the huge psychological and economic effects of rising prices will certainly ease in the coming months.  It gives the Democrats an opening to broaden out the economic conversation to include their achievements – very strong recovery, big job gains, record new businesses formed, historically low uninsured/unemployment rates, infrastructure investments, etc.  And it will create more room for Democratic candidates to make the indictment of their opponents as too extreme, too MAGA.  As we’ve been saying, opposition to MAGA has been the driving force of the last two elections, and with mass shootings, the end of Roe and fanatical abortion restrictions, a radicalized Supreme Court, extremist/terrible candidates, an unfolding criminal conspiracy involving dozens of top Republican officials to overturn an election it is now likely to be the most powerful force in this election as well.  When the Republicans chose to run towards a politics the country had just rejected in record numbers twice, the GOP made the political physics of this election different from a traditional midterm.  It’s our view that as of today the Senate is likely to stay in Democratic hands; a pickup of a 1-2-3 Senate seats by Dems not impossible; and Democrats are likely to outperform expectations in the House now.  Will it be enough for Democrats to keep the House? We will see.  

The 14 Independent Polls Rated A/B from 538, Democrat/Republican

Economist/YouGov           43-40

Politico/Morn Cons           45-41

CNBC/Hart                       42-44

Big Village                         45-41

Yahoo/YouGov                  43-39

Economist/YouGov           43-40

NYT/Siena                        41-40

Politico/Morn Cons           46-42

Reuters/Ipsos                   34-35

YouGov/Economist           43-40

Big Village                        47-42

Harvard/Harris                  50-50

Emerson                           43-46

YouGov/Yahoo                 45-38

Monmouth                        46-48

Politico/Morn Cons           45-42

NPR/Marist                       48-41

For the purposes of this analysis, we do not include 5 partisan Republican polls, which are not independent polls and which, incredibly, show the GOP leading by 6.4 pts.. It is our guess that GOP pollsters, even those well intentioned, will struggle for a while to understand the very significant changes happening inside the Democratic electorate.  The likely explanation for how these polls could be 9-10 points off from 17 highly rated 538 polls is that they are holding on to a pre-Roe likely voter screen which has lower participation rates for Democrats.  We know from months of polling that ending Roe would significantly change voter intensity inside the Democratic electorate, and failure to account for and understand these changes by a pro-life party which has far fewer women and young people in its coalition is not something that should surprise anyone.  Republican after Republican commentator has said these last few weeks changes nothing.  They are clearly wrong, and these polls are also clearly wrong.

It is a new, bluer election. 

 

Video: A New, Bluer Election - A Presentation About The Changing National Political Landscape

This a recording of Simon's new presentation from July 8th about the new, bluer political landscape that has emerged in the last few weeks.  The core presentation takes about 20 minutes.  Feel free to stay for the Q and A. 

This new presentation draws heavily from our most recent comprehensive political analysis, which you can find here.  The top takeaways:

  • We are looking at a competitive election now, not a wave
  • The race has shifted 3-5 points towards the Dems, and the GOP brand has taken a huge hit.  The anti-MAGA majority has awakened
  • The Senate is likely to stay Democratic, and a recent House special was encouraging for Democrats
  • The national political landscape is likely to get worse for Republicans

We are pleased elements of this work have been cited in new articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Peter Nicholas on the NBC News site, Susan Milligan in US News, Nicholas Riccardi in the AP, Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast, John Skolnick in Salon, AB Stoddard in The Bulwark and Peter Weber in The Week. Simon has done two indepth discussions of our thesis and the 2022 election - with Matt Lewis on his podcast and with Ian Masters for his radio show/podcast.  Joe Trippi discusses our analysis in his podcast, That Trippi Show, and we appreciate this shoutout from DNC Chair Jaime Harrison!

A new front page Washington Post story on the 2022 election by Michael Scherer, Coby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey features this quote from Simon: “The question is, are there forces in the election more powerful than the disappointment in Biden?” asked Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist. “The answer is yes, and that is opposition and fear for MAGA, which is the thing that has driven the last two elections.” Ron Brownstein gives our political thesis serious consideration in a new and comphrensive CNN analysis.

Analysis: Democrats Leading in Congressional Generic Ballot Post-Roe by Almost 2 Points

Analysis: Democrats Leading in Congressional Ballot Post-Roe

This new election analysis builds on three earlier onesThe Strategic Context For The 2022 Elections Is ChangingAnalysis: Red Wave? Hard To See One Now, and Analysis: Democrats Make Big Gains in 3 New Polls – It’s A New Election.  You can also find a new recording of Simon's 20 minute presentation of this data from Friday, July 8th.

We are pleased elements of this work have been cited in new articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Peter Nicholas on the NBC News site, Susan Milligan in US News, Nicholas Riccardi in the AP, Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast, John Skolnick in Salon, AB Stoddard in The Bulwark and Peter Weber in The Week. Simon also did an indepth election review with Ian Masters last Tuesday night for his radio show/podcast and Joe Trippi discusses our analysis in his podcast, That Trippi Show.  And we appreciate this shoutout from DNC Chair Jaime Harrison!

A new front page Washington Post story on the 2022 election by Michael Scherer, Coby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey features this quote from Simon: “The question is, are there forces in the election more powerful than the disappointment in Biden?” asked Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist. “The answer is yes, and that is opposition and fear for MAGA, which is the thing that has driven the last two elections.” Ron Brownstein gives our political thesis serious consideration in a new CNN analysis.

The Generic Turns Positive for Democrats - There have now been 9 polls reporting out the Congressional Generic (via 538) since Roe ended, and they have averaged 45.4 D/43.7 R (+1.7 Dem).  Taking out Rasmussen it’s +2.5 Dem.  It has been -2 to -2.5 Dem for many months.  This data suggests the race has moved 3-5 points to the Democrats in recent weeks.  Five of the nine polls show meaningful movement towards the Democrats since their last poll, and several show large Dem leads now in the generic: 

                            Last Poll   New Poll  Dem Shift

NPR/Marist         44-47          48-41         +10

Monmouth           43-50          46-48          +5 

Big Village           44-42          47-42          +3 

Yahoo/YouGov    43-39          45-38          +3 

Politico/Morn C   42-42          45-42          +3

In new comprehensive polls of battleground states Future Majority found the Congressional Generic shifting from 43-45 (-2) in March to 44-42 (+2) now, a 4 point shift.  Just added a chart at the bottom of new Navigator polling which shows a 24 point favorability drop for Republicans with independents, and 10 points overall.  That is a big very number in a very short amount of time.

FM’s new research and others who track voter intensity are seeing significant increases on the Democratic side.  See this from Morning Consult - Democratic Voters’ Enthusiasm for Midterms Spikes in Wake of Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling.  In FM’s battleground survey for the first time this cycle more Democrats (92%) said they were more extremely motivated to vote than Republicans (89%).  

A review of recent Senate polling strongly suggests if the election were held today Democrats would retain the Senate and perhaps even pick up a few seats. The NYTimes has a good Senate overview today, and that new polling from Future Majority finds a far better Senate landscape for Democrats: 

AZ – Kelly leads Masters, 48-39, Lamon 47-41.  He trailed a generic Republican 43-45 in March. 

GA – Warnock leads Walker 48-44.  He trailed 48-49 in March.

NH – Hassan leads Bolduc 49-40.  They didn’t poll NH in March.  

NV – Cortez Masto leads Laxalt 46-43.  She trailed Laxalt 43-45 in March.  

Republicans are showing significant weakness now in their seats.  Fetterman has meaningful leads in several recent polls, and now has to be considered a favorite in that race.  Ron Johnson trailed 3 of his 4 opponents in a new Marquette University poll, a poll that suggests that Johnson – even before Roe and his admitted involvement in Trump’s effort to overturn the election – is in serious trouble.  There have been polls showing Democratic leads in NC and OH though those races are considered by many a bit tougher.  Bottom line – Dems are in our book now favorites to keep the Senate, and have a shot at picking up 1-2 seats.  If we get two seats and keep the House filibuster carve ours for codifying Roe and election reform become real possibilities next year. 

The only real data we have for the House itself so far is an actual election which took place last week.  The Democrat running in a Special Election in NE-2 the Democratic candidate lost by 6-7 points in a district Trump won by 11.  This result was suprising on many levels, and once again supports the notion that there is no red wave, and that things are actually moving towards the Democrats.

What happened? What about Biden’s approval rating? 

We think many political analysts have been overly reliant on Biden’s low approval rating to craft their forecasts this cycle, and overly discounted how hard it would be for Republicans to win back voters who had just voted against MAGA twice in record numbers.  Remember that since Trump won the nomination in 2016 the average Dem margin in those 3 elections was Dem +5, and in the last two it was Dem +6.5 in very high turnout elections.  In those three election Republicans never got above 46.9 (46.1/44.8/46.9), and Democrats never below 48.2 (48.2/53.6/51.4).  The main questions of this election were always – 

-  Would the anti-MAGA majority show up again given the GOP’s intense embrace of MAGA, extremism this cycle? 

-  Realistically, how high would the GOP’s ceiling be this year given that running as MAGA they hadn’t ever broken 47%? Could they turn disappointment in Dems into a wave given their extremism? 

While in many elections disappointment in the party in power leads people to vote for the other party, that dynamic, given that the Rs have run towards a politics a clear majority had just rejected twice, was never a given this year.  It would be easy for a voter to be disappointed in Biden and still vote straight Democratic.  As I wrote in a previous analysis it was hard to find Republicans near or over 50 in any competitive race pre-Roe, something that suggests they were struggling to break past that 47% ceiling.  In the nine post-Roe Congressional Generic polls the GOP sits at 43.9%.  Republicans are underperforming in the PA and WI Senate races, and are not clearly ahead in any Dem held seat. All of this suggests that the typical midterm dynamic so many analysts have assumed would kick in just isn’t manifesting this cycle. Biden's approval rating just matter less than usual. 

The events of recent weeks have made the chance of that dynamic kicking in against the Democrats far less likely, and that we are now looking at a competitive, atypical midterm. Mass shootings, extremist abortion restrictions, a massive GOP led conspiracy to overturn an election, an out of control and partisan Supreme Court – this is ugly stuff, the kind of stuff that can cause a party to lose an election.  Would all of this MAGA ugly and extremism become a more powerful force in the election than disappointment in Biden and worries about inflation? Of course it could.  Opposition to MAGA was the main driver of the last two elections, and has, in all likelihood, become the main driver of this one too.  For the extremism and illiberalism of the MAGA/GOP is actually the most important issue in American politics today, with nothing else even close.  In the latest Economist/YouGov poll the favorability of Congressional Democrats is -12, but Congressional Republicans are -27.  These are really intense negatives to overcome.    

Looking ahead, analysts should consider that the ugliness of MAGA could get far worse in the coming months, not better.  More mass shootings are likely to occur.  Right wing terror could return and escalate. Students could be forced against their will into public religious prayer and study groups.  Terrible stories about doctors getting arrested, 10-year-olds being forced to give birth, women being chased across state lines and some in distress not getting treated will become widely, repeatedly known.  We will learn more about the vast conspiracy involving hundreds of Republican leaders and staff to illegally overturn an American election.  More subpoenas of high-level Republicans will continue.  Indictments and arrests could even begin.  

For Democrats, there is now an opportunity to create a new far more positive frame for this election.  One that starts with a strong recovery, millions of new jobs and rising wages, talks about our ongoing work get inflation down despite Putin’s aggression, makes clear what we will do with power next year and then ends with a powerful and intense indictment of the GOP’s radicalization and extremism, MAGA.  It is time for offense now, not defense.  We liked the way Gavin Newsom played all this in his new ad challenging DeSantis in Florida.  Way we need to be talking, thinking now – we need to take it to them and get out of our defensive crouch.  

Our goal should be to give Joe Biden at least two new Senators and keep the House.  This goal is now a doable one, and as one of the most capable leaders likes to say “we can do hard things.” Let’s get to work people.  It’s a new day.

This analysis was originally posted on Wed, July 6th and has been updated several times.

Invite: Pop-up Political/Poll Briefings July 8th 1230pm ET

It has been a dramatic week in US politics, and we thought it would be good to gather to review and discuss it all.

We held a well attended pop-up briefing last Thursday and so we've decided to offer two more next week on July 6th at 4pm ET and July 8th at 1230pm ET.  In each briefing I will go over the last few weeks of polling data which show a very competitive national landscape and meaningful movement towards the Dems. As I wrote in a new analysis piece recent polling now suggests if the election were held today the Senate would likely stay in Democratic hands.  I will also be offering some thoughts on what we’ve learned from the January 6th Committee and how the center-left needs to respond to the growing radicalization of the Supreme Court and the GOP itself.

Register for Fri, July 8th at 1230pm

Feel free to invite friends and colleagues.  The more the merrier.  Hope you have a restful 4th and hope to see you next week.

Best, S

Analysis: Democrats Make Big Gains in 3 New Polls – It’s A New Election

Join us for a discussion of the new electoral landscape on Wed, July 6th and Friday, July 8th.  Learn more, register here.

Wed, June 28th - Yesterday NDN released a new political analysis (below) which argued that a combination of recent events had begun to change the election in ways which were favorable to the Democrats (this new thread has some updated numbers which confirm the trendline discussed here).

We now have three independent polls taken since the Supreme Court ended Roe last Friday which show that there has been significant movement towards the Democrats.  These poll results, below, are responses to the Congressional Generic, the simple question of whether you intend to vote Democratic or Republican this fall.  At the end of last week the Republicans held a 2.5 point lead in 538’s tracker.  In these three polls Democrats have on average a 5.67 point lead. 

NPR/Marist             48% Dem   41% GOP   Dem +7 

Morning Consult     45% Dem   42% GOP   Dem +3 

Yahoo/YouGov       45% Dem   38% GOP   Dem +7 

In the Yahoo/YouGov poll a "Pro-choice Democrat" vs "Pro-life Republican" is 47%-32%, a 15 point Democratic lead.  

It's a new election.  The chances of the anti-MAGA majority showing up again - as it did in 2018 and 2020 - have increased dramatically. 

Note - In a Tuesday, June 28th Special Election in NE-2 the Democratic candidate lost by 6-7 points in a district Trump won by 11.  Further evidence the election has moved significantly towards the Democrats in recent days/weeks. 

See this analysis cited in new articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Susan Milligan in US News, John Skolnick in Salon, and AB Stoddard in The Bulwark and with Ian Masters in his new radio show/podcast

Analysis: The 2022 Election Landscape Is Changing, Chances of Dems Keeping the Senate Have Risen Significantly (June 27th) – In a May essay, The Strategic Context for the 2022 Election Is Changing, we argued that combination of new developments - ending of Roe, renewed mass shootings, Jan 6th Committee revelations, terrible GOP candidates – was changing the context for the 2022 elections in ways that would make it more difficult for the Rs to take advantage of Biden’s low approval ratings.  To put it simply, political analysts were overly discounting the ugliness of the GOP’s offering this year, and that it was our belief that the elections were likely to be much more competitive than conventional wisdom had held.  

Last week we released an analysis showing that in the major Gubernatorial and Senate races we were seeing Democrats holding and no sign of a red wave.  In fact, in our recent polling of Hispanic voters in AZ, NV and PA and in the GOP held Senate seats in NC, OH, PA, WI we were seeing signs of GOP underperformance.  Based on all this we concluded that the Senate was more likely to stay Democratic than flip, and that in fact the election was much more competitive than many understood.  

Then the Supreme Court weakened common sense guns laws and ended Roe.  In our Hispanic polling, close to 50% of Hispanic voters said ending Roe would make it more likely for them to vote Democratic this year.  A new CBS news poll out Sunday found Democrats now 50% more likely to vote due to the end of Roe.  A new NPR/Marist poll out this morning (An “A” rated poll on 538) found similar heightened vote intent with Democrats, and a true potential gamechanger – the Congressional generic had flipped from 47R-44D in April to 48D-41R now.  Just wow. 

To understand the significance of this data let’s review some basic electoral math.  The Democratic margin in the last 3 elections has been +5, in the last 2 since the country came to understand MAGA it’s been +6.5.  In these last two elections the country gave the Congress and the Presidency to the Democrats, and voted in record numbers in both elections.  There is a clear and proven anti-MAGA majority which showed up in big numbers in these last two elections and gave Democrats important wins across the board (more on this here). 

The big question in this election, as I discuss in a new John Harwood CNN analysis, is whether this huge anti-MAGA majority, motivated by ongoing fear/opposition to an even more extremist GOP, would show up again in this election.  Just think about it – is loss of reproductive freedom, far more gun violence, clear overwhelming evidence that hundreds of GOP leaders conspired to overturn an American election (and perhaps weakening our ability to fight climate change) as significant to voters as a 3-4% real increase in your grocery bill? Of course these things can matter as much, if not more.  Particularly when the inflation we are seeing today is being driven by Putin’s outrageous invasion of Ukraine, not Democratic policies.  

Another math insight – while the Democratic coalition is bigger than the Republican coalition is also has a higher percentage of new and infrequent voters.  For Democrats the two groups who were most likely not to show up – younger people and Hispanics – care deeply about reproductive health, climate and gun safety.  In our Hispanic polling 18-29 year old Latinas are 59% more likely to vote Dem due to the end of Roe, and 83% of 18-29 year olds believe abortion should be legal.  There is incredible intensity here about reproductive health, and it is very likely now that the Court’s decisions this past week will lead to these very Democratic parts of our coalition to show up in much larger numbers. 

All of this together is why we think the election is changing now and has changed; why we think what we are seeing in the data is a competitive not a wave election; and why if the election were held today we think the Senate would stay Democratic, with a reasonable chance - due to clear GOP underperformance in PA and WI and potentially elsewhere - of Democrats picking up 1-2 Senate seats.  

The Marist data suggests an even greater swing to Democrats than we would have anticipated – but let’s see where the data and this debate takes us.  One thing to watch – it’s our belief that as voters come to understand the true public health impacts of restricting abortion the tide will turn even more against the GOP this year.   

Best, Simon 

New Future Majority Polling Memo on Hispanics, Abortion and the End of Roe

With the Dobbs Supreme Court decision imminent, our friends at Future Majority have released a new memo looking at how Hispanic voters in AZ, NV and PA view abortion and the possible end of Roe. The summary of their findings is below, and you can find the full memo here.  The bottom line – Hispanic voters in these three states overwhelming support the right to a legal abortion in America, and ending Roe will dramatically increase support for Democratic candidates, especially among younger voters and women. 

If these results are replicated nationally, the GOP’s attempts to restrict abortion access will be a serious problem for Republican candidates with Hispanic voters in this and future elections. For more on Future Majority’s new polls of Hispanic voters, see this memo summarizing the findings in all three states, and be sure to watch our discussion with Fernand Amandi, the project’s pollster, as he walks through the data.  The three polls show a surprising degree of strength for Democratic candidates, and across the board weakness for Republicans – confounding the emerging conventional wisdom about recent trends in the Hispanic electorate.

We also recommend our new analysis, The Remarkable Success of the Democratic Party’s Hispanic Strategy.  It shows how Democrats have picked up millions of votes, over 30 Electoral College votes and critical Senate and House seats through their gains with Hispanic voters over the past 20 years. 

NDN and I are proud to support this important new project from Future Majority, and are excited to bring more of it to you - Simon

Future Majority Memo Summary

Hispanic voters in these three states overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to choose.  Support for abortion is particularly strong with younger Hispanic voters, and almost half of all Hispanic voters in all three states say the issue will make it more likely they support a Democrat this fall.  Less than 20% of Hispanics in these three states say ending Roe will make it more likely for them to vote Republican. 

Spanish speakers are far less supportive of legal abortion than English speakers, but as of now, this does not appear to be a significant opening for Republicans. Spanish speakers in all three states are significantly more Democratic than English speakers, and very few say it will make it more likely for them to vote for a Republican this fall.  In fact, in each state, far more Spanish speakers say ending Roe will make it more likely for them to vote Democratic than Republican.

As it has been for decades, the GOP argument that abortion is a gateway for their candidates with Hispanic voters appears to be wishful thinking in these three states.  If anything, our data shows that Republican efforts to end a woman's right to choose is likely to be far more beneficial to Democratic candidates than Republican candidates this fall, particularly with Hispanic women and younger Hispanics. 

Support for legal abortion is over 60% for Hispanic voters under 50 years of age, and is up in the high 70s and low 80s for Hispanics 18-29.  Only one in ten Hispanics in these three states believe abortion should be illegal in all cases.  

Invite: Wed - Rep. Scott Peters on Inflation, J6 Committee, SCOTUS/End of Roe

Please join us this Wednesday for a conversation with Rep. Scott Peters, Vice Chair of the largest caucus in the House, the New Democrat Coalition.  Rep. Peters will be discussing the NDC’s new action plan to fight inflation, a hugely impressive and important contribution to the current economic debate.  He will also be discussing the dramatic new revelations coming from the January 6th Committee and the Supreme Court’s extraordinary right ward shift.  After some initial opening remarks, we will open it up to our guests for questions and answers.   

In reviewing the New Dem plan to fight inflation Forbes called it “the best inflation-fighting blueprint to come out of Congress yet.”

Our conversation with Rep. Peters will be on Wednesday, June 29th at 430pm ET via Zoom.  You can register for the event here, and learn more about the NDC’s plan to fight inflation here and below.  We hope you can make it – this plan is among the more ambitious projects in the NDC’s proud history.  It will be well worth your time. 

More on the NDC’s Action Plan to Fight Inflation

“Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) released a comprehensive action plan to fight inflation, lower the cost of living for Americans, and secure the long-term fiscal future of the nation. The New Dem plan examines the actions President Biden and Congressional Democrats have already taken to cut costs and outlines tangible steps federal policymakers can take to reduce prices on essential goods and services and provide relief to American families, workers, and businesses. 

New Dem Leadership members today also wrote to President Biden and Congressional Leadership calling for the implementation of the Coalition’s plan to fight inflation. New Dems urged President Biden to roll back costly and ineffective Trump-era tariffs, address the workforce shortage, and work to lower costs on everyday necessities, including housing, energy, and health care. In Congress, New Dems are pressing leadership to quickly finalize a bipartisan innovation bill, negotiate a strong reconciliation bill focused on fighting inflation, and use every legislative week to advance an affordability agenda on the House floor. 

President Biden and Congressional Democrats have made historic progress in getting Americans back to work, growing the economy, strengthening supply chains, and reversing decades of underinvestment in our nation’s infrastructure. However, this rapid economic growth along with lingering pandemic challenges and Putin’s unjust war in Ukraine has led to rising prices here at home and across the globe. That’s why the NDC formed a first-of-its-kind Inflation Working Group that meets and works with economists, policy experts, and key stakeholders to develop and advance effective policy solutions to fight inflation.”

 

Analysis: Red Wave? Hard To See One Now

Red Wave? Hard to See One Now – A few weeks ago I was helping Future Majority make sense of the early data from its new polls of Hispanic voters in AZ, NV and PA and we came across something remarkable - the biggest gap between the Democratic and Republican candidates came in the named candidate head to heads.  Other measures - the generic vote, party favorabilities, Biden favorability, the Biden/Trump 2020 - would have suggested that gap between the GOP and Dem candidates running in 2022 be a bit closer.  But when the candidates were named in the three states the spread looked more like the big 2018 year for Democrats, not 2020, which was just a good year.

So I decided to spend some time looking to see if this kind of trend showed up in other publicly available poll data.  My operating theory of this election since last summer has been that the Rs would have a very low ceiling this cycle, as they have had since Trump won the nomination in 2016 – 46.1% in 2016, 44.8% in 2018, 46.9% in 2020.  In the last two elections a clear anti-MAGA majority emerged in America, with Democrats winning by an average of 6.5 pts in historically high turnout elections. This is rough math for a party which has made the consequential choice of doubling down on a politics – MAGA – which has had more people vote against it than any other political movement in American history.  So it's been my belief for sometime that this election wasn't going to necessarily behave like a traditional midterm, as the Republicans had run towards a deeply unpopular politics, not run away from it. That a red wave, while possible, was unlikely.

What I found in reviewing recent publicly available polling of Senate and Governor's races - actual heads to heads, not other less important measures - was a competitive not a wave election (see this thread for the data).  What was most surprising is how strong the Senate currently looks for Democrats.  None of the 4 most endangered Dem incumbents are clearly behind (AZ, GA, NH, NV) and the latest polling has Democrats ahead in 4 GOP held seats – NC, OH, PA, WI (here's the new WI poll showing Ron Johnson in serious trouble, and another bad PA poll for the Rs).  The two PA polls showing Fetterman with 6 and 9 point leads over Oz are the most significant of the lot, and let’s be clear about what they mean – that as of today it's easier to see how Democrats pick up a Senate seat than it is to see how Republican get the single seat they need to gain the majority. 

Any fair analysis of this cycle would work hard to balance the obvious challenges for Democrats – Biden’s low approval rating/inflation, etc – with the really significant challenges Republican’s face – blown COVIDongoing radicalization/insurrection, terrible candidates, horrifically divided party, very low party approval, ending of Roe, return of mass shooting, etc. Most of what we've gotten so far from many analysts is why the election is going to be tough for Democrats, leaving out all the clear and serious liabiliities Republicans will be struggling to overcome this year.  Given the data presented here that downplaying of the GOP's struggles this cycle needs to change.  A clear sign that Republicans know this thing ain't breaking their way right is now is Senator McConnell's working with Democrats on gun safety legislation, an almost unimaginable event.  For Mitch, that he needed to do something like this is a sign of a weak hand, not a strong one.  It is an affirmation this election is not performing as Republicans had hoped, or as much the media is presenting it today. 

I wrote the following in a recent memo, The Strategic Context for the 2022 Election is Changing: "New events – Russia’s ongoing aggression, mass shootings, the end of Roe, a more complete understanding of MAGA’s attack on our political system – are together creating a new strategic framework or context for US politics now.  That new strategic context is giving Joe Biden and the Democrats the opportunity to reframe the economic conversation, something the White House began in earnest yesterday; and it will make it far more likely Democrats will be successful at labeling Republicans out of the mainstream, extreme, unfit.  While these new realities may not be showing up in polling yet, it is our belief that the election has fundamentally changed in the last few weeks, something that will become clearer to all in the coming days."

What I found in my research suggests that maybe these GOP vulnerabilities are beginning to show up in polls, and that this election may be much competitive today than is understood; that perhaps fear of MAGA remains the most powerful force in American politics as it has been the last two cycles, more powerful even than disapointment in Joe Biden. Does that mean a red wave won't eventually form? We don't know. We do know, however, that it hasn't formed yet. Of the 10 most recent generic ballots in 538's tracker, Rs only led in 3, and the average was 42.2 Dem, 41.9 GOP.  Again, not a wave.

Finally, a note on election analysis.  This is my 16th or 17th cycle working full time in Democratic politics.  I have seen a lot over those years.  Been on both sides of waves, lost and won a Presidential election.  Had lots of election night joy, and lots of heartbreak too.  What I've learned is that every election is unique, and none is like any other. There are no ironclad political rules, or immutable political physics.  That because something has happened before it doesn't mean it will happen again. That to understand an election you have to follow the data, not history, not wives tales and wise guys, but data. That's what I work so hard to do, every day.  And that data I am seeing suggests this is far more likely to be a competitive election than a wave. And frankly, given what has happened to the GOP, that shouldn't be a big surprise to anyone. 

But of course that can change.  Which is why you should keep coming back and reading our stuff.  You can catch me going more in depth about this analysis in two new pods – the Arizona based Light Beer Dark Money show, and Deep State Radio with David Rothkopf, EJ Dionne and Kavita Patel.  They are both well worth your time.

This analysis has been updated and expanded since it was first published.

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