NDN Blog

For The Holidays - NDN's Most Important Political Analysis from 2022

We've put together our most important political analysis from 2022 for your holiday reading/listening/viewing pleasure:

Memo: The Democratic Party Is Strong, Rs Remain All MAGA – This is NDN’s main post-election analysis.  The bottom line - Democrats had their 3rd consecutive impressive election, and head into the 2024 cycle in strong shape. The Rs are still all MAGA all the time.  We would much rather be us than them.

Video: Simon Rosenberg and Tom Bonier 2022 Election Briefing – On 12/14/22 Tom and Simon came together for their most extended discussion of the 2022 election to date.  Mark Riddle of Future Majority and Tara McGowan of Courier Newsroom help guide the spirited conversation.

Fighting the Red Wave - A Recap of Our Heralded 2022 Election Analysis - We've put our campaign to fight the "red wave" media narrative all in one place.  We are pleased that we got it right, as it puts us in good shape to do even better in 2024. 

Video: Democrats and the Hispanic Vote - A New NDN Presentation - NDN has been arguing for some time that the media narrative about Democrats and Hispanic/Latino voters is just wrong.  Our growing margins with Hispanic voters nationally and in many states may be the Democratic Party's biggest partywide success story of the past 25 years.  This new presentation, released in October, goes through the history of the Hispanic vote, and suggests 2022 would be even better than 2020 in the Southwest - which it was. 

This new Natasha Korecki NBC News article, Republicans struggle in the Southwest as Latino voters stick with Democrats, features our analysis:

..."The Southwest was once deep-red territory. But Republicans are struggling to regain their grip. It's in part because they've alienated Latinos by taking more hardline stances, including on immigration, according to Simon Rosenberg, a longtime Democratic strategist who was part of the party’s early team that helped develop modern strategies for reaching Latino voters. Rosenberg said the Southwest today is a far cry from what it once was under former President George W. Bush. 

“This was once hostile terrain for us,” Rosenberg said. “Over the last 20 years, the Republican position has significantly deteriorated in the Southwest. And that’s indisputable.”'

Democrats Did Well With Young Voters – In a new Twitter thread, Simon goes through the data that is available to us so far, and contrary to som red wavey reporting this week, Dems did well with young voters in 2022.  It is our hope that commentators learn from the many red wave mistakes of 2022, and are more careful with their analysis in the months ahead. 

With Democrats Things Get Better - Our signature presentation, With Dems is a data-filled journey through American politics over the past generation.  And what we learn is with Democrats things get better.  With Rs, not so much.  This edition was recorded on December 6th, and the core data has been updated and is fresh.

Front Line Reports From the Information WarsA New Deep State Radio Podcast - Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter has made many re-evaluate the role of social media and new media. As people who work primarily in and around social and new media, David Rothkopf, Tara McGowan, and Simon talk about how Democrats need to step up and take on these challenges. How should we engage on social media? Do Progressives need to build their own media ecosystem? What can we learn from Republicans? Find out on this thought provoking conversation.

Video: Staying On Offense, Being Loud - A Conversation with Tara McGowan - Our conversation with Courier Newsroom's Tara McGowan about battling the rightwing noise machine was one of the most interesting and enjoyable conversations we've had all year.  We hope you can check it out. 

Video: A Conversation With Bill Kristol About the Anti-MAGA GOP - We are pleased that Bill Kristol, one of the leaders of the anti-MAGA movement inside the GOP, joined us for a spirited and timely discussion about the future of the once proud Party of Lincoln and Reagan.  Do watch - it was a compelling conversation.

Can Republicans Come Back from the Extreme? - Guardian Politics Weekly Podcast - As 2022 draws to a close, Jonathan Freedland speaks to Simon Rosenberg and Sarah Longwell about their predictions for how US politics will shake out in 2023. Can the Democrats capitalise on a weary electorate, can the Republicans finally get rid of the spectre of Donald Trump, and who will announce their intention to run in 2024?

A New Center-Left Rises in the West to Counter Putin, Illiberalism - Center/center-left governments keep getting elected in the West.  It's possible we are seeing a powerful new political movement emerge as a response to the growing threat of illiberalism. 

December Jobs Report - Economy Remains Strong and Dynamic, 10.5m Biden Jobs – Another strong jobs report for President Biden. 5 times as many jobs have now been created in Joe Biden's first 22 months than in Presidencies of the two Bushes and Trump combined.  Repeated Dem successes, repeated GOP failures must become better known in our politics.

Finally, some notable mentions of NDN’s success in calling the election this year:

"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

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

.....To a restful holiday season, and to a productive and exciting New Year!

Finding Simon

Many know me from my work on Twitter, @SimonWDC.  I am staying on Twitter for now, but am also spending more time in these places:

NDN/Newsletter - NDN is Home base.  Been running this place in two different iterations for 26 years.  Check back on the site itself as we update content all the time, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter.  If you want to support my work financially, you can contribute here (thank you). 

YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@simonWDC

Post News - https://post.news/simonwdc

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonwdc/

Mastadon - https://ohai.social/@SimonWDC

If you want to invite me to speak to a group, in person or via Zoom, email bookings@ndn.org.

Good luck all, and do listen to this new Deep State Radio pod with me, Tara McGowan and David Rothkopf.  It is a deep dive on the current media landscape, and the need for us to now innovate and build our own media in the coming years. 

Video: Simon Rosenberg, Tom Bonier 2022 Election Briefing

Earlier today NDN and our friends at Future Majority hosted TargetSmart's Tom Bonier and Simon for a live, in-depth look at the 2022 elections.  It was our most extensive discussion of the encouraging 2022 election to date.  You can watch a recording of the event here on YouTube.

We are grateful to Mark Riddle of Future Majority for kicking off the conversation, and to Tara McGowan of Courier Newsroom for moderating the discussion including the Q and A with our live audience.

For more on our thinking about the encouraging 2022 election we've put together the following materials:

Congrats to everyone who worked so hard on this memorable election.  We defied history, once again kept MAGA from gaining too much power, and left Democrats in very good shape for 2024.

Invite: Dec 14th, Noon ET - Simon Rosenberg, Tom Bonier on the 2022 Elections

Please join NDN and our friends at Future Majority for a live, in-depth look at the 2022 elections with Simon Rosenberg and Tom Bonier.  Simon and Tom will offer their thoughts about what happened, what it means for 2024 and Tara McGowan of Courier Newsroom will moderate an extended discussion and Q and A.  This will be Simon and Tom’s most extended public appearance together since the election and will be a great opportunity to reflect our success in 2022, and look ahead to 2024.  Mark Riddle of Future Majority will be offering some introductory remarks to kick off the conversation. 

You can RSVP here.  Please join us, invite others – all are welcome!

To prep for the call, feel free to review:

An overview of why Simon and Tom never believed a red wave was coming

Simon's post-election memo, The Democratic Party Is Strong, The Rs Remain All MAGA

Our With Democrats Things Get Better presentation

Our discussion with Tara McGowan on fighting the right wing noise machine

Memo: The Democratic Party Is Strong, Rs Remain All MAGA - NDN's Post-Election Take

Supporting Media - NDN has released a video recording of Simon and Tom Bonier in a joint NDN/Future Majority event talking about the 2022 election. It is their most comprehensive comments about 2022 to date, and well worth a watch.  Future Majority's Mark Riddle and Courier Newroom's Tara McGowan helped make the conversation lively and informative. 

Additionally, Simon joined Sarah Longwell of the Bulwark for a meaty discussion for The Guardian on what's in store for American politics in the coming years; and Simon, David Rothkopf and Tara McGowan had a great conversation about the degradition of Twitter and the challenges of the broader information space in a new must listen Deep State Radio podcast. 

Memo: The Democratic Party Is Strong, Rs Remain All MAGA - NDN's Post-Election Take

Updated 12/19/22 - We’ve had some time to process this rather remarkable and encouraging election, and offer some  observations:

  • It was a stay the course election, Joe Biden has been a good President
  • Ds overperformance in the battlegrounds defied history, set the party up well for 2024, showed significant campaign muscle
  • Rs extremism problem will not be easy for them to shake
  • Dem bench deeply talented, the Party is very strong right now
  • Youth, Hispanic vote encouraging for Dems
  • NeverTrumpers deserve credit, and thanks
  • Dems need to focus on winning the economic argument, getting louder

It was a stay the course election – After years of COVID, supply chain disruptions, inflation and MAGA chaos, voters choose to stay the course, not rock the boat.  Incumbents everywhere, in both parties, won.  Extremist MAGA candidates lost across the US.  The US House narrowly went to the Rs, but Ds appear to have flipped 5 state legislative chambers. This was anything but a typical midterm, a point which has been at the core of our heralded election analysis over the past year. Despite Republican hopes (hopium even), the red wave never came

Democrats were able to defy history this election because Joe Biden has been a good President and the country is better off; the Republicans remain too extreme; and our superior candidate fundraising, campaigns, field operations and highly motivated grassroots got it done in the battlegrounds where it really mattered. 

It was a not a nationalized election - Unusually, the 2022 election was not nationalized, and there were really two elections – a bluer one inside the battleground and in a few heavy Dem states, and a redder one outside.  For example, even though Dems outperformed 2020 in states like AZ, CO, GA, MI, NH, PA there were a big Dem dropoff from 2020 in the four largest states – CA, FL, NY, TX.  The shift to Rs in the big 4 states makes all the national results and two exit polls more R than the reality on the ground, and folks should be wary of any analysis which does not account for huge D overperformance in many of the most important Presidential states. 

The strong Dem performance in the Presidential battlegrounds may be the election’s most important story – Despite low Biden approval and high inflation, Democrats outperformed Biden 2020 in AZ, CO, GA, MI, MN, NH, PA (and WI Gov) – simply a stunning achievement in a midterm election.  This new CNN piece by Ron Brownstein does a good job at explaining what these strong D performances in the battlegrounds may mean for the 2024 Presidential race, and it is not good news for the Rs.  Greg Sargent has an extended interview wiith Simon about this strong D performance and what it means for 2024 in The Washington Post, Ron Brownstein has another must read piece about all this in The Atlantic and David Lauter dives into the growing importance of Arizona and Georgia in this smart LA Times piece. 

The big lesson for us here is that when we run full fledged national campaigns we can control the information environment, and stay in control of our own destiny in the most important battlegrounds in the country.  The big money our campaigns are raising is allowing Democrats to gain significant tactical advantage in contested races, something I write about here and something that will be hard for Rs to match by 2024. Part of this story is the entire Dem ecosystem has learned that a strong early vote can actually increase overall Dem turnout by allowing our campaigns to reach many more lower propensity voters much earlier in the process.  Driving the early vote with bigger campaigns is creating what Simon calls a "virtuous cycle of participation" - a powerful new tool for a party with a higher percentage of new and irregular voters.   

But the other lesson of 2022 is that when we don’t invest and build our superior campaigns, we can see the power of the right wing noise machine in creating a more favorable environment for Rs.  It’s why as we look ahead we must both run our campaigns but be far more intentional about being loud and contesting the Rs ability to drive and dictate daily political discourse.

Dems pick up 4-5 state legislative chambers - Democrats seized four previously GOP-held chambers: Michigan’s House and Senate, Minnesota’s Senate, and Pennsylvania’s House. In addition, the GOP seems to have lost control of Alaska’s Senate; a group made up of centrist Republicans and Democratic senators announced on Friday that they would form a coalition to run the chamber. We may not know until 2023 if a similar coalition emerges in the Alaska House, or if the GOP can coalesce to win control of that chamber (see here for more).

MAGA and abortion remain huge problems for the GOP - Republicans have underperformed now in three consecutive elections, and the central reason for their underperformance – the extremism of MAGA generally and now on abortion too – is not something that will be easy for them to shake in the coming cycle(s).  Fear of MAGA has arguably been the driving force in the last 3 elections, and it is likely to remain so until the GOP makes a hard break from it in the years to come. That their 2024 frontrunner has called for the termination of the Constitution and his immediate installation as President is a sign of the GOP's troubles ahead.

"Kayne. Elon. Trump." is a losing proposition, and a global embarrassment for the GOP.  Understand idea is that GOP may finally move away from MAGA, but consider that DeSantis seems to have decided to move RIGHT (more extreme) and look at the week ahead for the GOP:

  • Jan 6th Committee Report, criminal referals
  • Trump's taxes may get released
  • Epic new House Santos scandal
  • No GOP House leader, two weeks out
  • Proud Boys sedition trial begins
  • Elon's ongoing meltdown

The Democrats generational wheel has begun to turn, the Party’s emerging bench is very, very strong - With the ascension of a new Hakeem Jeffries leadership team in the House, Democrats have begun a deeply consequential generational handoff from an older set of leaders to a younger and very capable ones.  The contrast between Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team's elegant passing of the baton and the mess the current House Rs are in needs to be noted here. 

Just a quick look at who the next set of leaders for the Dems is now and will be.  It's an impressive emerging team:

Biden Administration – Harris, Raimondo, Buttigieg, Becerra, Granholm…

Govs - Newsom, Whitmer, Shapiro, Wes Moore, Polis, Healey, Hobbs, Cooper…

More – Padilla, Cortez Masto, Kelly, Warnock, Ossoff, Harrison, Fetterman, the new House leadership crew, the House Members who’ve survived tough battles in 2020 and 2022…..

The Democratic Party feels very strong right now.  We’ve had 3 impressive elections in a row.  Our candidates are now consistently outraising Republicans, sometimes by 3-4-5 to 1.  Our superior field operations help drive a decisive early vote.  We continue to get big, impressive margins from the emerging electorate of younger people and Hispanic voters.  Our top 20-40 leaders are as strong as any point in my time in politics.  We passed an agenda which will be making things better for Americans, helping us win the future, for decades. 

Hispanic vote narrative needs a rewrite, Dems crushing it in the Southwest - As we’ve been writing for months the national narrative about the Hispanic vote needs a big rewrite.  In the last two elections Dems have had two of their best showings in the Southwestern battleground – AZ, CO, NM, NV – in the past 80 years.  We performed well in the Rio Grande Valley.  Rs have made gains in Florida with Cubans in particularly, but in the rest of the country strong Dem margins with this fast growing part of our electorate continue to help us win critical elections.  

This new Natasha Korecki NBC News article, Republicans struggle in the Southwest as Latino voters stick with Democrats, cites our analysis:

..."The Southwest was once deep-red territory. But Republicans are struggling to regain their grip. It's in part because they've alienated Latinos by taking more hardline stances, including on immigration, according to Simon Rosenberg, a longtime Democratic strategist who was part of the party’s early team that helped develop modern strategies for reaching Latino voters. Rosenberg said the Southwest today is a far cry from what it once was under former President George W. Bush. 

“This was once hostile terrain for us,” Rosenberg said. “Over the last 20 years, the Republican position has significantly deteriorated in the Southwest. And that’s indisputable.”'

Dems need to lean in hard to the youth vote - The youth vote continues to perform for Democrats, and needs to become far more central to our politics in the years to come.  We will be having more to say on this soon, but in the meantime see this NYT op-ed by Harvard’s John Della Volpe and these two podcasts I did with John in recent days to learn more - Deep State Radio and iGen Politics with Victor Shi and Jill Wine-Banks.  This new Navigator poll of younger voters is very much worth reviewing. 

NeverTrumpers played an important role - The Rs who fought MAGA these past two years - Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, Sarah Longwell, Michael Steele, Matthew Dowd, etc - deserve a lot of credit for their courage and effectiveness.  They helped created a national and battleground permission structure for Rs uncomfortable with MAGA to go elsewhere.  In many important states - AZ, MI, NV, PA, TX, WA - we saw very prominent local Rs publicly work against local MAGAs.  This anti-MAGA, pro-democracy movement of former/not so sure Republicans mattered in 2022 and could play an important role again in 2024. 

Democrats need a party wide project to win the economic argument in 2024 - The Democratic Party is simply not going to do what it wants to do as a national Party if we are losing the economy by 10-15 points to Republicans.  As we argue in our With Democrats Things Get Better presentation, and in a related thread, our trailing the Rs on economic issues remains perplexing when the story since 1989 has been strong growth/lower deficits/progress under Ds, recessions/spiraling deficits/decline under Rs.  Using the implementation of the big 3 bill Biden bills as a backdrop - infrastructure, CHIPs, climate - we need to together make a commitment to pull ahead of the Rs on the economy by the summer of 2024. 

Nuggets from the Exits - we've been a little slow to dive into exit polling as the two big exits this cycle - the traditional media Exit Polls and the newer AP VoteCast - have very different numbers.  Having reviewed both, we feel like the traditional Exit Polls for now are better. and they offer a few interesting insights from an electorate they had at +3 Republican:

- Dems won independents 49-47

- 52% of the country said they were better off or the same as 2 years ago.  Dems won those voters 74%-24%.  Only 31% chose inflation as their most important issue, and only 20% said inflation had caused them extreme hardship.  It remains our belief that the media and Rs had been overstating the role and hardship of inflation for months, something this data confirms. 

- Dems won under 45 year old voters 55%-42%, and lost over 45 year old voters 44%-54%.

- Abortion was the second most important issue to voters, coming in at 27%, just behind inflation at 31%.  Only 10% of voters believe abortion should be illegal in all cases.  In all election where commentators got a lot wrong, the attempts to minimize the impact abortion was having on voters were always among the most ridiculous things we heard. 

- Dems won Latinas 63%-33%, and Latino men only 53-45%.  As we've argued its clear Dems have work to do to re-establish our economic/opportunity/better life message with Latino men. 

- 53% believe immigration helps America.  39% believe it hurts us. 

- Kevin McCarthy's approval rating is 27%-53%, among the worst we've seen in a major politician in this era. 

- Voters who made up their mind in the last month voted Democratic 51%-46%.  Those who made up their minds before voted 47%-52% for the Rs.  Keep in mind this is when the national media declared the red wave had returned. 

As our understanding of the promising 2022 election continues to evolve, we will be updating this core analysis - Simon Rosenberg, Washington, DC (updated, expanded 12/12/22)

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.  On 12/1 Simon updated his post-election take in these remarks to the NewDeal Leaders Annual Conference in Washington, DC. 

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 and Campaigns and Elections

Finally, some notable mentions of NDN’s success in calling the election this year:

"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

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

Video: With Democrats Things Get Better (12/06/22)

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 has been showing it throughout his early Presidency. 

We've just released a newly updated version, recorded live on December 6th, 2022.  You can find it on YouTube here.  If you like With Dems please share it with others. 

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 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.  Early data from 2022 suggests under 45 year old voters went Dem by 13 points. 

In late 2020 Simon 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 - NDN's Deep Dive into Biden, Dems and the Economy

The new House Republican leadership has made it clear that we are going to be having a big economic and fiscal debate this year.  To help the center-left family prepare for that debate (and win it!) we will be updating and showing our influential With Democrats Things Get Better presentation throughout the year.  With Dems takes a deep dive into decades of data and finds when Democrats have been in power, things have repeatedly gotten better.  We've seen growth, lots of jobs created, lower deficits, progress.  With Republicans we've seen something very different.  The last 3 Republican Presidents have brought recession, spiraling deficits, decline. 

As we often say this story - repeated Dem economic success, repeated R economic failure - remains the most important, least understood story in American politics today.  It is a story that needs to be told in 2023, a story the center-left needs to be very very loud about.  

You can watch the latest With Dems presentation from January 26th, 2023 here.

To learn more about the big arguments in With Dems start with our recently published analysis The Economy Remains Strong, 10.7 Biden Jobs, a related thread, and an essay, The Case for Optimism, Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism, which was the basis of the earliest version of this presentation.  We have also frequently written over the past few years about the need for the center-left to get far more intentional about winning the economic argument with MAGA and the Republicans.  Given our repeated strong performance we shouldn't be losing the economic argument to these guys. 

We strongly recommend reviewing David Leonhardt’s NYT essay "Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?" It makes very similar arguments and has lots of terrific and useful charts.  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!

The deck has been revamped to include a new, longer section on the strong economic recovery under President Biden.  Some of the key stats from that section, and a graph:

  • GDP growth 3x Trump, 5x as many Biden jobs as last 3 GOP Presidents combined
  • best COVID recovery in G7
  • lowest unemployment rate in 50 yrs
  • lowest poverty/uninsured rates ever
  • very elevated wage gains/new business starts
  • 2 job openings per unemployed person, a record
  • real earnings up in 2022, trade deficit/deficit down
  • historic investments in our future prosperity (infrastructure, CHIPs, climate, health care)
  • domestic oil production on track to set records in 2023

Finally, our understanding of the American economy and the role of inflation was heavily influenced over the past 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.

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.  This trend has continued in both the 2020 and 2022 elections. 

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.  Simon's 2020 essay, "Build Back Better/Reconstruir Mejor - Joe Biden's Historic Opportunity" in the Mexican-based intellectual journal Letras Libres, addressed many of the themes we explore in With Dems and offered some thoughts on the big challenges facing 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. 

Related 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.

Still Waiting For the Red Wave - A Recap of Our Heralded 2022 Election Analysis

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."  This memo from May of 2021, Learning To Talk about Democracy, Patriotism and the GOP’s Radicalization, also heavilty informed our view about the need for Democrats to center their 2022 election narrative around the GOP's pernicious embrace of MAGA. 

In mid-May of 2022, 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 MSNBC's Joy Reid on October 31st: "In six major battleground states more than half the polls conducted in October have been conducted by Republican firms... basically we can't trust the data on RealClearPolitics or FiveThirtyEight any longer... it's essentially Republican propaganda."

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 and Campaigns and Elections

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

We've updated this content and moved it to this new page.  Please click through and go visit.  Thank you!!!!!

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

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