NDN Blog

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

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

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

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

Let's get to the meat of the analysis:

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

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

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

2020 – 48%-41% (+7) -  n/a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economist/YouGov   48-49

Politico/Morn Cons   48-43

NBC News                48-47

ABC/WaPo               48-50

Big Village                50-46

Yahoo/YouGov         46-44

Reuters/Ipsos           37-36

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

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

          Non-partisan polls – Warnock +3.2

          GOP polls -  Walker +4.4

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

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

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

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

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

- Simon, November 7th, 2022

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow!


Video: A Conversation With Bill Kristol About the Anti-MAGA GOP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can watch the presentation here.

The presentation's toplines:

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

Background For the Presentation

12/24/22 - Natasha Korecki cites this analysis in a new NBC News article, Republicans Struggle in the Southwest as Latinos Stick with Democrats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invite: Democrats and The Hispanic Vote - A New NDN Presentation (10/19/22)

Please join NDN for a new deep dive presentation on the highly-contested and much-discussed Hispanic vote.

In this 20-25 minute presentation Simon will review the history of the Hispanic vote over the past two decades, and talk about what he sees this year. 

This presentation will take place on Wednesday, October 19th at 1pm ET.  You can RSVP here.

Spoiler alert - we are not in the sky is falling camp, and think that the Democratic Party's strategy towards this fast-growing community has been among it's most successful in the past generation of American politics.

Come watch and see why.

Background For the Presentation

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

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

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

Video: Staying On Offense, Being Loud - A Conversation with Tara McGowan

On Friday, October 7th NDN hosted Tara McGowan, a leading thinker and practitioner in finding new, more effective ways to get the narratives and arguments of the center-left across in American politics.  Tara is the founder and Publisher of Courier Newsroom, a left-leaning local news organization that has newsrooms in eight battleground states, and veteran political strategist.  Tara provided an overview of the Courier project, and reflected a bit on the broader challenges we have in breaking through in a very noisy and often dystopian modern information environment.  This was without doubt one of the more enjoyable and interesting conversations we've had this year.  

Watch it here, follow Tara at @taraemcg, and and feel free to share our discussion with others.  Note that some of the technical issues apparent towards the beginning resolve themselves midway thru.

For more on Simon's thinking about loudness be sure to read this essay.

More on Tara McGowan

Tara McGowan is the founder and Publisher of Courier Newsroom, a left-leaning local news organization that has newsrooms in eight battleground states. 

A former political campaign strategist, Tara has seen firsthand how America’s information crisis has contributed to the rise of authoritarianism and the deterioration of social trust. In 2017, Tara founded a nonprofit, ACRONYM, to build the first organization focused entirely on increasing experimentation, innovation and impact in digital communications and organizing tactics. As part of that work, Tara oversaw the largest digital advertising program that helped remove Donald Trump from office in the 2020 election. Recognizing that successful investment in safeguarding our democracy and building progressive power in America requires diversifying the left’s traditional approach to communications and increasing year-round reach and engagement of the millions of American who vote infrequently, Tara founded Courier Newsroom in 2019, and departed ACRONYM in 2021 to focus her time fully on building a more honest, values-driven, and strategic media ecosystem for the left. Today, Courier’s network of newsrooms have built trust with over 800,000 less politically engaged online subscribers, reach over 60M Americans online each year, and have measurably increased low propensity voter turnout in over 20 state and federal elections.

Earlier in her career, Tara led multi-million dollar digital advertising and marketing programs for nonprofits and political groups, including Priorities USA, NextGen Climate, Planned Parenthood, and President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. She attended journalism school at NYU and was briefly a reporter and Associate Producer at 60 Minutes and PBS Frontline before making democracy work her full-time focus and passion.

Invite: Oct 18th - A Conversation With Bill Kristol

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

To explore this vital topic we are pleased that one of the most important and visible leaders of the anti-MAGA movement inside the GOP, Bill Kristol, will be joining us for a live, public discussion on Tuesday, October 18th at 1pm ET.  You can RSVP for the event here, and learn more about Bill and his essential work below. 

This will be a really great event.  Hope you will join us.  Free free to invite friends and colleagues - all are welcome. 

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


A Good Week of Politics and Polling for Dems (10/10/22)

This post was updated on 10/6.

Our summary of what we are seeing this week: 

  • Weekly generic tracking polls show Dems gaining ground
  • Biden’s job approval hits its highest mark this year
  • GA meltdown, good polling in PA makes Rs path here hard
  • Dems still in the Senate game in NC, OH, WI
  • Dem candidates had huge 3rd quarter cash halls
  • Analysts see the House up for grabs, Cook moved 7 House races towards Dems
  • 3 new polls show Rs underperforming with Hispanics
  • Surge of women registering/voting has continued, could be Dem sleeper vote

Let’s drill down on a few of these points.  All of this polling and data can be found on 538.  You can find more in this new, related thread and in our core 2022 Election Analysis, 5 Weeks To Go It’s A Very Competitive Election.

The Weekly Tracks Show Dem Gains

Five new weekly generic tracking polls show Democrats gaining, no GOP momentum: 

Politico/MC      45-43 to 46-43 Dems (+1) 

Econ/YouGov  46-47 to 47-46 (+2) 

Reuters/Ipsos  34-33 to 37-32 (+4) 

Morn Cons       48-44 to 49-44 (+1) 

Rasmussen      42-44 to 44-45 (+1)

From Morning Consult’s new analysis: “Congressional Democrats are seeing their widest lead on the generic ballot among LIKELY voters since tracking began in August. And for the third week in a row, Dems are more likely than Republicans to express a high level of enthusiasm about voting.”

The bottom line – the election is very close with whatever small shift the Rs got two weeks ago subsiding, and not significant enough to fundamentally alter the trajectory of the election.  Dems on balance had a very good week of Senate polling and enter the home stretch likely to keep the Senate. The House remains close and could end up turning on campaign performance in a few races.  If Dems can pick up another point or two in the final weeks they will have a very good election.  Our counsel is that Dems need to close by emphasizing how America is better off under our leadership, contest Rs advantage on the economy.  We’ve done a good job these last two years and need to say so (here’s our new look at the very strong October jobs report). 

Biden’s Approval Hits Highest Mark in 2022, Up 11.5 Points In Recent Months

Using the 538 aggregate, as of publication Biden is 44.3-51.6 (-7.3), up 11,5 points from his nadir of 38.2-56.9 (-18.7).  This is a very significant development in the election.  

New GA, PA Polling Makes GOP Path In the Senate Very Hard To See

Two new PA polls, USA Today and Monmouth, have Fetterman up 6 and 5 points.  But the real news in both polls is that Oz remains in the low 40s, and with negatives in the 50s.  Any reasonable analyst looking at these polls would conclude Oz does not have a path to victory.  His negatives are just too high.  He may close the gap some but a path to 50% just isn't here. 

In GA Warnock has a 4 pt lead in the 538 averages, and a new local poll conducted by GOP firm Insider Advantage has Warnock gaining 6 points in recent weeks, going from 44-47 to 47-44.  Another poll with interviews after the Walker meltdown has Warnock up 50-38.  This race appears to be slipping away from the GOP. 

Below are 538’s current Senate averages.  Note that Dems are much further ahead in GA and PA than Rs are in NC, OH, WI.  If Dems keep both GA and PA they keep the Senate.  Given the data below another hold or pick up is not out of the realm of the possible.  

GOP Held Seats: IA - 7, FL - 5, WI - 2, NC - 1, OH +2, PA +7

Dem Held Seat - NV - 1, GA +4, AZ +6, NH +8, CO +9, WA +10

Dems Have A Real Shot at Keeping the House 

The latest Fox News poll has Dems up 3 points, and in their model that would translate to Dems keeping the House.  The new Economist model has the fight for control of the House essentially tied.  538’s Lite model gives Dems a 40% chance of keeping the House. The Cook Report moved 7 House races towards the Democrats today. And in a new NYTimes column, “It’s Time To Take Democrats’ Chances in the House Seriously,” Nate Cohn writes: 

“The idea that Democrats can hold the House is not as ridiculous, implausible or far-fetched as it seemed before the Dobbs ruling overturned Roe v. Wade. It is a real possibility — not some abstraction in the sense that anything can happen.

In fact, not much would need to happen at all.

If the polls are “right” and Election Day were today, the fight for the House would be very close. It would be a district-by-district battle for control, one in which the race might come down to the strengths and weaknesses of individual candidates and campaigns. With a few lucky breaks, Democrats could come out ahead….

Democrats hold a narrow lead on the generic congressional ballot, a poll question asking whether voters would prefer Democrats or Republicans for Congress. If Republicans don’t have a robust structural advantage, as I wrote last Friday, then why wouldn’t the Democrats at least be competitive in the race for Congress? On paper, the Democratic disadvantage is fairly comparable to their disadvantage in the Senate — which most everyone agrees Democrats have a decent chance to hold this cycle.”

Rs underperforming with Hispanic voters 

For all the bluster about the Hispanic vote, a bevy of new Hispanic polls should worry Republicans.  As Simon writes in a new analysis, Trump received about 37% of the Hispanic vote in 2020.  In three new national polls Republicans are at 31%, 6 points underneath Trump.  In Texas a new Telemundo poll has Abbott at 31% with Hispanics. He received 42% in 2018 and Trump got 41% in 2020.  These results are similar to large sample Future Majority Hispanic polls which showed GOP candidates well under Trump’s 2020 numbers in AZ, NV and PA.  To be clear these are not good poll results for Republicans with Hispanics this late in the cycle.  

Additionally, throughout the heavily Mexican-American parts of the US, Democrats are running at or above recent elections in statewide elections with all voters.  In AZ Kelly is running ahead of his 2020 numbers and Katie Hobbs is 15-18 points ahead of our 2018 gubernatorial candidate.  In CA Newsom is running 5-7 pts ahead of his 2018 results.  In Colorado Polis is running 10 pts ahead of 2018, Bennett 5 pts ahead of 2016.  In New Mexico Gov. Lujan-Grisham will not match her 2018 numbers but still has a comfortable single digit lead.  In Nevada the races are within margin of error, where it was in the last 3 elections at this point.  In Texas Abbott’s lead is 5-7 pts.  He won by 13 in 2018 and 21 in 2014.  

In 2020 Democrats had their best year ever in the Southwest.  We won all 4 battleground states - AZ/CO/NM/NV – for the 1st time in 80 years.  We now control all 8 Senate seats and 14 of 23 House seats in these 4 states, gains of 5 Senate seats and 7 House seats in recent years.  Our numbers in this region this year are at or above our very strong 2020 showing.  So where is the evidence that the Rs stronger showing with Hispanics is changing the political map outside Florida? There isn’t any today.  In fact 2022 may be the Democratic Party’s best year ever in AZ/CA/CO/NM/NV/TX in decades, particularly if Nevada manages to come home for us. 

The Surge of Women Voting, Registering – It’s A Big Deal 

Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has been tracking the surge of women voting and registering to vote since the end of Roe. That surge helped Democrats overperform their 2020 results in 5 recent House specials by 7 points, and more in Kansas. As you will see in his latest graph below, which tracks registration from June 24 in 2020 and 2022 on, there has been an enormous surge in women registering to vote across the country and in many battleground states.  It’s our joint belief, as we discussed in our recent NDN conversation, that it is likely that many current polls have not adequately updated their weighting to account for these changes and could be significantly underestimating the Democratic vote, as what happened in the House specials and Kansas.  

Video: David Rothkopf on Russia

On Tuesday October, 4th, in the midst of a series of impressive victories by the Ukrainian Army, we were joined by historian, author, podcaster David Rothkopf to reflect on the nature of America's current conflict with Russia.  It has many dimensions now - information, cyber, political, military.  What is the best way to understand the nature of this conflict? Are we at war with Russia? A hybrid war? Something else? What does success for the US look like?

You can watch our 45 minute conversation here.  Be sure to read these related essays from David in the Daily Beast:

Putin Has Left The World No Other Option But Regime Change

Italy’s Far-Right Victory Is a (Small) Win for Putin

Putin’s Going to Be a Bad Loser After His Defeat in Ukraine

David has a new book coming out on November 1st, American Resistence. I've already bought an advance copy, and you should too.  Am really looking forward to diving in. 

2022 Election Analysis: 5 Weeks To Go, It Is A Very Competitive Election

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 Monday, Oct 3rd -  The 538 generic has Dems up 1.3 points, a 4 point shift since June. In the 538 "lite" model Dems have a 60% chance of keeping the Senate and a 40% chance of keeping the House. President Biden has jumped more than 10 points in 538's approval tracker over the past few weeks, from 38.2-56.9 (-18.7) to 43.6-51.9 (-8.3). 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

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