NDN Blog

2022 Election And Political Analysis

Election and political analysis has been a major program area for NDN over many years now. Here you can our work on the new Biden era, Trump's failed efforts to overthrow the 2020 election, the 2020 general election and Democratic primary and detailed geographic/demographic analysis.

You can also find NDN’s analysis in various recent articles and pods here

Biden, A New Day

Memo: On This 2022 Election Eve Would Rather Be Us Than Them - 11/7/22 - Dems are crushing it in the early vote, the red wave has yet to materialize, and polls this past week were on balance good for Dems. 

We'd rather be us than them. 

A Good Week of Politics and Polling for Dems (10/10/22) - With GA melting down, generics moving our way, good polls in PA, huge cash hauls and women continuing to register in very high numbers this has been a very good polling and political week for Dems.

2022 Election Analysis: 5 Weeks To Go, It Is A Very Competitive Election - 10/3/22 - With 5 weeks to go we'd rather be us than them - Dems are favored to keep the Senate, have a clear shot in the House, Biden's approval has jumped more than 10 points and women are voting and registering to vote at very elevated levels. 

Video: Tom Bonier on The Surge of Women Voting/Registering Post-Roe (9/14/22) - Come watch a timely discussion of an important new development in the 2022 election - the surge of women registering to vote and voting.  If this trend holds it could have a big impact on 2022.

Video: NDN's New, Bluer Election Presentation (9/8/22) - We are pleased to share a recording of "New, Bluer Election" presentation.  It's 25 minutes of encouraging data.  Do watch, feel free to share with others and remember - we got a shot my friends.

Analysis: Dems w/2.4 Point Lead in 17 Polls - It's A Competitive Not A Wave Election 7/20/22 - 14 independent polls taken since Roe ended show the Democrats ahead in the Congressional Generic.  It is a new bluer, election now. 

Video: A New, Bluer Election - A Presentation About The Changing National Political Landscape - 7/8/22 - In a new 20 minute presentation Simon reviews recent polling data which shows an improving national political landscape for Democrats.  All talk of a wave must end - it's a competitive election now. 

Analysis: Democrats Make Big Gains in 3 New Polls – It’s A New Election - 6/28/22 - Three new polls show the election swinging towards the Democrats.  It is a new election. The chances of the anti-MAGA majority showing up again - as it did in 2018 and 2020 - have increased dramatically. 

Analysis: Red Wave? Hard To See One Now - 6/21/22 - Any fair read of current data in the big statewide races makes this look far more like a competitive election than a wave.  This is particularly true in the Senate, where Dems now have the edge. 

The Strategic Context For The 2022 Elections Is Changing - 5/31/22 - Russia’s ongoing aggression, mass shootings, the end of Roe, a more complete understanding of MAGA’s attack on our political system are together creating a new strategic framework or context for US politics, the 2022 elections.

NDN’s Saliency Index 5 – Jobs/Economy, Inflation, Health Care, Climate Change Top Dem Concerns - Our latest analysis finds that in the Dem electorate jobs/economy, inflation, health care and climate are top of mind.  Among Republicans its inflation, jobs/economy, immigration, national security. 

Memo: The Remarkable Success of the Democratic Party's Hispanic Strategy - 5/18/22 - Over the past 20 years the gains Democrats have made with Hispanic voters has transformed the Democratic Party and the nation.  It may very well be the most successful party-wide strategy in recent Democratic Party history. 

With Roe Vote 2022 Is Now a Choice Election - 5/3/22 - With the coming end of Roe the anti-MAGA majority in the US has been given a very vivid reminder why they need to once again vote and keep America's far right from gaining further power.

The Center-Left Rises in the West, The Right Is In Retreat - 4/25/22 - The political space for the Putin allied far right is disapearing in the West, and a new center-left of liberals, social democrats and greens is rising.  Can US Republicans buck the trend in 2022?

Some Thoughts on Democrats and "Loudness" - 4/18/22 - In a new memo about the current political landscape and the 2022 elections, Simon offers three reasons why, despite Biden's current polling dip, the 2022 mid-terms are likely to be much more competitive than conventional wisdom holds right now.   

NDN’s Saliency Index, 4th Edition – COVID, Economy Top Issues, Inflation Secondary For Dems - 2/22/22 - In the 4th edition of our new Saliency Index, we find the top issues for voters in the Democratic elecorate to be COVID, jobs and the economy, health care and climate.  In the analysis we discuss why inflation may be a seconday concerns for Democratic voters right now. 

“Mr Biden, Your Good Economy Won’t Sell Itself” – On Selling the Biden Boom - 2/21/22 - In the past few weeks NDN's thoughts on the path forward for Joe Biden/Dems have been cited in the WaPo, NYTimes, the Cook Report and other top media outlets. We've put this recent impacful work all in one place to make it easier for you to access. Enjoy!

Memo: Dems Need To Focus On Winning The Economic Argument 1/27/22 - Despite decades of strong economic stewardship, Ds trail Rs on perceptions of who can best manage the economy.  It is our belief that closing that gap, and even getting ahead of Republicans on this vital measure is now the highest political priority for Dems in the coming months. 

Saliency Index #3 – COVID concerns rising, inflation still secondary concern in Dem electorate - 12/17/21 - In the new edition of our Saliency Index, we find rising concerns about COVID in both the Dem and GOP electorates.  Inflation while a major concern with Rs remains a secondary concern in the Democratic coalition. 

Defeating COVID Remains Job #1 - 11/26/21 - We think it is time for the President to a do prime time check in with the American people about COVID.  Review the progress which has been made, talk about the challenges ahead, lay out the plan for defeating it here and everywhere.

My Warning To Dems About MAGA and Schools This Fall - 11/2/21 - In July Simon warned Democratic Party officials that MAGA was going to wage a huge war around schools this fall, and we needed to be ready.  We weren't. 

Memo: 3 Reasons Why 2022 Won’t Be 2010 - 11/1/21 - In a new memo about the current political landscape and the 2022 elections, Simon offers three reasons why, despite Biden's current polling dip, the 2022 mid-terms are likely to be much more competitive than conventional wisdom holds right now.

Catch Simon on That Trippi Show, In The Atlantic, Politico and More - 10/6/21 - Simon's big strategy memo "Time for Dems to Come Together" got a lot of attention this week.  You can read the stories or listen to Simon talk about it on pods and in a TV interview. 

Memo: Time for Dems To Come Together - 10/6/21 - Since the debate over the President's post-ARP agenda began, the President's approval rating has dropped almost 15 points, endangering Dem 2022 election prospects.  It is time now for all Democrats to come together and end this debilitating, rancerous period.

Memo: 2022 Dem Election Narrative Begins to Take Shape - 9/16/21 - An early version of a possible Dem election narrative has begun to emerge - Dems tackle the big challenges, GOP too radical and extreme to once again trust with power.

Memo: After Texas Roe decision, Dems must lean into GOP radicalization - 9/2/21 - The Supreme Court's Texas Roe decision is so shocking and crazy that Democrats have no choice now to make the dangerous radicalization of the GOP central to the conversation they are having with the American people. 

Memo: A Fall To Do List for Democrats - COVID, A Growing Economy, Climate, Immigration - 8/30/21 - In a new memo, Simon writes that Democrats have four priorities this fall - defeat COVID/improve health care, creating an economy which works for all, tackle climate change and modernize our an mmigration system. 

Biden at 47% - 8/25/21 - Joe Biden has seen a nine point drop in his job approval rating over the last month.  Much of it is due to his declining approval on COVID.  Drawing from 2 recent essays, Simon offers some thoughts on what Biden can do now to reclaim his standing and win the fall. 

Memo: A Stronger Response To Delta Is Required Now - 8/21/21 - In a new political memo, Simon reviews recent polling data and finds rising fears over delta, and growing support in the public for aggressive steps to stop its spread.  The President should seize the moment and launch a stepped up campaign to defeat COVID once and for all.

Memo: Some Thoughts on Afghanistan, What Comes Next - 8/17/21 -  While the endgame in Afghanistan has been a significant setback for the President, he should use these next few months to reacquint the American people with his forward looking agenda and make significant progress in enacting it. 

Biden Should Consider "A Fireside Chat" About COVID - 8/4/21 - It may be time for a prime time Presidential address about COVID, a fireside chat, where Joe Biden can update us on the progress made, the challenges ahead and make clear what his plan is to defeat the pandemic here and everywhere. 

Bold Action on Evictions, But Also A Reminder That Governing is Very Hard - 8/4/21 - The President told bold action this week to prevent mass evictions in the midst of a public health crisis, but the program's struggles should be prompt action to make sure all the President's ambitious programs are well designed, aggressively implemented and successful. 

Memo: Some Thoughts on The Path Forward - 6/28/21 - In a new essay, Simon offers some thoughts on the path forward for the center-left as we head into the July 4th holiday.  Three priorities now - defeat COVID, keep creating jobs, defend democracy.  Get infrastructure to the President's desk by August.

Video: NDN Talks w/Norm Ornstein About Defending Democracy, GOP Radicalization (6/22/21) - Come watch a compelling conversation about the threats our democracy faces today with the great Norm Ornstein.

Memo: A Summer To Do List for Democrats - Defeat COVID, Defend Democracy, Keep Creating Jobs -  6/9/21 - Democrats have important work to do this summer - defeat COVID, defend democracy and make sure the American people know the recovery has come about through Joe Biden's smart and effective economic plans. 

Learning To Talk about Democracy, Patriotism and the GOP’s Radicalization - 5/24/21 - It is time for the American center-left to recognize that defeating autocracy, perhaps the most intrinsically America project, begins this time here at home – and failure is not an option.

The GOP Chooses Autocracy Over Democracy - 5/12/21 - The ousting of Liz Cheney marks a dangerous moment in US politics - Republicans have now chosen to make MAGA, including its extremism and its denigration of democracy, it's political path forward. 

Essay: Biden’s Pragmatism, Republican Extremism - 5/3/21 - In the first 100 days we've learned that Joe Biden understands the challenges America faces, and has offered detailed, concrete plans for how to address them.

Republicans, on the other hand, aren't fighting America's problems - they are just fighting Democrats. 

Video: NDN Talks The Hispanic Vote w/Fernand Amandi (3/2/21) - Join us for an indepth look at the all important Hispanic vote with Fernand Amandi, pollster and a pioneer in creating campaigns to speak to Hispanic voters in the United States.  It was a terrific discsusion - hope you can catch it soon. 

Simon In The NYT on Dem Management of Their Senate Majority - 3/1/21 - In a new NYTimes analysis, Simon offers extensive commentary about the how the Democrats might be able to get their agenda through the Senate this cycle.

Video: NDN Talks w/Ari Berman About the War On Voting (2/23/21) - On Feb 23rd NDN hosted noted author Ari Berman for an indepth discussion about one of the most important issues of 2021 - the GOP's savage assault on voting in America.  It was a great conversation - hope you will check it out. 

Analysis: The Republicans Have An Off-Ramp - They Need to Take It - 1/13/21 - The choice for every Republican now is a binary one — drop the language of Trumpism, declare the election legitimate, tell the insurrections to stand down or become an insurrectionist, insurgent yourself.

Analysis: The Southwest Has Become A Democratic Stronghold - 12/9/21 - Democratic gains in the heavily Mexican-American parts of the country have been among the most important political developments in US politics over the past two decades.  It is a region transformed, and a new center of power in the 21st century Democratic Party. 

2020 Election

Every Thursday (and some Fridays) in 2020 NDN published its Poll Roundup, a deep dive into recent polling and political trends. Below is some of our late 2020 work.  Feel free to review previous editions too.  

Analysis: There's A Whole Lotta Voting Going On! - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 10/15/20 - Enormous numbers of people are voting early this year, in person and via mail.  It is a welcome sign for our struggling democracy; and practically, all this voting is going to make it harder for Trump to manipulate the election outcome. 

Analysis: It Has Been A Very Bad Week of Polling for Trump and the GOP  - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 9/29/20 - Despite desperate tactics, Trump isn't gaining ground against Biden.  If anything the race may be beginning to slip away.   

Analysis: Is McConnell leading the GOP off an electoral and political cliff? - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 9/21/20 - Mitch McConnell's craven rush to replace RBG looks like a huge mistake, and raises further questions about whether McConnell's repeated mistakes this year is leading his conference off an electoral cliff.

Trump Is On An Electoral Crime Spree - Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 9/9/20 - The President has launched a breathtakingly broad effort to hold on to power through wide-scale cheating, treachery and illegal use of the US government to aide his campaign.  Far more should be happening to make it stop. 

Demographic/Geographic Analysis

Trump Has a Serious Young Voter Problem (Updated) - Simon Rosenberg, Medium, 9/25/20 - As more data comes in it's becoming clearer that Trump has a serious young voter problem.  He's way below his 2016 numbers, and Biden's margin rivals the largest we've ever seen with 18-29 year olds in recent history.

Analysis: Should Dems Go For It? - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 7/10/20 - The Biden campaign faces a big strategy choice in the coming days - how manystates to play in? How big shoulld the battlefield be? Argument for going big is very compelling right now. 

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. 

Dems Have Already Won Back Voters In The Rust Belt. It's Trump Who Needs To Win Them Back Now - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 6/5/19 - It is a myth that Trump's anti-immigrant and protectionist policies have made it difficult for Democrats to win in the Rust Belt in 2020.  Trump is trailing badly there now raising questions about Trumpism itself has become a grand failure. 

Notes On The GOP's Erosion In The Southwest - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 2/11/19 - The dramatic erosion of the GOP brand in the heavily Mexican-American parts of the country over the past two elections is one of the biggest stories in American politics.  Trump's border extremism has cost the GOP dearly, and it hasn't kept the industrial north from slipping away. 

In All Important Florida, Democrats Lost Ground With Hispanic Voters - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 11/9/18 - In a year when Democrats made gains with Hispanics across the nation, Florida Democrats saw their performance with Hispanics decline.  Work has to be done to figure out why. 

Among "New Coalition" Voters, Democrats Have Best Performance Ever - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 11/9/18. In the 2018 elections Democrats had their best showing ever with 18-29s, 18-44s and Asian-Americans, 2nd best with Hispanics.  Bodes well for 2020 and many elections to come. 

$38 Million For Beto, And Why It Matters - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 10/30/18 - Democrats have been raising a lot of money this cycle.  This is not just about fear of Trump - it is about the broad adoption of a more authentic people based politics suited for the digital age championed by Dean, Obama, and yes even Trump himself.


Europe's Elections: Liberals and Greens Make Gains, Right Loses Ground - Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 5/28/19 - In both Europe and the US, a new politics is emerging in opposition to the extremism of the far right. It emphasizes political pragmatism and the embrace of trade and immigration, while also focusing on the significant threat of climate change.

Democrats Must Demonstrate Greater Leadership In Challenging Trump's Ruinous Trade Policy - Simon Rosenberg, Twitter, 5/8/19 - Democrats should be more aggressive in challenging Trump’s tariffs and trade policies given the failure of those policies to achieve their objectives and growing discontent with them around the country.

Iowa, Trump, and the Politics of Globalization/Tariffs - Chris Taylor, NDN, 10/12/18 - Trump’s trade policies are hurting the Iowa economy. His tariffs are unpopular there, and his party is performing badly in the fall elections. Some thoughts on what this means for the Democratic presidential race starting soon.

Media Citations: You can find NDN in recent stories about the national political landscape in the AP, Hearst Media/San Antonio Express News, NBC News, Washington Monthly and Washington Post (here, here, here).  Our most important recent citations are below. 

Joe Biden Identifies The No. 1 Threat: Trump - Greg Sargent, The Washington Post, 4/25/19 - Key passage: As Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg, who worked on House races in 2018, told me, Democrats realized that both Democratic and swing voters wanted candidates who offered a "safe port in a storm" at a moment of perceived extreme danger in the form of Trump, which is why Democrats recruited many candidates with records of accomplishment and an aura of solidity and competence. 

The Biggest Field Yet. No Frontrunner. A Divided Base. Welcome To The 2020 Democratic Primary - Molly Ball and Philip Elliott, Time Magazine, Cover Package, 2/21/19 - Key passage: “The Democratic Party is going through a very large transformation,” says party operative Simon Rosenberg, who’s backed the winning candidate in every primary since 1988 but has no favorite this time. “The era of Clinton and Obama is ending and ceding to a new set of dynamics. A new Democratic Party is being forged in front of our eyes.”

This Is Why Republicans And Democrats Aren't Talking To Each Other In Washington - Ron Brownstein, CNN, 1/8/19 - Key passage: "It's fair to say that the House campaign in 2018 executed on a politics that we first saw with Obama in 2007 and 2008: It aligned the House with the way that Obama began to reorient the Democratic Party," said Rosenberg, who consulted with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee through the campaign. "There were many people who were saying that Obama's embrace of this new coalition [that was younger, more diverse, better-educated, and more urbanized] was the cause of Democratic decline in the Senate and the House. It was never true. But what was true was that Democrats had never resigned themselves to having to lean into this new coalition that Obama constructed. Now they did in 2018 -- they leaned into it -- and look what happened."

With Roe Vote 2022 Is Now a Choice Election

The 2022 Election Begins Today – If you’ve been part of the NDN community, you know it’s our view that current global and domestic trends will make GOP success this year far less likely than conventional wisdom holds right now.  

Simply, since the rise of Trump/MAGA and its allies in Europe, Western countries including the US have been steadily putting center-left governments in power and defeating far right parties.  The threat of this new politics has been widely understood by the voters of the West, and today the far right is much further from power than it has been in years.  In the US for example the Democratic margin in the three elections since Trump took over the GOP has averaged 5 points.  In the last two elections the Dem margin averaged 6 points in historically high turnout elections.  More people have voted against MAGA in the US than any other political movement in our history.  

For Republicans to take control of either chamber in Congress this fall it would mean that an awful lot of people who voted against a radicalized right would have to stay home or switch over to the Republican side.  We think either of those scenarios is far less likely now, as overturning Roe may be the single most unpopular and out of the mainstream position this modern right holds today.  The polling on this issue is eyepopping.  Overturning Roe is opposed 69%-30% in a new CNN poll.  In a new Washington Post poll only 28% want to overturn Roe (28%!!!!!).  In a new Navigator poll 72% of pro-choice voters (almost 60% of the electorate) say they will be more likely to vote if Roe is overturned.  

The problem for Republicans is that confirmation of their extremism on any single issue opens the door for Democrats to expand the conversation with voters about the out of the main stream positions the GOP holds on many other issues – climate, health care, book banning, denigration of our democracy, support of Putin and authoritarianism, attacks on Disney, raising taxes on working people while cutting taxes on the wealthy, etc – and remind voters that this is the kind of politics rejected by record numbers in the last 2 elections.  It can wake up the clear anti-MAGA majority, once again get them off their couches and get them go out there and fight, and vote.  

2022 is now a “choice” election, between a party which has repeatedly made things better for the country and one that wants to tear it all down.   As we’ve been saying it is why when it comes to the 2022 elections we would rather be us than them.   But it is time now for Dems to turn their campaigns on, get loud, start spending and engage their opponents. It is time now. 

"It's extreme, like most MAGA things are."  Joe Biden, 5/4/22 (link)

The Center-Left Rises in the West, The Right Is In Retreat

The Center-Left Rises in the West, The Right Is In Retreat- Since the infamous Trump-Putin Helsinki summit in the summer of 2018, the far right extremist politics new this alliance represented has steadily lost ground in the West.  Democrats took the Presidency, the Senate and House in very high turnout elections in 2018 and 2020.  In the 2019 European elections Greens and Liberals were the big winners.  Social Democrat/progressive, center/liberal and/or Green parties now run the governments of Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the US.  Even in the UK, recent polling now has now Labour ahead of the Tories 40% to 34%, and Labour/Lib Dems/Greens lead the Tories/UKIP/Reform 56%-39%, a margin similar to Macron’s huge rout of Le Pen.  The center right and Putin aligned anti-Europe far right are now more out of power in the West than in any time in recent memory. The EU and NATO are expanding.  A new center/center-left is clearly ascendent. (May 21st note - Australian Labour wins, adding to his momentum). 

Russia’s aggression and barbarism in Ukraine has also become serious political problem for the Western right, including the GOP here in the US.  The Republican Party’s leading politician, Donald Trump, has deep ties to Putin and continues to praise him.  A leading institution of the American right, CPAC, heads to Hungary in a few weeks to create common cause with Putin’s last remaining major European ally, Victor Orban.  A record number of Americans voted against Trump’s illiberalism in 2018 and 2020 (Dem’s won these two elections by an average of 6.5 pts), and as we have argued, the GOP’s doubling down on MAGA/insurrection/illiberalism is going to create a very low ceiling for the Republican Party this fall, perhaps low enough to deny them a victory.  Voters in the West, including America, have been embracing a far more liberal and green politics in recent years, and it is hard for us to imagine all those voters who viewed MAGA as a big threat putting illiberal insurrectionists back in control of the House, particularly when all can see what savagery Putinism brings.  The political space for this kind of extremist politics is disappearing in the West, for good reason, and the GOP’s doubling down on it in recent months looks increasingly like a huge miscalculation. 

If American voters come to believe that a vote for the GOP helps Putin and weakens the West this could be a far more challenging environment for Republicans this fall than the current landscape suggests.  As a new Ron Brownstein CNN essay quotes Simon: “It is critical that Democrats take this radicalization we are witnessing and make it into a kitchen table issue. That has to be part of the discourse with the American people this year in order to make this into a competitive election.”

Some Thoughts on Democrats and "Loudness"

Getting Loud – In a new podcast with Joe Trippi, and in a recent Greg Sargent Washington Post article, I return to a big challenge we’ve been talking about for years – the need for Democrats to get louder in an "always on" information landscape. In these media appearances, and in these three essays (hereherehere), I lay out four ways Dems can get louder and hopefully begin to change the current political information landscape, particularly on the economy

·      DNC can make it their central job this year to educate the public about how much better things are, using all the tools the national party infrastructure has at its disposal – paid and organic media, in depth issue/language training of party leaders/groups across the country etc.  Brings the Party together, creates a single national goal for all Democrats. 

·      Dem campaigns turn on, start spending money now.  The risk of holding until the fall outweighs the risk of starting to engage now.  Can be low levels of media, but starting campaigns now will excite our supporters, start to draw out the opposition.  Think we just need to put our heads down and start engaging/fighting.  Change the dynamic.  Idea of starting volunteer GOTV phone banks now should be explored, tested.  Dems need to be given something to do, now.  

·      DNC/DSCC/DCCC can start holding a weekly Zoom based national fundraisers for battleground candidates.  Make it festive, celebratory, shoot to raise $1m each week.  Bring in celebrities, make it like a weekly Dem tv show showcasing a single candidate/patriot fighting to save our democracy.  Again, we need to engage our supporters, wake them up, give them something to do. 

·      Finally, we should reimagine the War Room.  The new War Room should be millions of people wired together perhaps to the DNC, amplifying core messages/narratives, making our family louder.  Right is highly networked and amplified.  We can do it in a single core place like the DNC but also campaigns need to start better organizing their supporters to be partners in the daily info war not just donors to the cause.  We have to put our people to work for the good of the country.  

Behind all these ideas is an understanding that the daily information battle is a national one.  Our networks and information flow are not geographically based.  Far more emphasis has to go on winning the daily national conversation, and not believing that localized content – ads, surrogate visits, local media – can overcome underperforming in the daily national back and forth.  Just as Dem volunteers can give money to a campaign and make calls for campaigns outside of where they live, they can also share information across their networks and reach voters outside of where we live.  We need everyone rowing in the boat, together.  

Video: With Democrats Things Get Better (4/8/22)

We are pleased to offer a recording of NDN's signature presentation, With Democrats Things Get Better, from Friday, April 8th, 2022.  This was a particularly lively session, with lots of great discussion and loads of new material.  Hope you will check it out. 

With Dems is a 25 minute long data-filled look at the performance of the two American political parties since the end of the Cold War.  What we learn is that Democrats have repeatedly made things better when in power; the GOP not so much.  It is as we say in the deck the most important least understood story in American politics today. 

Perhaps the most remarkable stat in the deck - since 1989, and the Cold War ended, 44m net new jobs have been created in America.  42m - 96% - have been created under Democratic Presidents. 

To learn more about the big arguments in With Dems start with our recently published analysis 4 Times More Biden Jobs Than Last 3 GOP Presidents Combined and an essay, The Case for Optimism, Rejecting Trump's Poisonous Pessimism. which was the basis of the earliest version of this presentation.  We also strongly recommend reviewing David Leonhardt’s recent NYT essay "Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy?" It makes very similar arguments and has lots of terrific and useful charts.  Our recent discussion with noted economist Rob Shapiro, and his 2 recent essays on the Biden Boom, also provide useful context.

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

We will be presenting With Dems once or twice a month through the end of the year, and we intend to take many of the arguments in our presentation to the public with op-eds, media appearances etc. You can sign up for a future showing and learn more about the arguments in the presentation here.

Thank you for your interest, and please share this video and future invites with friends and family - the more the merrier!

Video: Gretchen Barton On What's She's Heard Listening to the American People (4/12/22)

This was a great event, truly.  Hope you will watch.

On April 12th, 2022 we sat down with Gretchen Barton, a public opinion researcher who uses deep listening techniques – long interviews, multiday engagements, and use of visual imagery and multimedia - to understand the deep-rooted thoughts and feelings of Americans.  She has spent the last year listening daily to the American people about their lives, their struggles, their hopes, and their fears to find opportunities for better connecting with and engaging Americans.  She has taken all of this work and combined it with some more traditional polling from Future Majority and created a presentation about what’s she learned and what it means for center-left politics this year.  

We strongly encourage everyone to watch this presentation and our discussion afterwards.  Gretchen and Future Majority's work has heavily influenced our thinking about where are we right now, and what we need to do – and we are certain it will influence yours, too.  Future Majortiy released a companion memo to Gretchen's deck - read it here

More on Gretchen - Gretchen Barton is the Research Director for Future Majority, Principal at Worthy Strategy Group, LLC, and former policy lead at the Harvard-founded research firm, Olson Zaltman. With a special interest in the psychology underpinning behavior change, Gretchen has designed and delivered a number of initiatives in the policy space, including studies around poverty in America for the Gates Foundation and Gender Justice for Story-at-Scale. Her research over the years has spanned hazing behavior and how to stop it, trauma, cults, and tribalism. She has led research and served as a behavioral science strategist for major organizations and campaigns (e.g. NextGen, New Moral Majority, Ideas 42, Way to Win, and others), uncovering key messaging insights to turn out the youth vote, revealing voters’ deepest hopes and dreams for presidential campaigns, and uncovering deep insights in real-time to key organizers in the build-up to the 2020 election with the Yellow Brick Road study.  She recently completed metaphor elicitation studies of American swing-state voters across the nation and in Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Rural Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota, and Virginia, along with a deep dive into how Americans know what’s true.

Gretchen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Planning Campaigns with distinction in research from Cornell University. She has written for the Journal of College Student Development and the American Journal of Health Behavior, and co-authored, Prevalence and Profiling: Hazing Among College Students and Points of Intervention. She recently co-authored “The Science of Winning with Stories: Using Agency, Urgency, and Community,” a reflection on the most effective messaging to engage and move a populace.

Biden Begins A Necessary Conversation With Voters About the US Economy

The President’s budget always tries to do many things, but one thing the White House made clear yesterday was they were intending to have a far more serious conversation with the American people about the economy than we’ve had in recent months.  

As we all know by now poll after poll show the American people do not understand that the steps the government took in 2021 to hasten an economic recovery worked, and that in 2021 the American economy put in one of its best performances in history.  GDP growth came in close to 6%, the unemployment rate plummeted, millions gained health insurance, stocks and home prices soared, more new businesses were started than any year in US history, the annual deficit came down by hundreds of billions of dollars and real wages rose, most significantly for those in the bottom 25% of wage earners.  Most Americans were better off at the end of 2021, and many were much much better off.  We are experiencing, literally, a Biden Boom, one which has continued into 2022.  

Why don’t people understand what has happened with the economy over the past year or so? This is an area of vigorous debate, one which we have weighed in on pretty heavily in recent months.  And it speaks to a much bigger political challenge for Democrats, something we have called the most important least understood story in American politics today – that since the Cold War ended and a new global economic age began when Democrats were in charge the economy grew, stock markets boomed, wages and incomes went up and deficits fell (Clinton even got us to an annual surplus); and when Republicans have been in power we’ve had three consecutive recessions and exploding deficits.  Dems have done a good job, repeatedly; while Rs have failed to do their part, repeatedly. 

The contrast in the economy’s performance under the two parties, and two very different economic approaches, is perhaps best summed up in net jobs produced during this time.  In 17 years of Clinton Obama and Biden 41 million net new jobs were created.  Under 16 years of Bush, Bush, and Trump 2 million net new jobs were created.  Same time in the White House.  20 times more jobs with Democrats.  95% of all net new jobs created since 1989 have come under Democrats – 95%!  Yet Republicans today are more trusted on the economy than Democrats, despite have brought actual economic carnage over three consecutive Presidencies over decades.   

More illustrative stats: 

·      41m of the 43m jobs created since 1989 have come under Democratic Presidents – 95%. 19 out of every 20 new jobs created in America over the past 33 years have come under Democratic Presidents. 

·      3 times as many jobs were created in Biden’s first year in office than were created under the last 3 GOP Presidents, combined. 

·      The economy has produced more than 500,000 new jobs per month under Biden.  Under the last 3 GOP Presidents it was 9,700 jobs per month.  Yes, less than 10,000 per month over 16 years. 

·      All three GOP President saw dramatic expansions of the annual federal deficit on their watch.  Trump may have seen the largest peacetime expansion of the deficit in US history.  All three Dem Presidents saw a dramatic decline in the annual deficit on their watch, with Clinton getting us to a sustained period of surplus.  

And to be clear, the economy just didn’t perform better under Democrats.  The last two Republican Presidents have some of the worst economic track records of any Presidents in American history.  

There really is no easy explanation for how voters don’t understand this basic reality, a sky is blue kind of reality.  But what should be obvious to all Democratic leaders now is that helping voters understand just how much better the economy – and America – does under Democrats should become a ferocious and well-funded party wide effort in the months and years to come.  

By making “deficit reduction” the top priority in selling his new budget, Joe Biden joined this debate, with intensity.  For he began chipping away at this remarkable myth that Republicans have been good stewards of the economy or fiscally responsible, when we know from data the exact oppositive has been true.  It is a very welcome development, one which the team here at NDN enthusiastically supports.  Let the big conversation about the US economy now begin, in earnest. The American people, and the Democratic Party, will be better for it.  

Additional Resources

Mr Biden, Your Good Economy Won’t Sell Itself” – On Selling the Biden Boom

Report: The Biden Boom Keeps Booming and 41m Dem Jobs

Memo: Dems Need To Focus On Winning The Economic Argument

With Democrats Things Get Better – come watch our 30 minute data-filled presentation about how much better the economy does under Democrats.

Video: Tomicah Tillemann on Web3, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (4/19/22)

Our discussion with Tomicah Tillemann on web3, blockchain and crytpocurrency was among the more interesting public conversations we've had in some time.  We encourage you to watch/listen, and learn more about this really important emergent space from a critical thought leader.  I learned a lot and am sure you will too.  You can watch or download the video here.

As additional background be sure to review Tomicah’s recent essay about President Biden’s new executive order, “A Turning Point for Web3, and Perhaps, Democracy.”  The essay begins with this paragraph:

“Today’s Executive Order on digital asset policy represents a landmark for the web3 community. It signals a long-term commitment by the White House to support innovation and American leadership in the space, and — at a moment when democracies are facing unprecedented challenges — it moves web3 closer to realizing its potential as the next generation of a more open, democratized, decentralized internet. It also marks the culmination of an extraordinary amount of work.”

You can stay in touch with Tomicah's work by following him on Twitter, @TomicahTD.  

About Tomicah - Tomicah Tillemann is the Global Chief Policy Officer at Katie Haun's new firm.  Previously, Tomicah was a partner and Global Head of Policy for the crypto team at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), where he builds public policy architecture to support the next generation of the internet. Tomicah served as Senior Advisor to two secretaries of state, leading a team of experts that built 20 major initiatives in 55 countries. He joined the State Department in 2009 as Hillary Clinton's speechwriter and spent four years on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee working with Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and John Kerry.

Tomicah also served as the Executive Director of the Digital Impact and Governance Initiative at New America, where he led programs to address social impact, finance, and governance challenges worldwide. He authored extensive research on how to harness frontier technologies to strengthen democratic institutions, and launched successful efforts to use decentralized platforms to combat public corruption, increase government efficiency, and promote private sector accountability. He helped deploy the world's first decentralized land registry and managed development of open source technology platforms for city, state, and federal agencies in the U.S.

Tomicah is a co-holder of four patents. He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University and holds a Ph.D. with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Video: DOE's Jigar Shah on Financing the Energy Transition (4/1/22)

On Friday April 1st we were excited to host Jigar Shah, Director of the Loans Program Office of the Department of Energy, for a spirited discussion of the dramatic progress America is making in accelerating a desperately needed clean energy revolution.  It was a very uplifting conversation, and will leave our viewers hopeful that good ole fashioned ingenuity is going to make a real difference in the coming years in our global efforts to counter climate change.   

Jigar went in depth in how DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) supports building a bridge to bankability for scale up of innovative technologies, and the role DOE's uniquely American approach to commercialization plays in helping America meet the President’s ambitious energy transition and climate goals. Finally, he touched on how DOE and the private sector can work together to best leverage tools to unlock trillion dollars in the energy sector.

You can download and listen to or watch our discussion here.  This was one of our most interesting and important conversations in the Biden era.  Hope you will check it out and if you found it helpful, share it with others. 

More on the DOE Loans Program Office - The Loan Programs office is on the front lines of financing tech innovation here critical to accelerating the energy revolution the US and the world so desperately needs. To date, the Loan Programs Office has issued more than $35 billion of loans and loan guarantees for more 30 projects and has a proven track record including transforming existing energy infrastructure, reviving nuclear construction, accelerating growth of utility-scale solar and wind, expanding domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles, and improving the lives of all Americans by catalyzing new energy technology and creating jobs. Read more about LPO's History, Portfolio, and Technology Sectors it has supported. 

More on Jigar - Jigar Shah was most recently co-founder and President at Generate Capital, where he focused on helping entrepreneurs accelerate decarbonization solutions through the use of low-cost infrastructure-as-a service financing. Prior to Generate Capital, Shah founded SunEdison, a company that pioneered “pay as you save” solar financing. After SunEdison, Shah served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Originally from Illinois, Shah holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois-UC and an MBA from the University of Maryland College Park.

Analysis: Biden Approval Rising, Cong Generic Turns Positive for Dems

Analysis: Biden’s Approval Rising, Congressional Generic Turns Positive for Dems

5 new polls out this week show a meaningful improvement in Joe Biden’s approval rating from polls taken by these same organizations in mid-February:  

Marist                          47-51 (-4) from 40-55 (-15)   11 pt shift

Economist/YouGov     45-49 (-4) from 41-55 (-14)    10 pt shift

Trafalgar Group          42-52 (-10) from 39-58 (-19)    9 pt shift (GOP poll)

Quinnipiac                  40-51 (-11) from 37-56 (-19)     8 pt shift

Morning Consult         45-51 (-6) from 44-54 (-10)      4 pt shift

Navigator/GSG           45-53 (-8) from 43-55 (-12)      4 pt shift

Over the past few weeks every poll which tracks the Congressional Generic (will you vote Dem or GOP for Congress?) has shown Democrats ahead, after a period where Republicans had held a slight lead.  Remarkably, and perhaps ominously for the Republicans, the Rs are not above 41% in the six most recent polls.  

A few thoughts on this data: 

Things are better - The national political landscape is clearly more favorable for the Democrats today than it was a month ago. What’s caused it? COVID receding, continued strong economy, a well-received State of the Union, strong management of Russia’s aggression have all surely contributed to a positive stretch for Democrats.  As we often say, Biden has been a good President, and at some point there was going to be a correction.  We are on the other side of COVID, the economy continues to boom, we did pass a landmark infrastructure bill which has begun rolling out across the country, he has done a good job managing Russia/Ukraine and revitalizing the West.  Things are better in America, and perhaps the easing of COVID is allowing people to be more open now to the real progress we’ve made as a nation.  

What about inflation? This data is a bit problematic for those who’ve been arguing Biden’s approval has been held down primarily due to inflation.  Over the past month as his numbers have risen inflation has been higher than it’s ever been.  This means there are other things more important to voters than inflation – like COVID, a strong recovery, mobilizing against Putin for example.  It’s not that inflation isn’t important, it is of course.  But as we’ve been writing for months the role of inflation in our politics has been exaggerated, or at least is, for the voters open to Democrats, a secondary not a primary concern.   If inflation was as important as many say it is Biden/Dem numbers should not be rising at a time when inflation is also rising.   

Running the new Navigator data through our modeled Dem electorate (see here for an explanation of this model), inflation ranks 5th as an issue of concern right now: 

Jobs/Economy       51%

Nat Sec/Ukraine    47%

COVID                   37%

Climate                  34%

Inflation                  33%

Health Care           31%

From today’s Navigator report: “Since President Biden’s State of the Union address and update on the state of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are increasingly positive about his handling of it. President Biden’s handling of the pandemic is net +7 (52 percent approve – 45 percent disapprove), an 8-point positive swing since our last survey in late February (net -1; 48 percent approve – 49 percent disapprove). This shift is largely driven by Independents who have swung from net -22 to net -2; approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic is highest among Democrats (83 percent), Black Americans (74 percent), and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (73 percent). Additionally, trust in Biden and Democrats to combat the pandemic more than Republicans saw a similar net +7 uptick (up to an 18-point advantage from 11 points two weeks ago), and by a 42-point margin, Americans approve of the vaccine rollout in the United States (67 percent approved – 25 percent disapprove), the highest rating in our tracking since late November.”

It's been our contention for some time that the drop in the President’s approval of his handling of COVID (30 pts from May of 2021 to Feb of 2022) on the most important issue for Democratic voters was the primary thing driving down his overall approval rating.  This new data appears to confirm this, and suggests Democrats need to stay vigilant and do everything they can to prevent a return of COVID this year.  

Obviously, Putin’s war makes it likely that inflation may be with us this year for longer than economists had anticipated.  But we need to be clear that from now on the inflation that comes is due to Putin, and that our job is to keep the boom booming, wages rising while working to end the war and get global food and energy prices back to normal levels. Democratic voters, as our saliency table above shows, also expect us to be leading on climate and decarbonization, something the President has hit very hard this week. This is the moment to pass the rest of the Biden climate agenda, and help give America true energy independence by embracing a cleaner, cheaper, and far less geopolitically dangerous energy future.  

We need to keep selling the Biden Boom - It should be noted that this week’s Navigator while finding improvement for Biden on COVID and his overall approval rating, still finds significant underperformance for him on an array of economic issues, despite an ongoing boom.  Most alarming continues to be the lack of understanding that a boom is happening, reminding us again that we have work to do to make sure the electorate is aware of just how successful Biden’s economic stewardship has been.  

The following Navigator chart should be sitting on the desk of every Democratic operative.  For what it shows that even Democratic voters do not understand the economy was better in 2021 than 2020.  And that my friends is a political communication failure, one which can and must be addressed in the months ahead.  


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