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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Memorable Story Headlines

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

Meet the most optimistic Dem online - Politico

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

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

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

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