Forward or Backward? Our Choice

Heather Cox Richardson

Vice President Kamala Harris continues her momentum toward the 2024 presidential election since President Joe Biden’s surprise announcement on Sunday that he would not accept the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination. 

Today more than 350 national security leaders endorsed Harris for president, noting that if elected president, “she would enter that office with more significant national security experience than the four Presidents prior to President Biden.” As vice president, she “has met with more than 150 world leaders and traveled to 21 countries,” the authors wrote, and they called out her work across the globe from her work strengthening partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region to her historic trip to Africa and her efforts to expand U.S. relationships with nations in the Caribbean and North Central America. In contrast to Harris, the letter said, “Trump is a threat to America’s national security.” 

Those signing the letter included former Central Intelligence Agency director Michael Hayden, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, national security advisors Susan Rice and Thomas Donilon, former secretaries of defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta, and former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. 

In a New York Times op-ed today, former secretary of state Clinton praised Biden for his “decision to end his campaign,” which she called “as pure an act of patriotism as I have seen in my lifetime.” She went on to say that Vice President Harris “represents a fresh start for American politics,” offering a vision of an America with its best days ahead of it and, rather than “old grievances,” “new solutions.”

Clinton noted that her own political campaigns had seen her burned in effigy, but said, “It is a trap to believe that progress is impossible” and that Americans cannot overcome sexism and racism. After all, she pointed out, voters elected Black American Barack Obama in 2008, and she herself won the popular vote in 2016. “[A]bortion bans and attacks on democracy are galvanizing women voters like never before,” Clinton wrote, and “[w]ith Ms. Harris at the top of the ticket leading the way, this movement may become an unstoppable wave.”

Today, Harris held her first campaign rally, speaking to supporters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the Republicans held their national convention just last week. The energy from the 3000 people packed into the gym where she walked out to Beyoncé’s song “Freedom” was palpable. 

She began by thanking Biden and touting his record, then turned to noting that in her past as a prosecutor, California attorney general, U.S. senator from California, and vice president, she “took on perpetrators of all kinds—predators who abused women, fraudsters who ripped off consumers, cheaters who broke the rules for their own gain. So,” she said, “hear me when I say: I know Donald Trump’s type.” She went on to remind the audience that Trump ran a for-profit college that scammed students, was found liable for committing sexual abuse, and “was just found guilty of fraud on 34 counts.” 

While Trump is relying on “billionaires and big corporations,” she said, “we are running a people-powered campaign” and “will be a people-first presidency.” The Democrats, she said, “believe in a future where every person has the opportunity not just to get by but to get ahead; a future where no child has to grow up in poverty; where every worker has the freedom to join a union; where every person has affordable health care, affordable childcare, and paid family leave. We believe in a future where every senior can retire with dignity.”

“[A]ll of this is to say,” she continued, “Building up the middle class will be a defining goal of my presidency. Because…when our middle class is strong, America is strong.”

In contrast, she said, Trump wants to take the country backward. She warned that he and his Project 2025 will “weaken the middle class,” cutting Social Security and Medicare and giving “tax breaks to billionaires and big corporations,” while “working families foot the bill.” “They intend to end the Affordable Care Act,” she said, “and take us back…to a time when insurance companies had the power to deny people with preexisting conditions…. Remember what that was like? Children with asthma, women who survived breast cancer, grandparents with diabetes. America has tried these failed economic policies before, but we are not going back. We’re not going back.”  

“[O]urs is a fight for the future,” she said “And it is a fight for freedom…. Generations of Americans before us led the fight for freedom.  And now…the baton is in our hands.”   

Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans are still scrambling for a plan of attack against Harris. One of their first angles has been the sexism and racism Clinton predicted, calling her “a DEI hire.” House Republican leaders have told fellow lawmakers to dial back the sexist and racist attacks. 

MAGA Republican representative Andy Ogles (R-TN) has taken a different angle: he introduced an impeachment resolution against Harris, while others are demanding that the House should investigate Harris and demand the Cabinet remove President Biden under the 25th Amendment. The Republican National Committee has decided to make fun of Harris’s laugh.

But concern in the Trump camp showed today when Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio shared with reporters a “confidential memorandum” trying to get ahead of polls he says will show Harris leading Trump. He said he expects to see a “Harris Honeymoon” that will end quickly. 

Trump has continued to post angrily on his social media feed but is otherwise sticking close to home. His lack of visibility highlights that the Republicans are now on the receiving end of the same age and coherence concerns they had used against Biden, and there might be more attention paid to Trump’s lapses now that Biden has stepped aside. CNN’s Kate Sullivan noted today, for example, that “Trump said he’d consider Jamie Dimon for Treasury secretary, but now says he doesn’t know who said that.” 

As Tim Alberta noted Sunday in The Atlantic, the Trump campaign tapped J.D. Vance in an attempt to harden the Republican base, only to find now that he cannot bring to the ticket any of the new supporters they suddenly need. 

According to Harry Enten of CNN, Vance is the first vice presidential pick since 1980 who has entered the race with a negative favorability rating: in his case, –6 points. Since 2000, the usual average is +19 points. Vance won his Senate seat in 2022 by +6 points in an election Republican governor Mike DeWine won by +25 points. Vance “was the worst performing Republican candidate in 2022 up and down the ballot in the state of Ohio,” Enten said. “The J.D. Vance pick makes no sense from a statistical polling perspective.”

Sarah Longwell of The Bulwark, who specializes in focus groups, noted that swing voters groups “simply do not like” Vance. “Both his flip flopping on Trump and his extreme abortion position are what breaks through,” she wrote. 

The 2024 election is not consuming all of the political oxygen, even in this astonishing week. Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that eight large companies must turn over information about the data they collect about consumers, product sales, and how the surveillance the companies used affected consumer prices. 

“Firms that harvest Americans’ personal data can put people’s privacy at risk. Now firms could be exploiting this vast trove of personal information to charge people higher prices,” FTC chair Lina M. Khan said. “Americans deserve to know whether businesses are using detailed consumer data to deploy surveillance pricing, and the FTC’s inquiry will shed light on this shadowy ecosystem of pricing middlemen.”

The eight companies are: Mastercard, Revionics, Bloomreach, JPMorgan Chase, Task Software, PROS, Accenture, and McKinsey & Co.

In the House, Republicans have been unable to pass the appropriations bills necessary to fund the 2025 U.S. budget, laced as they are with culture-wars poison pills the extremists demand. Today House members debated the appropriations bill for the Interior Department and the Environment which, among other things, bans the use of funds “to promote or advance critical race theory” or to require Covid-19 masks or vaccine mandates. 

According to the European climate service Copernicus, last Sunday was the hottest day in recorded history. The MAGA Republicans’ appropriations bill for Interior and the Environment calls for more oil drilling, fewer regulations on pollutants, no new regulations on vehicles, rejecting Biden’s climate change executive orders, and reducing the funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 20%.

The Harris March To Win Is On

July 22, 2024 

HEATHER COX RICHARDSON

Vice President Kamala Harris has continued to rack up endorsements and delegates since President Biden’s surprise announcement yesterday that he would not accept the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination. As of tonight, Harris has the support of at least 2,471 delegates, more than the 1,976 she will need to secure the nomination.

Endorsements have also continued to mount, with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Victory Fund, and the Latino Victory Fund all endorsing her. 

Labor unions have also backed her: the AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million workers, endorsed Harris. So did the Service Employees International Union, with 2 million workers, as well as the United Steelworkers, which represents 850,000 metal workers and miners, and the Communications Workers of America. Other unions endorsing Harris include the American Federation of Teachers, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. 

Money continues to roll in. Since Biden’s announcement, Harris and the Democrats have raised about $250 million in donations and pledges. More than 888,000 were from small-dollar donors. Volunteers are also joining the Harris campaign, which said that more than 28,000 people have signed up to work on the campaign in the day since Biden passed the torch. Today, Beyoncé gave Harris permission to use her song “Freedom” as a campaign song, and TikTok users have jumped on the Harris trend.

Harris is keeping some of the key infrastructure of Biden’s campaign. She has announced that Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez-Rodriguez and Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon will remain in their positions. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today that she, too, will stay on as co-chair for Harris’s campaign as she was for Biden’s.

Harris spoke today at campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, smoothing the transition from Biden’s campaign to her own. “I know it’s been a rollercoaster and we’re all filled with so many mixed emotions about this,” Harris said. “We love Joe and Jill. We really do. They truly are like family.” Biden called in to the meeting from Delaware, where he is isolating as he recovers from Covid, to thank the staff. “I know it’s hard, because you’ve poured your heart and soul into me, to help us win this thing,” Biden told them, but added: “The name changed at the top of the ticket. The mission hasn’t changed at all.” Biden told Harris: “I’m watching you kid, I love you. You’re the best, kid.”

Harris went on to indicate that she will be taking the fight for the presidency aggressively to Trump, highlighting his criminal behavior. “Before I was elected as Vice President, before I was elected as United States Senator,” she said today, “I was the elected Attorney General, as I’ve mentioned, to California, and before that, I was a courtroom prosecutor. In those roles I took on perpetrators of all kinds. Predators who abused women. Fraudsters who ripped off consumers. Cheaters who broke the rules for their own gain. So hear me when I say I know Donald Trump’s type.”

She was clear, though, that the fight is not just about Trump; it is about “two different versions of what we see as the future of our country…. Donald Trump wants to take our country backward. To a time before many of our fellow Americans had full freedoms and rights. But we believe in a brighter future that makes room for all Americans.” She promised to continue the work of building the middle class, protect abortion rights, enact commonsense gun safety legislation, and protect voting rights. She contrasted the Democrats’ vision of “a country of freedom, compassion, and rule of law” with the Republicans’: “a country of chaos, fear, and hate.”

Biden’s announcement and Harris’s rapid consolidation of support and money appear to have blindsided the Trump-Vance campaign. MAGA Republicans have responded with scattershot arguments that suggest they had not thought through a scenario in which Biden would step down, an omission so astonishing it perhaps suggests they could not imagine a presumptive nominee voluntarily giving up power. 

Without a coherent strategy, MAGA Republicans today have been all over the map, suggesting among other things that Biden’s voluntarily stepping down from his presumptive nomination is a “coup” and that Harris is a “D[iversity] E[quity and] I[nclusion] hire.” 

For a party that is offering voters a popular set of policies, the opposing party’s nominee shouldn’t matter all that much, but Trump policies and the Trump campaign’s Project 2025 are both so unpopular that operatives intended to run not on policy but by firing up their base against Biden himself. In The Atlantic yesterday, journalist Tim Alberta explained that the entire Trump campaign apparatus was focused on Biden and that putting extremist Ohio senator J.D. Vance on the ticket “was something of a luxury meant to run up margins with the base in a blowout rather than persuade swing voters in a nail-biter.”

Now the energy appears to have shifted. As Anne Applebaum wrote today in The Atlantic, operatives staged the Republican National Convention of just last week to project strength and power, and Trump’s rambling and incoherent performance there seemed “deranged, sinister, and frightening.” Now, Applebaum wrote, “it just looks deranged,” as Biden’s decision to step away from power contrasts powerfully with Trump’s desperate attempts to cling to power with the Big Lie while he calls up his threadbare descriptions of national carnage.

The change Applebaum identified dovetailed neatly with a new political action committee started by conservative lawyer George Conway to highlight Trump’s “mental unfitness for office.” Frustrated by the apparent unwillingness of the press to cover Trump’s mental health while it focused on President Biden’s, Conway formed the “Anti-Psychopath PAC” to highlight Trump’s mental state. “The failure to treat Trump’s behavior as pathological has led the media and the country, perversely, to treat it as normal,” Conway told The Independent, and said that Project 2025 should be seen as an extension of Trump’s malignant narcissism “because basically he wants to turn the government into a mechanism for retribution.”

A post on Trump’s social media feed tonight suggested that Trump recognizes that being the oldest candidate ever nominated for the presidency is a campaign issue. The post said that “Lyin’ Kamala Harris…has absolutely terrible pole [sic] numbers against a fine and brilliant young man named DONALD J. TRUMP! Be careful what you wish for, Democrats???”

Today, Trump’s vice presidential pick Vance gave his first campaign speech at his former high school in Middletown, Ohio. There, dressed in a blue suit with a red tie that echoed Trump’s signature look, Vance spoke of his history in the town and promised that he and Trump are “ready to save America.” But his lack of experience on the campaign trail showed in his delivery, and the Fox News Channel, which was covering the speech, cut away from it while he was speaking. 

Media outlets gave more attention to the Ohio state senator who preceded Vance, George Lang, who began a chant of “fight, fight, fight” and told the audience: “I believe wholeheartedly Donald Trump and Butler County’s JD Vance are the last chance to save our country politically. I’m afraid if we lose this one, it’s going to take a civil war to save the country, and it will be saved.” He later posted on social media that he regretted his “divisive remarks.” 

Later in the day, Vance spoke in Radford, Virginia, where he said that “[h]istory will remember Joe Biden as not just a quitter, which he is, but as one of the worst presidents in the history of the United States of America.” He continued: “Kamala Harris is a million times worse and everybody knows it. She signed up for every single one of Joe Biden’s failures, and she lied about his mental capacity to serve as president.”

Josh Dawsey and Michael Scherer of the Washington Post reported today on a different kind of jockeying in the 2024 presidential race. Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has recently been in talks with Trump about dropping out of the race and endorsing Trump in exchange for a position in a Trump administration. Kennedy, who opposes vaccines, is interested in a portfolio that covers health and medical issues.

AG Nessel Helps Secure a 75% Reduction inConsumers Energy’s Rate Hike and a 99.9% Reduction in Total Residential Rate Impact

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other intervening parties reached a settlement, approved today by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), to reduce Consumers Energy’s latest natural gas rate hike by nearly 75%. Consumers Energy initially requested to increase revenues from their ratepayers by $136 million, while this settlement allows for only $35 million in additional revenue and keeps more than $100 million in the pockets of Consumers’ ratepayers. The settlement also provides for a bill credit to be applied to Consumers Energy natural gas customer’s bills over a three-year period due to the sale of the company’s home service plan program. 

“Michigan consumers deserve reliable utility services at fair prices,” Nessel said. “That’s why my department scrutinizes every proposed rate hike by utilities. Today’s decision by the Commission to approve the settlement reducing Consumers Energy’s proposed increase ensures money stays in the pockets of their customers instead of needlessly increasing the company’s bottom line. We will continue to advocate for affordable and dependable service for residents across our state.” 

Consumers Energy’s request to increase revenues by $136 million, a 5.7% increase in natural gas rates for the company’s customers, was initiated in December 2023. The Attorney General filed testimony that taking into consideration current rates, Consumers Energy should only receive a rate increase of approximately $5.3 million. She also opposed the company’s proposed $5.00 increase to monthly service charges for residential customers, which would increase the charge from $13.60 to $18.60 and its proposed $3 increase for small commercial customers, which would increase the charge from $16.00 to $19.00 monthly. In response to issues raised in testimony from the Attorney General and other parties, Consumers Energy reduced its own requested rate increase to approximately $113 million. 

As part of the case, Consumers also sought approval to split the proceeds from the sale of its home services product business 50-50 with its customers. The Attorney General opposed Consumers Energy’s proposal to retain half of the proceeds for the likely benefit of its shareholders instead of returning 100% of the proceeds to ratepayers who made the home service program possible. She filed testimony supporting returning 100% of the proceeds to ratepayers, since before the sale of the program, 100% of its net revenues had gone to the benefit of ratepayers. 

The settlement agreement provides for an increase in base rates of only $35 million, or just over one-fourth of the requested Consumers revenue hike. Consumers Energy also agreed to reduce the proposed increase in monthly service charges to $1.40 for residential customers (to $15) and $2.00 for small commercial customers (to $18) as part of the settlement.

In addition, the parties agreed to return the benefits from the sale of the home service plan business to ratepayers in a 25%-75% split of the proceeds with Consumers pocketing 25% of the proceeds, which it can use to supplement any revenue needs it has during the October 1, 2024, through September 30, 2025, period implementing the revenue increase, instead of receiving it from ratepayers through further increased rates. The remaining 75% will be returned to ratepayers over three years, starting in October 2024, through a bill credit. In addition, 100% of the ongoing proceeds from a long-term service agreement that Consumers entered with the buyer of the business will be credited to ratepayers.   

The settlement results in an average rate increase of 1.5% for residential ratepayers before the home service program bill credit. After the credit is applied, the net increase for ratepayers will be just 0.1% for the fiscal year beginning in October 2024. 

This settlement is a continuation of the Attorney General’s efforts to seek and obtain significant rate relief for utility customers. 

So far this year, the Attorney General has saved Michigan consumers over $3 billion by intervening in utility cases before the MPSC. 

Consumers Energy sells electricity to approximately 1.9 million customers throughout Michigan and natural gas to 1.8 million customers across the state.

AG Nessel Commends Legislation to Combat Auto Thefts in Michigan Being Signed into Law

LANSING – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel calls a significant step toward curbing auto thefts across the state. House Bill 5182, sponsored by state Representative Denise Mentzer, and House Bill 5183, sponsored by state Representative Alabas Farhat, impose stricter penalties for possessing traditional burglar tools or electronic devices intended to break into motor vehicles with the intent to steal. The new law classifies this offense as a 5-year felony, or a 10-year felony if part of a criminal enterprise. 

“I commend Governor Whitmer and Representatives Mentzer and Farhat for their dedication to addressing auto thefts and protecting Michigan residents and businesses,” said Nessel. “By cracking down on the possession and illegal use of tools like pro pads, these bills represent a step toward enhancing our ability to prosecute and dismantle criminal organizations involved in these crimes. My department will aggressively enforce this new law in ongoing and future cases to ensure those who engage in this criminal activity are held accountable.” 

In May, the Attorney General announced the arrest and charges of six individuals by the FORCE team, followed by two more arrests, for their alleged involvement in a criminal organization responsible for stealing over 400 vehicles worth approximately $8 million in Southeast Michigan. The criminal ring allegedly targeted new vehicle storage lots at manufacturing facilities, car dealerships, parking lots, and individual residences using pro pads, tablets that can unscramble key fobs, and other burglary tools. 

This investigation into the alleged criminal organization remains ongoing, and the Department is working to establish cases against other members of the auto theft ring and buyers of the stolen vehicles.

Let’s examine some claims about immigrants and the economy

Author Headshot

By Paul Krugman

On the eve of the 2020 election Donald Trump, in a post on the platform formerly known as Twitter, told voters that “This election is a choice between a TRUMP RECOVERY or a BIDEN DEPRESSION.” Not quite. Since President Biden took office, the United States has gained 15.7 million jobs.

Trump, however, has been dismissing the good news on employment, claiming that all the job gains are going to illegal immigrants. In my most recent column I addressed his further claim that immigration has had a devastating effect on Black workers. (It hasn’t.)

What is true, however, is that a lot of recent employment growth has involved immigrants. But have their job gains come at the expense of the native-born?

No. But how do we know that? And how should we think about the effect of recent immigration on jobs?

Before I present numbers, there are three qualifications to consider.

First, while we have monthly estimates for employment that distinguish between native-born and foreign-born workers (although they don’t separate out the undocumented), these numbers aren’t adjusted for seasonal variation. Rather than try to roll my own seasonal adjustment, I’ll just use 12-month averages, which are good enough for current purposes.

Second, many experts believe that the standard numbers, based on the Current Population Survey, underestimate the recent surge in immigration. I’ll note where this makes a difference, but it doesn’t change the overall picture.

Finally, when you’re looking at recent job growth, it matters what you choose as your starting point. Biden inherited an economy still depressed by the effects of Covid-19, and some of the job growth on his watch reflected a recovery from that depressed state. It arguably makes more sense to compare the current economy with the economy on the eve of Covid. I’ll do it both ways, looking at both job growth since 2020 and job growth from the prepandemic year 2019.

OK, here we go. First, let’s compare average employment in the 12 months ending in June 2024 with employment in 2019 and employment in the pandemic year 2020:

Since 2020 there have been large increases in employment of both native- and foreign-born workers, but much of that reflected recovery from the pandemic slump. Compared with the prepandemic economy, job gains have been much smaller, especially for the native-born. So immigrants have accounted for most job growth — perhaps more than the chart says, if immigration has been understated — although not all of it.

The question, however, is whether the jobs immigrants have taken would have gone to native-born workers if immigration had been lower.

Well, if immigrants were stealing our jobs, we’d expect to see a sharp rise in unemployment among the native-born. We don’t. The unemployment rate among native-born workers is near a historic low:

But some anti-immigrant crusaders argue that unemployment is only low because immigrants have driven native-born Americans entirely out of the labor force; you’re only counted as unemployed if you’re actively seeking a job.

Indeed, the share of native-born adults in the labor force — employed or unemployed — has fallen slightly since 2019:

Bureau of Labor Statistics

But this was both predictable and predicted, not because of immigration but as a result of the aging of the native-born population. Congressional Budget Office projections published in January 2020 — when nobody knew that either the pandemic or the immigration surge were coming — had already forecast a decline in the labor force participation rate as baby boomers retired.

So the near stagnation of native-born employment isn’t a demand-side issue, in which people aren’t working because they can’t find jobs. It is instead a supply-side issue, in which people aren’t working because they’ve reached retirement age. We’ve been able to achieve large increases in overall employment only because working-age immigrants have been coming to America. If we didn’t have the immigrants, we wouldn’t have the jobs.

What about the impact of immigration on wages? A few decades ago many economists, myself included, believed that immigrants with low levels of formal education were in effect competing with native-born workers who also lacked degrees. But most labor economists now believe that immigrants don’t do much head-to-head competition with native-born workers; they bring different skills and take different jobs. And the past few years, with elevated immigration, have also been an era of exceptional growth in wages for the worst paid.

So none of these negative claims about the effects of immigration hold up. But are there important positive effects? (Aside from the benefits to the immigrants themselves, which can be really large — I am very glad, for multiple reasons, that my grandparents left the Russian Empire.)

There’s a good although not ironclad case that immigration has helped limit inflation in recent years. Normally, as Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, recently noted, immigration is more or less neutral in its effects on inflation: Immigrants expand supply, but they also contribute to demand. In the aftermath of the pandemic, however, the huge sums spent on aid pumped up demand; this burst of demand was easier to accommodate without sustained inflation because immigration made it possible to achieve rapid growth in employment.

In the longer run, the big story is fiscal. Adult immigrants tend to be working age, which means that they will spend years paying taxes before they become eligible for Medicare and Social Security, which constitute a large part of federal spending. And while this point is a bit brutal, undocumented immigrants are especially good for the budget, because they pay payroll taxes (which are collected by employers) without being eligible for future benefits.

So, no, immigrants aren’t taking our jobs. Everything that happens in the economy hurts someone: There are no doubt some places where immigrants have driven up housing costs, or where native-born Americans or legal immigrants have faced increased job competition. But the scare stories don’t match the facts.

Vice President Harris Starts Her Campaign Strong, Confident and Kicking Ass

The Hopium Community Gathers Tonight at 7pm ET – Join Us! 

SIMON ROSENBERG

JUL 23

Happy Tuesday all, and a good Tuesday it is. The transition from the President to the Vice President, though swift and sudden, has been seamless and wildly successful. The new Harris campaign has already raised and received in commitments over $250,000,000!!!!! Volunteer sign ups have surged. The party has embraced her candidacy enthusiastically, and last night she already – in little more than a day – received the public support of enough Convention delegates to secure the nomination. The Vice President is traveling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin today, already, to do her first event as the presumptive Democratic nominee. The campaign goes on my friends, the baton has been passed, and we cannot let up. 

The Vice President went to the new Harris for President campaign headquarters in Delaware yesterday, met with the team, and offered a compelling set of remarks. Lawrence O’Donnell played her remarks, and those of the President’s, in this wonderful Last Word segment last night. The historic scene from the campaign headquarters begins at 9:18. If you watch one thing today let it be this….

We are gathering tonight at 7pm ET to talk about these remarkable events these past few days. You can register here. Excited to get together tonight – so much to talk about! And be sure to read my big thank you to Joe Biden yesterday, our deeply consequential President, a proud patriot, a warrior for all of us, a true American Cincinnatus. His grit, courage and love of country continues to inspire us all. 

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While we need to be very careful about early polling, the little we’ve gotten in recent days from high quality pollsters is encouraging. Morning Consult and Echelon had the Vice President down 2 points to Donald Trump, Civiqs had her up 2, 48-46. And all this comes after the assassination attempt on the former President, the Vance pick, their convention, when Rs should be riding high and before – before – our successful transition, the rallying around the Vice President, her VP pick, our convention. Here is what the high quality Dem firm Civiqs posted on Twitter yesterday

We @Civiqs started tracking Trump vs. Harris two weeks ago. Normally this info is paywalled, but this deserves sharing: – Through 7/21, Biden trailed Trump 46-44 nationally; Harris was ahead 48-46. Trump is stuck at a ceiling of 46. Harris gains from 3rd party/undecided voters. 

Digging into the pres vote crosstabs: – Young voters (18-34) go from Biden 44-36 (+8) to Harris 57-37 (+20) – Independents go from Trump 48-32 (+16) to Trump 49-41 (+8) – Harris picks up 7pp among Black voters and 8pp among Hispanic voters, almost all from 3rd party/undecideds

Reminder this polling is from *before* Biden announced that he was exiting the race.

There is no way Republicans can be happy with this current polling as they threw everything they had at the electorate and are just not winning right now. For what this data tells us is the election remains close and competitive (remember all these polls have 2-4 points margin of error so -2 is tied) and if we do the work, rally around the Vice President and our candidates and state parties, we can win this thing. Make sure you do your part this week – donate, volunteer, help educate your communities about our new nominee and the dangers of MAGA. Not surprisingly the Hopium community is rallying. We’ve raised over $100,000 for the Vice President since Sunday. We’ve raised tens of thousands more for our other projects. In our paid subscriber chat it’s great to see everyone talking about how they are stepping up – the postcards they’ve ordered, the phone banks they’ve signed up for, the canvassing they’ve done. Folks are fired up, ready to go. This is a remarkable moment in the history of our great party, and friends we now just have to put our heads down, do the work and go out and win this thing for our democracy, our freedoms and our future, together. 

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House Dems Fighting Hard – The DCCC released a very encouraging memo this morning. Here’s the top: 

To: Interested Parties
From: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee 
Date: July 23, 2024
Subject: House Democrats Remain Well-Positioned to Win Back the Majority


Despite a volatile month of ever-evolving political news, House Democrats remain well-positioned to win back the majority this fall. Thanks to our continued fundraising advantage, the individual strengths of our Frontliners and Red to Blue challengers, and a stark contrast between the forward-looking agenda of House Democrats and MAGA extremism, the DCCC is confident that we will retake the Majority and get the House back to work For the People. 

Steadily Increasing Fundraising and Cash-on-Hand Advantage for Democrats Across the Battlefield
Both Democratic Frontliners and challengers outraised their Republican opponents by an average of more than $440,000 in the most recent quarter.

In this same quarter, our Frontline Democrats, on average, raised $1,040,000 – which is roughly $600,000 more than their Republican challengers raised. These same Democratic Frontliners have an average of more than $2.6 million cash-on-hand, which is an average of nearly five times more than their Republican opponents. This cash-on-hand advantage will be imperative as communication begins in earnest. National House Republican IEs are seeing these fundraising disparities and, for the first time in recent cycles, haven’t placed reservations in media markets such as Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Manchester, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, or Seattle – despite insisting they’re going on offense.

Democratic challengers are also winning the cash race against vulnerable House Republican incumbents. Candidates on the DCCC’s Red to Blue program outraised their Republican opponent by an average of more than $400,000 in Q2. In many races – Kirsten Engel in AZ-06, George Whitesides in CA-27, Will Rollins in CA-41, Christina Bohannan in IA-01, Tony Vargas in NE-02, Laura Gillen in NY-04, Mondaire Jones in NY-17, Josh Riley in NY-19, and Janelle Stelson in PA-10 – these Red to Blue candidates have already overtaken their Republican opponents in cash-on-hand. 

Additionally, the DCCC continues to outraise the NRCC – raising $7 million more in Q2 and having more than $17.1 million cash on hand as of the last filing. 

Democratic House Candidates Continue to Overperform 
In a June 2024 DCCC battleground poll, our pollsters found Democrats leading the generic ballot by one point. Once candidates were named in Frontline and Red to Blue districts, this advantage grew to three points. Specifically, our Frontliners now lead their named Republican opponents by +8 points. And before most of our Red to Blue candidates have begun making their case to the electorate in paid communications, they are within the margin of error.

Additionally, in district-specific polling in Frontline districts from early May to mid-July, the Democratic incumbent is leading by an average of +8 percentage points and has an average net +10 favorability rating. In Red to Blue races, Democratic candidates are leading or statistically tied with their Republican opponents in nearly all of the district-specific polls the DCCC has received or conducted, and have an average of +7 favorability. In the 19 district-specific polls conducted after the June 27th debate, Frontliners and Red to Blue candidates remained resilient, with no poll showing atrophy in their support from prior instruments. 

We anticipate this overperformance to continue throughout the rest of the election. We also anticipate renewed enthusiasm from Democratic and independent voters, voters of color, and younger voters (18-39) – a key driver for Democratic turnout up and down the ballot, which remains key to our success in November. 

Encouraging stuff from the House Democrats!!!!! Thank you to everyone here for what you are doing – and will do – to help us flip the House this November! 

A Quick Report On My Exciting Trip to North Carolina – I spent the weekend in North Carolina, doing an event on Friday with the dynamic State Party Chair Anderson Clayton and attended their big Unity Dinner on Saturday night. All I can say is that people in North Carolina are fired up, working hard, determined to win. Be sure to watch a video I made with Chair Clayton thanking the Hopium community. We are the largest investor, in the whole country, in the North Carolina Democratic Party, and folks there was so so grateful. Here’s a picture of me with my college buddy Gerda Stein, and her brother, the next Governor of the Tar Heel State, Attorney General Josh Stein. 

I will be sharing more form my trip to Raleigh in the coming days. It was so great to see so many in the Hopium community. And thank you all for all that you’ve done – and will do – to turn this critical battleground state blue! 

Fired Up, Ready To Go – Let’s keep working hard for the Hopium-endorsed candidates and state parties: 

  • Harris For President – $705,000 raised today, $1m goal – Donate | Volunteer | Learn More. The $705,000 raised is both Biden-Harris and the $100,000 we’ve already raised for Harris for President. Note the new campaign released its first Harris for President merch this morning. Stuff looks good! 
  • Winning The House – $562,000 raised today, $600,000 goal – Donate | Volunteer | Learn More. We’ve also raised more then $50,000 into the individual House campaigns (you can either give to all 12 or each one individually)
  • North Carolina – $333,000 raised today, $400,000 goal – Donate | Volunteer | Learn More | Watch my interview with NC Dem Chair Anderson Clayton
  • Arizona/Ruben Gallego – $296,000 raised today, $350,000 goal – Donate | Volunteer | Learn More | Watch my interview with Ruben Gallego
  • Nebraska/Blue Dot – $123,000 raised today, $150,000 goal- Donate | Volunteer | Learn More | Watch my interview with NE Dem Chair Jane Kleeb

Here’s how you can do even more:

Finally help me spread Hopium and grow this plucky community. Sign others up to be a Hopium subscriber at this link. Note that options for group and gift subscriptions are available to those who want to bring friends and colleagues into the Hopium community. Click on the group and gift tabs here to learn more. To update your payment information or check your renewal status follow these instructions from Substack. We are now more than 94,000 strong – let’s keep the community growing and the Hopium flowing! 

Keep working hard all. Proud to be in this fight with all of you – Simon