Welcome New Subscribers!/Heads Down Now for Biden, NY-3, and North Carolina
Happy Tuesday all, got a few things for you today:
From David Lynch in the Washington Post, Falling Inflation, Rising Growth Give US World’s Best Recovery:
The European economy, hobbled by unfamiliar weakness in Germany, is barely growing. China is struggling to recapture its sizzle. And Japan continues to disappoint.
But in the United States, it’s a different story. Here, despite lingering consumer angst over inflation, the surprisingly strong economy is outperforming all of its major trading partners.
Since 2020, the United States has powered through a once-in-a-century pandemic, the highest inflation in 40 years and fallout from two foreign wars. Now, after posting faster annual growth last year than in 2022, the U.S. economy is quashing fears of a recession while offering lessons for future crisis-fighting.
“The U.S. has really come out of this into a place of strength and is moving forward like covid never happened,” said Claudia Sahm, a former Federal Reserve economist who now runs an eponymous consulting firm. “We earned this; it wasn’t just a fluke.”……
For most Americans, the growth paid off in the form of higher wages. Over the four years through September, the most recent comparison available, U.S. wages — after inflation — grew 2.8 percent.
Most other countries in the Group of Seven industrial democracies saw a decline, according to Treasury Department data. Italian wages sank by more than 9 percent over that period, while German workers earned 7.2 percent less than they had before the pandemic.
“The U.S. has seen a particularly strong GDP recovery, and inflation has cooled sooner and more quickly than in other large, advanced economies. And the increase in real wages is unique to our country’s recovery,” Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a Chicago speech last week.
The Remarkable Success Of The Democratic Party, The Party in Power, in 2022 and 2023 – Democrats had strong electoral performances in 2018 and 2020, as we won back the Presidency, Senate and House. But what usually follows for the party in the White House is mid-term and off-year losses. The party out of power gains. In 2022 and 2023, despite it all, Democrats pulled off something historically significant – we didn’t lose ground to Republicans, we gained ground all across the US and kept the US House close enough that it will be much easier to win back this year. It is a central reason why I am so optimistic about 2024 – when people vote we just outperforming expectations and winning, and they keep struggling. Let’s drill down on this a bit:
Dobbs Changed Everything – In 2022, a “red wave” year, post-Dobbs Democrats outperformed 2020 in 5 US House special elections in AK, MN, NE NY by an average of 7 points; we got to 59% in the Kansas statewide abortion referendum; we outperformed 2018 and 2020 in the 2022 early vote all across the country; we gained a US Senate seat, won 4 state legislative chamber, gained 2 governorships net and won enough seats in the House to deny Republicans ideological control. We gained ground over 2020 in AZ, CO, GA, MI, MN, NH and PA, and got to 59% in CO, 57% in PA, 55% in MI, 54% in NH.
In 2023 we flipped the WI Supreme Court Seat, getting to 56% in this critical battleground. We flipped Colorado Springs and Jacksonville, two of the largest Republican held cities in America. We got to 57% in Ohio twice, and took away its six week abortion ban. We flipped the state house in Virginia, and proved that even the 15 week abortion ban, backed by a popular governor and lots of money, cannot provide a safe haven for Republicans on abortion. We gained state legislative seats in New Jersey, Gov Beshear grew his margin in KY, and we won cities and school board seats all across the country. According to the Daily Kos special election tracker, in 2023 Democrats outperformed 2020, an election we won by 4.5 points, by an average of 5 points in 38 special state house elections across the US, and we came out of the box strong this year by helping Tom Keen win in Orlando’s HD-35 two weeks ago.
For the party in power to keep doing this well, in race after race, in elections of all kinds, in every region of the country, over two election years, augers very well for Democrats this year.
Democrats Are In A Remarkable Period of National Popular Vote Dominance – A new theory out there is that even though Dems keep performing well in these special elections, off-year elections, mid-term elections, school board elections, run-off elections, mayoral elections, ballot initiatives in red states, and every type of election one can imagine, somehow when the electorate gets bigger in November we will struggle. But what has actually happened as the electorate has gotten bigger in recent years? Dems are in a period of unprecedented dominance in the popular vote. We’ve won more votes in 7 of the past 8 general elections, something no other political party has done in American history. In the last 4 Presidential elections we’ve averaged 51% of the vote, the GOP 46% (51%-46%, +5). The last time we averaged over 50% of the vote in four consectutive elections was during FDR’s 4 elections all the way back in the 1930s and 1940s. Remarkable stuff.
For Trump to win the popular vote this year he will have to do something only a single Republican has done since 1992, and I just don’t believe this disgraced, despicable, insurrectionist is going to be the one to pull that off. We are a center-left country today, and the extremism of MAGA has made it even more so in recent years. The Democratic Party is very strong right now.
For more on how successful the Democratic Party has been since the end of the Cold War please watch my presentation, With Democrats Things Get Better. It will leave you with a little bit more pep in your step.
MAGA’s Struggles Are Showing Up in Early 2024 Voting – The post-Dobbs dynamic of Dem overperformance and Republican struggle is showing up in early 2024. Despite enormous sums spent, turnout in the GOP Iowa Caucus was deeply disapointing. Trump received 56,000 votes of the 750,000 registered Republicans in the state – the opposite of enthusiasm. In NH Trump underperformed public polling by 10-15 points, and in both states about half of GOP voters voted against him. As I go through in the various posts and discussions below, Republicans got two big additional warning signs in these early states – a very large percentage of Republican voters, 20-30-40% said they would struggle voting for Trump if he committed crimes (which he has), and a large number of Haley voters said they would vote for Biden, a possible crossover I’m not sure has shown up in any Presidential polling in recent decades for either party.
I’m coming to believe that something broke inside the Republican Party with Dobbs. That the ending of Roe was just too much even for Republican voters. That this MAGA thing had gone too far, it had become too ugly and dangerous even for many Republicans. We saw that in 2022 in the battlegrounds as Trumpy candidates failed to bring the non-MAGAs into their coalition, and they lost. It is what is likely to happen this November too.
Listen to Washington Post writer and MSNBC contributor Jax Alemany discuss what she is hearing from Republicans on the Hill about the 2024 election, and how it is likely to be a “bloodbath” for them:
Is The Dem Coalition Eroding, Struggling? – There is no doubt some of our coalition is wandering right now, and we have a lot of work to do this year. My own view is that much of it will come home when it’s clear the election is Biden and Trump and folks start checking back in. And then we have a campaign to go get the rest and aspirationally get to 55 too.
In this recent analysis I express doubt that Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war will be as damaging to him as some say. In this analysis I show that some of the recent, best, large sample polls of Hispanics and young people find Biden at or near his 2020 results – so no erosion. In this big, comprehensive analysis of the Hispanic vote I show that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who are seeing erosion with Hispanic voters. And for those who worry Democrats have lost the working class vote I share his chart from the 2020 Exit polls which shows the opposite:
For more on my basic 2024 take – MAGA is a losing politics, Dems should be optimistic – check out my my recent MSNBC op-ed and Morning Joe appearance; my 20 minute political overview in our January briefing and gathering last week; my comprehensive interview with Ezra Klein in his NYT podcast, The Strongest Democratic Party Any Of Us Has Ever Seen; a major post from last Monday and another from Friday; and this fun interview with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC last Wednesday night (below). I also appear in articles in The New Republic, USA Today and two in The Guardian (here, here).
If we do the work we should have the election we all want to have this November. But only if we do the work.
Actions You Can Take Today As Here At Hopium We Do More, Worry Less – In our spirit of growth and expansion, we are encouraging members of the Hopium community to consider taking four actions now. A huge thank you to all of you who have donated or volunteered in recent weeks:
- Flip NY-3 – Tom Suozzi leads in the early polls and will win if we give Tom the resources and volunteers he needs. The election is Feb. 13th and absentee voting has already begun so please take an action to help Tom today! If you want to learn more watch my interview with Tomfrom last week.Donate – Learn More – Get Updates– Canvass – Make Calls – Write Postcards
- Elect Joe And Kamala, Beat Trump – Please donate to Biden-Harris today, join the campaign and start planning for what you will do to help them spread their message through your networks and win the core 7 battlegrounds AZ, GA, MI, NC, NV, PA, WI. Beating Trump is Job 1 this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Get Early Resources to North Carolina, Our Most Important 2024 Expansion State – Our number one Presidential battleground expansion opportunity this year is North Carolina, and I am encouraging the Hopium community to support the Democratic Party of North Carolina and its dynamic new chair, Anderson Clayton. Watch my recent interview with Anderson and learn how to donate and volunteer here. Help us turn Carolina blue!
- Spread Hopium – Help me bring Hopium to more people this year. Our goal is to get to 50,000 total subscribers by March 31st (we are at 35,000 today). Please encourage others in your network to sign up and become part of this wonderful community of proud patriots and info warriors today!
What They Are Fighting For In 2024 – A reminder about about what they want, what they are fighting for:
For Putin to win, the West to lose. The border to stay open. The economy to crash. Women, people of color to lose more freedoms and rights. The planet to warm faster. 10 year olds to carry their rapist’s baby to term, and for more women to die on an operating room table. Tens of millions to lose their health insurance. More dead kids in schools. A restoration of pre-Civil Rights era white supremacy. Big tax cuts for their donors, higher deficits and less for everyone else. Books banned across the US. Teenagers to work night shifts in meat packing plants and not go to school. The minimum wage to stay at $7.25. Mass arrests and mass deportations of immigrants long settled in the US. Insurrectionists to get pardoned. To end American democracy for all time.
We can’t look away folks. They are not just giving us the most unfit candidate to run for President our history, they are promising all this too.
Republican Sabotage = Desperation – As we discussed yesterday I think one of the central dynamics in US politics right now is as Republican attacks on Biden evaporate due to the increasing success of his Presidency, Republicans are resorting to ever more dangerous and illiberal ways to undermine him. Recall Trump welcomed Russia’s help in 2016 and attempted to deny Biden the Presidency in 2020, so we have to assume that everything is on the table this year; and in that regard, consider their:
- Refusal to fund Ukraine/Israel as the primary way of countering Russian/Iranian genocidal ambitions in Europe and the Middle East. This refusal is making the US look terribly weak and untrustworthy, emboldening our adversaries, and leaving the US and the world less safe (and servicemen to die)
- Refusal to agree to a border deal while also now contesting the Supreme Court ruling that allows the US government to take back control of a portion of the border seized by Texas – extraordinary levels of bad faith, chaos making
- Refusal to properly staff the Pentagon and State Departments, which disrupted day to day operations of our military for many months, and has left our diplomats with far fewer tools to help resolve global challenges
- Refusal to pass a fiscal year 2024 budget, which is now four months late already, freezing in FY 2023 programs, making our government less nimble, responsive to this year’s challenges. It also endangers our very strong economic recovery
- Rallying behind a rapist, fraudster and insurrectionist who family has taken more money from foreign governments than any set of politicians in our history while serially betraying the country itself over many years (most desperate and outrageous action of all)
It remains hard to believe that this party which fought so hard to keep the country together more than 160 years ago is now doing everything it can to tear it apart. But here we are, and it’s why we have to keep fighting.
Keep working hard all. We have big things we need to do, together, this year – Simon