The Democratic Party Is Strong, Unified and Winning. Republicans Are Weak, Divided and Losing

Students for Biden-Harris Has Launched/We Gather Wednesday at 7pm EST


MAR 11

Happy Monday all. We had a good week last week. I’m feeling good about where we are. Let’s have another good week this week: 

The Biden Campaign Ramps Up – The general election is here now, and the Biden campaign is ramping up. The campaign’s first true general election ad is below. It is running widely throughout the 7 battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This morning the campaign made two big youth announcements: 

Today, 15 leading youth vote and mobilization groups announced their endorsement of President Biden and Vice President Harris for reelection. This is the first joint and earliest endorsement from the nation’s leading youth vote groups, and builds on the growing and broad support across the Democratic coalition for President Biden and Vice President Harris.

The youth vote and mobilization groups endorsing Biden-Harris 2024 today include: Blue Future, College Democrats of America, Democratic Youth Coalition, Dream For America, Grassroots Dem HQ, High School Democrats of America, Jr. Newtown Action Alliance, NextGen PAC, Path to Progress, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Students Demand Action, Team ENOUGH, Voices of Gen-Z, Voters of Tomorrow, and the Young Democrats of America.


Today, Biden-Harris 2024 announced the launch of Students for Biden-Harris (SFB), a national organizing program designed to reach and mobilize young voters across the country to reelect President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The program will be a key pillar of the campaign’s work to reach young voters where they are – on campus, online, and beyond. Today’s announcement comes following the historic joint endorsement from 15 leading youth vote groups, including Voters of Tomorrow, Planned Parenthood Generation Action, and Students Demand Action. In tandem with Students for Biden-Harris, these groups will collectively mobilize over 1,000 campus, local, and state chapters/affiliates and over 500,000 volunteers, reach over 26 million people on social media, and make over 155 million direct voter contacts.

Students for Biden-Harris will mobilize student volunteers on campuses across the country to organize, register, and engage their peers in support of President Biden and Vice President Harris. Today’s announcement will kick off a recruitment blitz – building SFBchapters and recruiting organizers on campuses across the country. SFBchapters and organizers will be trained on relational and digital organizing tools, like the Reach app. These trainings have already begun in Wisconsin and earlier this month, Vice President Harris joined 70+ young activists in North Carolina during a Reach training.

The campaign will also conduct targeted outreach to priority campuses in battleground states – including large universities, HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and AANHPI-serving institutions – building on historic and early investments in digital and paid media to reach young voters and voters of color.

Students for Biden-Harris will also host regular national virtual and in-person events and training sessions, beginning with a kick-off event on Thursday, March 14, with Biden-Harris 2024 National Advisory Board Member and first Gen Z member of Congress Maxwell Frost.

Here’s a short message from VP Harris and Hopium friend Anderson Clayton announcing the launch of students for Biden-Harris: 

Please share this link to Students for Biden-Harris through your networks. The campaign is working hard to grow this program – let’s help them by encouraging students we know to join, today. 

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Great New Biden Ad, “For You” – The 1st Biden ad of the general election dropped this weekend and it is just great. Strong, warm, funny. A really strong start to the general. Do watch fellow info warriors and share this through your networks and organizations. We need as many people to see it as possible. 

As I shared with you on Saturday, Joe Biden had his best week of polling last week in some time. He led in 4 new, credible national polls. All showed substantial movement towards him, and all of this was before his powerful State of the Union address: 

  • 47%-44% Kaiser Family Foundation (7 pt Biden gain since last poll)
  • 51%-49% Emerson (3 pt Biden gain since last poll)
  • 44%-43% Morning Consult (5 pt Biden gain over past month)
  • 43%-42% TIPP (3 pt Biden gain since last poll)

The general election is here my friends. Make sure you sign up for the Biden-Harris campaign today.  Give whatever you can – $5, $10 or more – to get going.  As we discussed on Friday, Joe Biden has made it clear he is fighting for us. Now we need to go fight for him! It’s time now to go to work and win this thing, together. 

It was nice to see our enthusiasm for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris making the New York Times

President Biden was not even halfway through his 68-minute State of the Union speech when Simon Rosenberg, the rare Democratic strategist who is bullish on Biden’s re-election prospects, fired off a noteto the readers of his Substack newsletter.

“The President is Kicking Ass!” it read (though with many more exclamation points attached). The Biden campaign soon reported that the three hours surrounding the prime-time speech were the most lucrative fund-raising hours of the president’s re-election campaign so far.

The rousing speech was, at least for Democrats worried about Biden’s re-election prospects, a welcome success — and on a night when it mattered. There will be only one more moment before Election Day when Biden can be assured an uninterrupted block of time to speak to such a large audience of voters: his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

The Hopium post Adam Nagourney refers to was the most read post in all of our site’s history. As it should be! 

51% and My Optimism About 2024 – When I went to work for Bill Clinton in early 1992 Democrats had lost 5 of the 6 preceding President elections, several by historically large margins. The one election we won in that period was 1976, right after Watergate, and Carter only received 50.1%. From 1968 to 1992 Democrats really struggled to be competitive at the Presidential level. 

Then Clinton ran in 1992 with an explicit mission to make Democrats competitive at the national level again. And in the 8 Presidential elections since 1992 on, we’ve won more votes in 7 of 8 of those elections. It is the best popular vote run by an American political party in American history. 

From 1948 all the way to 2004, 56 years and 14 Presidential elections, Democrats only broke 50.1% one time, in 1964, after Kennedy’s assassination. Truman and Clinton won with less than 50%, Kennedy won with 50.1%, Carter too. 

Which is why what’s happened in the four Presidential elections beginning with Obama’s 53% win in 2008 is so significant. In these four elections we’ve averaged 51% of the vote, Republicans 46%. We’ve received 51% or more of the vote in 3 of these elections. The last time we had a streak like this was during FDR’s Presidency in the 1930s and 1940s, 80-90 years ago. 

I share this because this data and math matters for how we should be approaching the 2024 election. The Democrats are in the midst of our best Presidential run since the 1940s, the Republicans their worst. Republicans have only broken 48% of the vote in a Presidential race one time since 1988 – Bush 2004. For Trump to win, or even be at 48% in polling, he will have to get to a place with voters that only a single Republican has reached in a national election going all the way back to 1988. A Republican will do this some day, but it very unlikely that the one who does it is Donald Trump. 

Our ongoing success at the Presidential level has now been joined by our remarkable mid-term and off-year success since Dobbs in the spring of 2022. As I detail here, we just keep winning again and again, elections of all kinds, in all regions of the country. They keep struggling, and that struggle has shown up again in early 2024 as Trump keeps underperforming public polling, and the Republican Party itself is, as I like to say, broke and broken 

We’ve won more votes in 7 of 8 Presidential elections. We’ve averaged 51% in the last 4, they’ve averaged 46%. We’ve defied history and gained ground in 2022, 2023 and 2024, something a party in power rarely does. We keep winning, they keep struggling. Our party is unified, raising lots of money, and just blew it out in a GOP held House seat in NY-3, showing significant grassroots muscle. They are struggling to raise money, keep losing elections and are badly splintered. Yet the NYT poll from two weeks ago found this: 

The poll’s initial likely voter sample was 29% Dem, 28% Republican and was “weighted” through a complex formula to become 32% R and 29% D. That’s a shift of 4 percentage points, something that would take an even race and make it +4 R, as this poll finds.

The poll has Biden winning Democrats 90%-7%, Trump winning Republicans 91%-6%, and Biden winning Independents 45%-41%. These results would normally produce a Biden lead but with the aggressive weighting and a very Republican sample, it produces a 4 point Trump lead. 

Friends, any poll which gives Republicans a Party Identification lead, or even a meaningful Trump lead, is defying 36 years of recent American political history. It could happen, but the mathematical possibility of it happening, and even Trump winning, is remote. Based on what we’ve seen in recent years in actual elections, Democrats can and should win this election by 3-4-5 points; and if we do everything right and work really hard, perhaps get to 55%, high single digits. As the red wave turned out to be the red mirage in 2022, the perception of Trump’s strength right now is the big political mirage of 2024. He is historically weak, not strong. His party is in the midst of the worst performance by an American political party in a very long time. The party itself is in turmoil, struggling to raise money, dozens of its leaders have indicted across the country for trying to over turn the 2020 election, Republican House members are fleeing and retiring at an incredible rate, and as in 2022, the MAGA primary winner is struggling to bring non-MAGA Republicans along. Trump is more dangerous and extreme than he was in 2020, an election he lost; he will be further weighed down by all his scandals from rape and fraud to serially betraying the country; his performance on the stump is far more erratic and disturbing, his famous impulsivity far more on display; and he is making lots and lots of traditional political mistakes – like coming out against the ACA, or blowing the border issue – that candidates who lose elections make. 

For Republicans to break their current electoral losing streak, and this 51%-46% recent national trend, it would take something extraordinary. And Trump isn’t that, the opposite in fact; and Biden has been a good President, the country is clearly better off today. I don’t buy that inflation and people’s “lived experience” are weighing Biden down. As I show here by many measures Americans are really happy with their lives, their work and their finances, and if the economy was in fact a big problem for Democrats it would have showed up in all these elections since inflation spiked in early 2022 – which it hasn’t. We know from lots of public and private polling that when voters are informed about Biden’s achievements his numbers improve, sometimes dramatically. We also know from polling, and 2024 Republicans primary voting, that there are deep and broad reservations about Trump in the broad Republic coalition, and that it will be hard for him to forge a bigger coalition than he had in 2020. MAGA is in my mind a failed politics. It lost in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2023 and will likely lose again in 2024. 

So, quite a rant Simon. Yep. I write all this because what I expect to happen this year, the likely scenerio, is that we win by 3-4-5 points, perhaps more. I wrote a memo a year ago when Hopium launched saying this cycle, due to their escalating extremism, was one of opportunity for us, where we could grow and expand, and take stuff away from them. And that’s what has happened – in Wisconsin, in Ohio, in Florida and Colorado, in Virginia and New Jersey, in state legislative races across the country, in ballot initiatives, in NY-3. We keep winning, they keep struggling. 

Our ongoing success is happening in part, as I told the Washington Post last week, because of all of you. Because of your work, your love of country, your grit and fight, your money and your postcards, texts, phone calls and doorknocking, we are building the most powerful political machine we’ve ever seen, pushing our performance to the upper end of what’s possible in election after election: 

Democrats also enjoy a still vibrant network of grass-roots groups around the country, which have remained engaged since 2018 and are largely able to coordinate with the Biden campaign. Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager, spoke last week to Swing Left, a network of volunteers. She invited people to join the campaign’s “I’m On Board” organizing effort.

“As we jump into March, as we come out of Super Tuesday and the president’s State of the Union in the next couple of weeks, it will be a real opportunity to just remind voters of just what that choice, how important and how critical this election is, and really what everyone can do to get on board,” Rodriguez told the group on Feb. 29.

While Biden has lacked the movement-like charisma of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, Democrats continue to enjoy significant state and local organizing muscle, largely through loose national networks of local progressive groups. The campaign of Rep. Tom Suozzi, who recently outperformed polling by about eight points in a special election on New York’s Long Island, credits these groups with giving him a huge advantage, as have other campaigns in special elections in recent years.

Suozzi’s campaign team said about a third of the door-knocking, letter-writing and phone-calling that took place in that race came from groups outside the district, such as the Massachusetts-based Swing Blue Alliance. Democrats widely believe that the opposition to Trump will solidify, powering volunteer efforts despite the misgivings about Biden’s candidacy.

“In the past few years, fear of MAGA has helped fuel the building of the most powerful grassroots machine the Democratic Party has ever had,” Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist who now works with local activist groups, said in a statement. “Their money and hard work will ensure the Biden campaign is the biggest and strongest Presidential campaign Democrats have ever run.”

Here are the numbers the Suozzi campaign released – 2 million phone calls!!!!!!!!

In the space of five weeks people knocked on over 150,000 doors, made over 2 million phone calls, and wrote hundreds of thousands of postcards. Our campaign estimates that every Democrat household in the NY-03 received, on average, five handwritten postcards.

What many of us have been saying is that our expectation is that once the general election really begins some of our wandering coalition will come home and Biden will open up a small but meaningful lead.  As I wrote on Saturday, there is evidence that has begun to happen already, and certainly Biden’s great State of the Union is likely to accelerate that process. We then have the campaign to go get the rest, and hopefully get to 55. 

Friends, we have a long way to go in this election, but 8 months out, in every way imaginable, I would much rather be us than them. The Democratic Party is strong, unified, winning. The Republicans are weak, divided and losing. 

Let’s Do More, Worry Less – Here at Hopium we strive to channel all this worry and anxiety we have about our current moment into concrete action – do more, worry less – as we say here. Here are a few things you do today, right now:

Donate to and join the Biden-Harris campaign – This is very important. The general election has begun and it’s time to get on board the Biden-Harris train. Please donate whatever amount you can – $5, $10 – just to get started.

Our community has already raised over $150,000 for Biden Harris – thank you!

Make an early investment in North Carolina – North Carolina is our most important 2024 expansion state. Please consider donating today. For more on why I think North Carolina is so important watch my interview with Anderson Clayton, the dynamic new NC Democratic Party Chair.

Our community has already raised $92,000 for this critical battleground – thank you all!

Help Ruben Gallego Win Arizona – Yesterday I endorsed Ruben Gallego in his race to become the next Senator in Arizona. The polls are encouraging there, and this is a very critical 2024 battleground state – must win Biden-Harris state, must win Senate, two House pick up opportunities (and maybe the state house too). Because Senator Sinema stayed in for so long, Ruben is a bit behind where he should be financially and organizationally, and needs our help today. Please donate today, and I will be posting some volunteer opportunities in the coming days. We have already raised over $42,000 for Ruben – thank you all! 

Spread Hopium – Encourage people in your networks to become a Hopium subscriber. Our goal is to get to 50,000 subscribers by March 31st (we’re at 47,000 today!). With your help, we can hit our goal, grow our community, and bring the upbeat, data-filled analysis here to more and more people. You can also become a paid subscriber which helps us grow here.

Our Monthly Hopium Gathering Is WednesdayCelebrating Hopium’s 1st Birthday With Gov. Gavin Newsom – Our monthly get together for the entire Hopium community is this Wednesday at 7pm EST. Register here. I will kick if off with 15-20 minutes of opening remarks and then take your questions. I’m excited to share that the inspiring North Carolina Dem Party Chair Anderson Clayton will be joining us around 745pm to provide an update on her work to turn North Carolina blue this November. Our event will be recorded and shared here for those who can’t make it live. Given how much we’ve grown in recent months it’s possible this event fills up so register as soon as you can and make sure you log in Wednesday at 655pm to secure your spot.

If you haven’t caught it yet hope you can watch my talk with Governor Gavin Newsom from Wednesday night. He came by to help us mark Hopium’s 1st birthday and offer his thoughts on the State of the Union and the 2024 election. After my talk with Gavin I spent 15 minutes giving my latest take on the election, and spelled out why I am optimistic about winning this November. It was a great event, lots of energy – a perfect weekend dose of Hopium for our community!

I launched Hopium a year ago with this welcome post, and my get to 55 memo. I’m so proud of what we’ve done together, the community we’ve built. Here’s what I wrote last March:

Though I’ve been in politics for a long time, my journey fighting the “red wave” over the past year changed my understanding of the work that needs to get done to defeat MAGA, tell our inspiring story more effectively, and ensure that freedom and democracy prevail.

Basically I came to understand that our politics was changing and I had to change with it. It led me to conclude that my old organization, NDN, which I founded back in 1996, was no longer the right vehicle for me. It did a lot of good over a long period of time, and we built a remarkable community there. As I discuss in my recent interview with Ron Brownstein in the Atlantic, I feel like we are entering a new political era in America, one that requires new strategies and approaches. NDN was built for a different era, and it had a different mission. I needed to do something new, organize my work in new ways. So here I am. With all of you.

I am calling it Hopium Chronicles because I want this to be a journey guided by hope and optimism, of belief in ourselves, in love of country and a clear understanding of the nature of the conflict we are in. I have become convinced that part of Greater MAGA’s strategy is to intentionally poison our discourse with negative sentiment every day. They want us to feel bad about America, our democracy, our leaders, our institutions, our success, each other, ourselves. We cannot let them do that any more. While they talk American down every day, we need to talk it up. While they spread lies, we respond with truth and data. Hopium is a rejection of the darkness they are trying to spread. It is a way of standing up for our great country and its remarkable people. It is the key to how we win.

I will be having more to say about year 2 of Hopium in the coming days, and in our broader Hopium-wide gathering on Wednesday. If you want to mark our anniversary by becoming a paid subscriber you can do so here. Your financial support allows me to do this work, our community to grow and keeps the Hopium flowing! Thank you to all of you who have been of this spirited experiment so far. We’ve done a lot of good together, but as all know our most important work lies ahead.

Keep working hard all. I’m really proud to be in this fight with all of you – Simon

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