A Big, Bold Clean Up Washington Agenda, Trump’s Terrible April, Do More/Worry Less

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APR 26

Happy Friday all. Got a few things for you today: 

A Big, Bold Clean Up Washington Agenda – As part of our work to preserve our democracy, I think Joe Biden and the Democrats need to develop and campaign on a big “reform Washington” agenda that attacks the corruption of the Trump era. This has become far more urgent after yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing where MAGA Justices allowed a serious conversation about undoing what was perhaps the central goal of the Founders – preventing a President from becoming a King. 

I will have more to say on the corrupt Roberts Court in the coming days, but for this morning I am sharing the closing passage of my recent New Republic essay which among other things called on Democrats to develop an aggressive, clean up Washington agenda. Such an agenda would start putting meat on the policy bones in our fight for democracy; would be very appealing to independents and young people who believe Washington is deeply corrupt; and it would allow us to draw a far brighter line against the deeply corrupt and illiberal agenda of Trump and MAGA. 

The president should commit to making progress in at least two other areas during his second term—cleaning up a city and a democracy that have been weakened by corruption and illiberalism of all kinds, and raising American life expectancy so it is again at the level of peer nations’.

I think Joe Biden should promise to clean up the city he has so long been a part of. Among the things we can tackle are the influence of foreign money, the need to raise ethical standards at the Supreme Court, eliminating the debt ceiling and the ability to shut down the government, and the wild abuse of Senate holds on nominations. Perhaps Biden could set up a commission to make broader recommendations on how to modernize and reform a city desperately in need of it.

The president faces a similar opportunity to address an unacceptable decline in American life expectancy in recent years. Life expectancy continues to decline, and we’ve fallen behind peer nations. We should use this as a sign that a new emphasis on the health and well-being of Americans is needed, and the president should commit to reversing this decline in his second term. All ideas need to be on the table—better mental health and addiction recovery programs, more aggressive steps to stop the flow of foreign drugs into the country, better gun laws, the restoration of women’s reproductive freedom and addressing unacceptable levels of maternal mortality, fighting to restore trust in vaccines and the broader concept of public health.

Joe Biden has largely risen to the challenges presented to him and followed through on the promises he made in 2020. Now he has two more important challenges he must meet—build a campaign that can go big, unleash the patriotism and love of country that is driving Democratic politics today and make 2024 a clear repudiation of MAGA; and give us a second term that ensures that the opportunities we’ve all had are there for our kids and grandkids. As successful as he has been, it is possible that Joe Biden’s most important work still lies ahead of him.

This morning I’ve been thinking a lot about these words from Thomas Jefferson from the Jefferson Memorial here in Washington: 

Rob Shapiro On The Q1 GDP Report– My good friend and long time collaborator Rob Shapiro has a new piece up on Washington Monthly about the new GDP report, Why Biden And Most Americans Should Welcome The Latest GDP Report. It is well worth a read. Here’s an excerpt: 

The latest economic news may seem sobering, but it has the proverbial silver lining. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced Thursday that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate from January to March, down sharply from the blistering 4.0 percent rate in the second half of last year. Here’s an economic primer on why the new numbers from BEA are actually good news for President Joe Biden, his reelection campaign, and everyone else.

Most importantly, the slowdown increases the odds that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by late summer or early autumn. That’s because the sluggish number signals to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues that their anti-inflation policy is working. With the 12-month inflation rate of 3.3 percent for the first quarter of 2024—down from 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2023 and 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2022—the slowdown in growth will help quiet fears that price increases could accelerate.

At the same time, the new Bureau of Economic Analysis numbers also indicate that growth will likely rise again later this year. Consumer spending remains quite healthy, growing at a 2.5 percent rate in the first quarter. For most economists, that’s as expected: Over the past year, Americans’ personal disposable incomes have grown steadily, and the important University of Michigan indexes of consumer sentiment and consumer expectations have risen by more than 22 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

Business also was fairly bullish in the first quarter as their fixed investments grew at a 2.9 percent rate, led by 5.4 percent gains in business spending on research and development and intellectual property. Housing also turned up in the first quarter, with residential investments growing at a blazing 13.9 percent annual rate.

Why I Am Optimistic We Will Win This November – On Monday I wroteabout Biden’s rising poll numbers, including his best national poll so far in 2024. On Tuesday I wrote about the importance of Arizona and North Carolina this year, and new polling showing RFK taking more from Trump than Biden. Yesterday I shared some encouraging data about the health of our candidates in the House battleground, and we know that our polling in Senate races across the US remains steady and strong. 

We’ve also been talking here about the significance of our huge fundraising advantage over Republicans, and clear evidence Republicans are struggling to raise hard dollars this cycle. Here’s a new report from the site FWIW, Down-ballot Dems dramatically outspend Republicans on-line, which has important new data: 

As the 2024 election cycle has begun to kick into gear, we’ve noticed one clear macro-trend emerging: Republicans are spending way less on digital advertising across the board. 

Let’s set aside the presidential election for a moment, where the Biden campaign continues to spend 5x more online than Donald Trump’s team. We analyzed the ad spend of the 100 highest-spending non-presidential political candidates on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube in the past 90 days. Here’s what we found:

This data includes spending for any non-presidential campaign – from key congressional races to governors, state legislators, and municipal office holders.

Among this group, Democratic down-ballot candidates accounted for 86.2% of all Facebook and Instagram political spending, while Republican candidates only made up 13.8% of spending on those platforms. On Google and YouTube, the picture was similar: down-ballot Democratic campaigns spent 80.6% of digital ad dollars to 19.4% for Republicans. 

The site 538 turned on its 2024 national polling averages yesterday. Diving in you will see it shows a close, competitive election with us gaining 2 points in recent months in both the Biden-Trump head to head and in the Congressional Generic. While it does have polling averages in the Presidential battleground states, tread lightly there. We have far less polling in the battlegrounds than nationally, and many of the most recent battleground polls have been conducted for Republican audiences or with Republican funding. Averages with fewer polls are easier to push a bit to the right so take this data with a grain of salt, and note that in these polls we see Biden’s numbers improving 2-3-4 points over the last few months. 

Here’s what I am seeing in the battlegrounds – MI, PA, WI are our best states right now, and in the 538 averages they are close and competitive. There are polls in each of these three states showing us ahead in recent weeks. Winning these three gets us to 269 Electoral College votes. As I wrote on Tuesday I am very optimistic that the extremism of the GOP in AZ and NC is giving us real opportunities in both states to win and make serious down-ballot gains. Nevada is always close, and we have work to do in Georgia. The campaign continues to monitor what’s happening in Florida, as Rs there will soon have to defend a newly implemented 6 week abortion ban, something that is currently polling in the lows 20s – a level of unpopularity on something that matters that is not often seen in politics. 

While we have a long way to go, and a lot of work to do, but today, in every imaginable, I would much rather be us than them. 

Here’s more on 2024 if you want to dive deeper: 

  • Why I’m So Optimistic We Will Win This November (Video, 4/16/24) – My latest overview of where we are in the 2024 election and why I am so optimistic about winning this year. The post also has a deep dive on recent, encouraging polling data. While it remains a close, competitive election, things have gotten bluer in recent weeks, and Trump no longer leads.
  • My Interview With the NYT – Here’s my interview with Adam Nagourney of the New York Times. It’s gotten a lot of attention. Do read. Lots of great stuff in here! Additionally, a new, fresh interviewwith me by Aaron Rupar just dropped. He’s calling it “Why the Trump campaign is in deeper trouble than you think.” It’s getting some attention and well worth your time. 
  • With Democrats, Things Get Better – The core Hopium presentation, this 30 minute deep dive on the progress America makes when Democrats are in the White House, has an extended section on the strong economic gains the country has made under Joe Biden. A must view for all the budding information warriors out there.

Trump’s Terrible April – In this post I reviewed what a historically awful month this historically awful man is having. While all eyes and ears where on SCOTUS yesterday, a reminder that Trump is facing an extraordinary rebellion against him inside the GOP. Listen to how Mitt Romney talked about him this week: 

The NY trial has already revealed shocking details about Trump’s corruption and criminality: 

Many of his closest advisors were indicted on Wednesday: 

Listen to Mitch McConnell blame Trump for blocking the bi-partisan Senate border bill: 


Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. We have a very strong case for re-election.

The Democratic Party is strong, unified, raising tons of money and winning elections all across the country.

And what do they have? They have Trump, the ugliest political things any of us has ever seen, leading a party far more a raging dumpster fire than a well oiled political machine.

Let’s Do More, Worry Less – We are in the final push for these three must-win projects. Thanks to everyone who has helped out – we’ve blown past our original $100,000 goals for all three:

Donate To and Join The Biden-Harris Campaign – Job 1 this year is defeating Trump. As the general election has begun it’s time to get on board the Biden-Harris train. Please donatewhatever amount you can – $5, $10 – to get started and become part of the big campaign of 2024.

So far the Hopium community has raised $222,000 from 2,500 of you for Biden Harris – thank you all!

Have you ordered your Biden-Harris lawn sign yet? You can do so here.

Make An Early Investment in North Carolina – North Carolina is our most important 2024 battleground expansion state. Please donate today!

For more on why I think North Carolina is so important watch my in-depth interview with Anderson Clayton, the dynamic new NC Dem Party chair; learn about the extremists running statewide in North Carolina this year and why they give us a great opportunity to grow, expand and flip NC blue; and hear Anderson give us an update on her work and the impact our investments are having on the ground. 3 new polls have the Biden-Trump race in NC within margin of error, which means we have a real shot here people! 

So far we’ve raised $176,000 from over 2,300 of you for Anderson and the NC Dems – thank you all. You can also learn how to volunteer for the NC Dems from wherever you live here.

Look at what having Anderson there at the helm, with resources, means:

Help Ruben Gallego Win Arizona – Join me in helping Ruben Gallego in his campaign to become the next Senator from Arizona. The polls are encouraging there, and this is a very critical 2024 battleground state – must win Biden-Harris state, front-line abortion battleground, 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. Watch my recent interview with Ruben, and please donate today! We have already raised over $135,000 from over 2,100 of you – thank you all!

You can volunteer to help Ruben and the AZ Democrats here.

Subscribe and Save Today – On May 1st an annual paid subscription here at Hopium will rise from $45 to $50. So if you are not yet a paid subscriber here and want to lock in the current lower rate, consider subscribing today. You will lock in that lower rate, and get all that you can from this site and community for the 2024 election.

A reminder that subscription renewals here at Substack grandfather in your original subscription rate for all time. So if you are already subscribed at $45 you don’t need to do anything. But if you are thinking about becoming a paid subscriber do so before May 1st and lock in this lower rate for as long as Hopium is doing it’s thing.

You can also learn more about gift and group subscriptions here.

The resources paid subscribers provide keeps this site growing and the Hopium flowing! My goal is to get 1,000 to 1,500 new paid subscribers by the end of April. So far over 800 have signed up – thank you everyone who has stepped up!

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

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