Joe Biden Is A Successful President, Why I Am Optimistic, So Much BS on Gas Prices

Welcome New Subscribers!/Let’s Do More, Worry Less – It’s How We Win


MAY 29

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

The Election is Close and Competitive But I Believe We Are Favored – In a video and accompanying post a few days ago I spelled out my case for optimism four months before voting begins: 

Joe Biden is a good and successful American President. The country is clearly better off. And we have a very strong case for his re-election.

The Democratic Party is strong, winning elections across the country, raising tons of money and is building the most powerful political machine we’ve ever had.

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

On Friday the NYT’s Nate Cohn wrote about something core to our understanding of the 2024 election – Biden performs much better with likely voter universes than with registered voters. This is a good thing for us, as these likely voter universes are closer to the electorate which will actually show up this fall, and suggests that Trump’s leads in polls of registered voters may be phantom leads, as they include many voters who are unlikely to vote. It is also an explanation for why we’ve been winning elections across the US since Dobbs – when people actually go vote, we overperform polling and expectations and Republicans struggle. 

Today Nate dives into another part of our current understanding – that the election is actually close and competitive right now. In a new analysis, Perhaps Lost in the Polling: The Election Is Close, Nate writes: 

The race is still pretty close. It’s close enough that he would have a very serious chance to win if the election were held tomorrow. And of course, the race won’t be held tomorrow: There are five-plus months to go for a possible Biden comeback.

Together, there’s a case for taking a glass-almost-half-full perspective on Mr. Biden’s chances. Right or wrong, it’s a case that maybe hasn’t gotten quite as much attention as it deserves.

How is the race close? Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

If Mr. Biden won those battleground states, he’d probably be re-elected as president. They would combine to give him exactly 270 electoral college votes provided he held everywhere he won by six percentage points or more in 2020. That means he could lose all of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and so on, and still win.

Here’s what I wrote in my analysis which accompanied my video presentation a few days back: 

It Is Simply Inaccurate and Wrong To Say “Trump Leads” And Commentators Need To Stop Saying It – Building on my post from yesterday, I want to reiterate that neither candidate is at 270 Electoral College votes right now in current polling, and that he only way a candidate can be “leading” in a Presidential election is if they are ahead outside of margin of error in states getting to 270. For Donald Trump to get to 270 he has to win AZ, GA, NC, NV and at least one of three blue wall states of MI, PA, WI. In the last six battleground state polls – CBS, Emerson, Morning Consult, NYT LV and RV, Prime – Trump only leads outside of margin of error in one of these three states a single time. 17 of the 18 polls have these states within margin of error, tied. And that one was in Michigan in NYT RVs, and we have other polls showing Biden ahead there. So what this tells us that is Trump is not definitively ahead in any of these three blue wall states, and therefore he is not leading in the election. Period. Commentators need to stop saying so, for it is at this point a Republican talking point inconsistent with the data in front of us. It is as I like to say “red wavy.”

Winning MI, PA, WI would get Biden to 269 Electoral College votes, and winning the second district of Nebraska would get him to 270. Biden won NE-2 by six points in 2020, and a new GOP poll of NE-2 has Biden ahead right now. 

I believe we are favored to win MI, PA, WI and NE-2 and thus favored to win the election. We have popular and successful Democratic governors in all three states who are bringing enormous political muscle to the campaign (there are Dem govs in AZ, MI, NC, PA, WI). We have had strong electoral performances in all three states in recent years. Our Senate candidates lead in all three states, and Rs are having “bad candidate” problems again. Labor is making unprecedented investments in all three states, fighting for the most pro-Labor President in generations. The economies in all three states are strong, and majorities believe their economies have gotten better in the last two years, which gives us an awful lot to work with. While we may not run a Morning in America national media campaign, how about Morning in Michigan, Morning in Pennsylvania, Morning in Wisconsin campaigns with Biden, the governors and other validators talking about how things are better due to us? 

I’ve always believed we would win MI, PA, WI this year which is why we’ve focused on the two battleground states where due to the GOP extremists at the top of the ticket, Kari Lake and Mark Robinson, we had the most opportunity to win and gain ground – Arizona and North Carolina. Winning MI, PA, WI is check. Winning AZ, NE-2 and North Carolina is checkmate. 

In the House we are focusing on the 11 GOP held seats most likely to flip. Keeping our incumbents in the House is check. Flipping these 11 seats is checkmate. 

Yes checkmate in the Presidential race and in the House is the strategy driving our do more, worry less electoral workright now. Thanks to all of you who’ve contributed or volunteered in these critical efforts so far. 

We have a long way to go, a lot is going to change, and we have a lot of work to do, but right now, a little less than four months before voting begins, I would much rather be us than them. Heads down, keep grinding all. 

Joe Biden Is A Successful President, The Country Is Better Off – In that post that went along with my video last week I also wrote: 

In the last few weeks we’ve gotten repeated confirmation of the success of the Biden Presidency – inflation is down, food prices are down, crime and murder rates are way down, gas prices are down, the flow to the border is down. We’ve had the strongest economic recovery of any advanced economy in the world, the best job market since the 1960s, the lowest uninsured rate in American history, the deficit is trillions less, the Dow has broken 40,000 and all three indices continue to break records, and domestic oil, gas and renewable production continue to be at all time highs leaving America more energy independent than it has been in decades. The Wall Street Journal called the American economy the “envy of the world,” and the Economist just wrote about the underrepresented start up boom America is experiencing right now. Biden’s big three investment bills have dramatically accelerated the energy transition necessary to combat climate change and will be creating opportunities and jobs for our workers for decades to come.

Look at the economic news we got yesterday – the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index numbers surged up, and the NASDAQ broke 17,000 for the first time. This recent spate of encouraging economic news lead the new head of 538, G. Elliot Morris, to post this on Twitter

Something we will be returning to in the coming days is all the noise about gas prices right now. Mike Ziccardi, a financial writer, posted this graph on Twitter a few days ago: 

What this shows is that current gas prices, given what people are making now, are very much in line with what people have paid since 1990. The way to think about this is the difference between paying $3 a gallon if you make $50,000 a year versus paying $3 a gallon if you make $75,000 a year. Americans make more money today than they ever have, and are far wealthier than they have ever been. So $3 a gallon takes less of a bite out of a family than it did a few years ago. 

I know where some may go next – but people believe they are paying much more and that is the problem. But, my friends, when it comes to these kinds of arguments about what people believe, there is no reason for us to accept that Americans are stupid and cannot come to a deeper understanding of something if it is explained to them. Here at Hopium what I try to focus on is what is true, not what people believe. I share data about all sorts of things to help us get grounded in what is true; how we sell what is true, and our policies, is another matter. But in this time of social media and disinformation and unprecedented GOP propaganda, we need to hold steadfast to what is true, and not let their false understandings and misinformation become our own. In the coming months there may be no place where holding firm on what is true is going to be more important than 

Joe Biden is a good President, the American economy is remarkably strong, the country is better off and Joe Biden deserves re-election

Here’s more recent Hopium work on the US economy and Biden’s successful Presidency; 

Do More, Worry Less – Here at Hopium Chronicles we don’t worry, we do. Every day we channel the anxiety we all have into concrete actions for our country. The work we do together is how we win. Here are the four main campaigns we are running now, as we discussed above: 

Thanks to all who’ve given to or volunteered for these critical efforts. We’ve already raised over $190,000 for our 11 House candidates in our first week of fundraising! When the Hopium community is called, it answers, again and again and again. Thank you all.

Another way of doing is to encourage people in your networks to become a Hopium subscriber. Remarkably we are now over 75,000 strong and growing rapidly – thank you all!

Note that options for group and gift subscriptions are available to those who want to try 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.

Thank you all for helping keep this community growing and the Hopium flowing!

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

Leave a Reply