Democrats – Knox Democrats Wed, 23 Nov 2022 15:02:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Democrats – Knox Democrats 32 32 In fact, the Democrats didn’t “win” the midterm elections Wed, 23 Nov 2022 15:02:16 +0000

Progressives breathe a sigh of relief as they dodge a disastrous “red wave” rout in the midterm elections that would have given Republicans control of both houses of Congress – plus governorships in key states like Arizona and Pennsylvania, where voter chicanery could tip the 2024 presidential election.

But let’s stop congratulating Democrats on what Senator Elizabeth Warren called their “midterm victory.” Democrats kept their simple majority in the Senate by winning between zero and one seat, and relinquished control of the House by losing what will likely end up being 10 seats. I don’t want to bore anyone with statistical analysis, but a tie and a loss don’t make a win.

If newcomers to American political culture were confused as to why election night was widely seen as a victory for Team Blue, it was because they had not been briefed on the conventional wisdom according to which the party that wins the White House will lose badly midterm. elections. It happened to the Democrats of Bill Clinton in 1994, the Democrats of Barack Obama in 2010 and the Republicans of Donald Trump in 2018. (It also happened to the Republicans of George Bush, but in 2006 instead of the post-September 11, 2002 frenzy.)

But this pattern is not an immutable law of nature but a recent law of neoliberalism. In the 60 years before Clinton, the only presidents whose party suffered a crushing midterm defeat were Harry Truman and Gerald Ford, two vice presidents who had recently taken the White House without being elected.

I’m not a historian with a well-researched theory, but I suspect the recent trend of midterm backlash has something to do with the hollowing out of American democracy, so both parties have no not much to offer voters beyond fear and hatred of the other party. – leading to depressed turnout from their base when the enemy is not in the White House.

Joe Biden‘s Democrats have bucked the trend this year, but it’s important we understand why, because centrists love the Atlantic‘s Yascha Mounk eagerly claim the results as a lesson in how moderates won the election. Like “victory,” “moderate” is another word that might sound strange to a newcomer armed only with observable facts. Yes, some of Donald Trump’s hand-picked misfits like Blake Masters and Dr. Oz didn’t win, but the Republican Party as a whole (which, again, just won a majority in the House) is full of politicians bent on persecuting trans children and “stop the theft” conspiracy theorists.

But the real focus of these arguments for moderation is not the Republican Party, which even the most desperately dedicated bipartisan have given up on, but a warning shot against left-leaning Democrats. The subtitle of Mounk’s article, “A lesson for any party that wants to succeed in 2024”, makes this clear.

Mounk and like-minded experts carefully selected a few results that fit their analysis while ignoring centrist failures that mirrored Republican talking points on crime, numerous left-wing candidate victories and ballot initiatives, and the massive role played midterm by voters’ desire to protect their abortion rights, an issue that centrist Democratic leaders have repeatedly refused to fully defend.

However, neither side in this debate can explain why the Democrats didn’t lose more midterm despite grappling with an unpopular president. It looks like the midterm backlash trend could give way to a new 2020s trend of calcified politics. It’s the term used by political scientists John Sides, Lynn Vavreck and Chris Tausanovitch to describe how the two parties had nearly identical results in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections (although of course Trump won the former and lost the second) despite the massive changes that shook the country in the years that followed. It seems that the midterm elections could be an extension of this stalemate.

You can also see this play out in presidential approval ratings. Until the last decade, it was normal for popular opinion about presidents to swing wildly. Obama ranged from 69% after his historic election to 38%. George Bush achieved a sky-high 90% approval in the year after 9/11 and went down to 29% when he stumbled. Ronald Reagan had a 33-point gap between his high and low, Jimmy Carter 47. But Donald Trump got stuck during his presidency in a relatively narrow 15-point range between 49 and 35 percent, while Biden only varied 19 points from 57 to 38.

But the calcification comes from changes not only in popular opinion, but also in the ability of parties to get people with those opinions to vote. One of the main causes of the old midterm reaction was the fluctuations in voter turnout between the ruling party and the non-ruling party. But the past two midterms have seen a surge in voter turnout on both sides. Voter turnout is a good thing, but this increase seems to be due less to politicians’ satisfaction (see again Biden’s low approval ratings) and more to parties (and their media proxies at Fox and MSNBC) succeeded in making partisan identification an essential element of the cultural and regional identity of citizens.

What’s really odd about the static results of recent elections is that the voters themselves aren’t actually calcified. As numerous news reports have noted, millions of people have changed affiliations in recent years, with Democrats attracting more with college education and Republicans attracting more blue-collar men. Some of the analysis is grossly flawed – such as labeling Democrats “the party of high-end voters” and Republicans “a multiracial coalition of working-class voters” – when in fact most voters low-income and people of color continue to vote Democratic. Nevertheless, millions of voters have switched affiliations back and forth since Donald Trump was elected, so why has the overall margin between the two parties remained slim?

The ongoing equal division of the electorate is a historical oddity with many factors, but one factor that should get more attention is the tensions that exist not between voters but within each party. For Democrats, this conflict is between an increasingly left-leaning electoral base and a mega-donor funding base who want their politicians to reassure them that nothing will fundamentally change. Republicans are dragged into unpopular positions by their motley array of far-right donors and demagogues, but then are faced with the need to get close enough to a majority to be within flight distance. Perhaps our current 50/50 stalemate is in part the result of both parties having increasingly sophisticated electoral data and predictive tools that allow them to hone their ability to serve unpopular agendas while remaining within striking distance of a mere majority.

In any case, this stagnation has averted a full Republican sweep, but we need more than preserving the status quo. As the two parties remain locked in a stalemate, many critical fights will unfold over the next two years: the revival of the Green New Deal, abortion rights, ballot initiatives, unionization struggles at Starbucks and Amazon, defeating the fascist campaign against trans youth, and more.

These campaigns, which will surely include many of the impressive numbers of socialists who won on election night, can be a pathway to real victories, rather than our current state of political stagnation.

Can South Dakota Democrats bring the party back? Wed, 16 Nov 2022 19:00:00 +0000

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Following an election that saw wide margins of statewide losses and stagnation in the Legislature, the South Dakota Democratic Party has some soul-searching to do. .

“We have to improve, there’s no doubt about that. But we also need to have a serious discussion about what’s important in the state of South Dakota,” said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith. “I believe the truth matters, and I believe civility matters. I believe that eventually these things will come.

The slow decline of the party’s influence has lasted for 30 years. After the 1992 election, Democrats held 20 of 35 state Senate seats and 28 of 70 State House seats. They also held two of the top three federal posts, with Tom Daschle in the Senate and Tim Johnson in the House.

Today, Democrats hold zero seats statewide and 11 seats combined in the state House and Senate.

However, the election was not entirely a failure: Several Democrats pointed to the successful expansion of Medicaid and Governor Kristi Noem’s pledge to scrap the grocery tax as examples of party policy positions. at least somewhat supported by more conservative voters.

“I think the future looks bright for the Democratic Party of South Dakota, because the culture war issues that the Republican Party of South Dakota is committed to don’t resonate as strongly with young people as they do with elderly,” said Senator Reynold. Nesiba, who will be the minority leader in the next session. “On some level, what all voters in South Dakota want is that they want lawmakers who are addressing the real issues.”

An autopsy of the election results highlights some of the problems. While the Smith campaign might have liked to see a higher turnout, as the statewide turnout of 59.4% lagged the 64.9% mark midterm. of 2018, the 2022 figure was actually higher than one would typically expect from South Dakota’s midterms, topping the 2010 and 2014 figures by 52.2% and 54.2%, respectively.

A more worrisome trend than turnout would be the proverbial low that falls in rural counties. Across the state’s 20 least populous counties, Smith averaged 17.5 points behind 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Billie Sutton.

Although Sutton attributed some of the difference to his rodeo background, rural roots and a longer, better-funded campaign, he also worried that a “nationalization” of the election would make it harder for Democrats in Dakota South to organize local races focused on local issues.

“Nearly every Democrat running in South Dakota is running as a moderate, but they’re all labeled as extremists,” Sutton said. “I spoke to my dad the other day, and he sometimes listens to Christian radio, and the things that they say about Democrats on Christian radio are disturbing. And so it’s not just your national sources anymore, since you can get your media from all kinds of different places, and if you listen to a lot of extreme sources, I can see how you would start to believe some of these things.

Historical precedent reveals plan for growth

In terms of the ebb and flow of power, the South Dakota Democratic Party has been here before.

“George McGovern got into his car in 1953, when there were two Democrats in the 105-seat South Dakota legislature, and began working on building the campaign skills of individuals in various legislative districts,” said Michael Card, professor emeritus of political science. science at the University of South Dakota. “He was recruiting them to run for the legislature, but also to run for city council, county commission and school boards where they would gain some expertise so they could have a legislative platform.”

Grassroots recruitment and support of candidates at all levels of the ballot is the cornerstone of any party’s development; it is the driving force behind the McGovern strategy and Tom Daschle’s famous leadership development retreats. Kahden Mooney, who ran a losing campaign in Watertown this year, said Democrats need to get back to those basics.

“There is no reason for us to leave these races uncontested. We have to focus on our bench and make sure we have good quality candidates with name recognition in their communities,” said Mooney, the youngest legislative candidate this cycle at 21. “That way, when the time comes, we’ll be ready to fight.”

Randy Seiler, who was nearing the end of his first term as state party president, struck a more positive tone, saying the party was on “solid footing” when it came to its financial situation – the party was in the red when he took over in 2019 — and investing in full-time staff. With those fundamentals in place, Seiler said the stage was set for a steady rebuild.

“You don’t go from a historically red state to a purple or even blue state overnight,” Seiler said. “But there is hope on the horizon.”

Can the party denationalize local races?

Although he ran an “issues-based kitchen table” campaign that included extensive visits to local businesses and roundtables with Watertown voters, Mooney saw firsthand how national issues entered the mainstream. local elections.

“The National Democratic Party was definitely not a helpful topic for me,” Mooney said. “There were several conversations I had with people all over the city where they said they didn’t like the way the country was doing. They don’t like student loan reform. They don’t like the way the country has been shut down.

These national issues may also have played a role in the reversal of District 18, with the defeat of Ryan Cwach against Julie Auch. Auch attributed his victory to a national and state Democratic party out of touch with the needs of South Dakotans.

“We are a conservative state and we don’t like revival attitudes,” Auch said. “We are not interested in the Green New Deal. We understand that you need electricity and fuel to farm. We are an agricultural state.

For Sutton, this type of messaging is part of the problem.

“That’s the frustrating thing is that it’s completely a national issue,” Sutton said. “So if you care about that, then go vote for your United States House and Senate races based on that. This shouldn’t be an indictment of Ryan Cwach because he won’t vote on the Green New Deal. It will focus on health care and education.

However, a role model may be Democrat Oren Lesmeister, who won in Rural District 28A by a narrow margin.

“I haven’t totally split with the National Democrats, but I don’t fully align with their platform either,” Lesmeister said. “And it’s just a rural way of life. So when I talk to a lot of my constituents here in the district, our views align. Even if we are Democrats or Republicans, we still have the same thoughts.

A rancher with a lineage spanning generations in the district, Lesmeister is an example of how developing strong candidates who fit each district may be able to overcome the numerical advantages currently held by Republicans in the most counties.

Sutton backed up that point, saying he didn’t show up with the advice of a state party, instead focusing on improving the lives of his friends and neighbors. He hopes that even in failed campaigns, these kinds of seeds can be planted across the state.

“I think you have to give people hope that things will get better,” Sutton said. “I thought Jamie gave a lot of people hope that maybe we would have some balance in South Dakota. As you continue to see good candidates on the ballot, even if they lose, it still gives people hope that someone is fighting for them and I think you will see changes over time.

Jason Harvard is a

Report for America

Corps reporter who writes about state politics in South Dakota. Contact him at



A new generation of candidates claim the future of the Democratic Party | Democrats Sun, 13 Nov 2022 07:00:00 +0000

OIt’s the early hours of Wednesday morning, November 6, 2024, and after a biting night, two men are about to deliver their respective victory and concession speeches in the US presidential election. One of the men is days away from his 82nd birthday, the other is 78.

The prospect of a possible rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in two years is causing concern from both major parties. It is not just the political perils that accompany either individual, it is also the simple matter of their age.

What happened to America again world, the young country?

But in the wake of this week’s midterm elections, there is unrest in the air. The Democratic Party may remain heavily dominated by the old guard — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, and top senator Chuck Schumer, 69 — but there are strong signs of new beginnings.

From the first openly lesbian governors in the United States and the first black governor in Maryland, to the first Gen Z member of Congress, as well as young, battle-hardened politicians in critical states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, a new list of Democratic leaders come into view after Tuesday’s election. They may be too new to reshape the 2024 presidential race, but they hold great promise for years to come.

“There’s a generational shift of the kind you see every few decades,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who has worked on state and congressional campaigns. “A younger generation is emerging with different ideas that aren’t necessarily tied to the old way of doing things.”

It is perhaps no coincidence that several of the attention-grabbing names are in battleground states where their political skills and resilience have been tested. In Michigan, which has emerged as a frontline state in the struggle between liberal politics and Maga politics, Gretchen Whitmer easily won double-digit re-election in her gubernatorial race against Tudor Dixon, an election denier.

Whitmer, 51, has proven not only adept at fending off election subversion misinformation in a Midwestern state, but she’s also withstood the pressures of the kidnapping plot against her that led to the conviction last month of three anti-government plotters. “After two terms as governor, Whitmer will be well positioned to step onto the national stage,” Trippi said.

Gretchen Whitmer celebrates her re-election as Governor of Michigan alongside Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Another fertile ground for new Democratic leaders is Pennsylvania, which has also been on the front lines of the Maga wars. John Fetterman, 53, has been widely written off by conservative pundits after his televised debate in the race for a US Senate seat with his Trump-endorsed opponent Mehmet Oz, who ridiculed him for his speech impediment caused by a stroke in May that nearly killed him.

Fetterman survived all that opprobrium to frame a classic Pennsylvania story: his rise from small-town mayor to elected U.S. senator. He still has a mountain to climb in his physical recovery, but he is clearly now a fixture in national politics.

Pennsylvania has spawned other new Democratic faces to watch: Josh Shapiro, 49, became the Commonwealth’s governor-elect, successfully mobilizing voters by warning of the threat to democracy posed by his election-denying opponent.

Then there’s Summer Lee, 34, the first black woman to be sent to Congress by the state. “We fought, we built coalitions, we brought people together,” she said at her victory party.

The new generation contains a striking proportion of prominent African-American politicians. A record number of black women and men are running for office in 2022, and the impact is starting to be felt.

The Pac Collective, which aims to increase black representation in elected office, has endorsed 252 black candidates across the country this cycle. He has injected more than $1 million in support of these campaigns, with 117 wins to date.

“We are seeing a new wave of ordinary people who are bringing their lived experiences to the table and becoming decision makers in their communities by holding public office. It’s here to stay,” said Stephanie Brown James, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor to The Collective.

For James, one of the key qualities of the next generation of black leaders is that many of them are first-time candidates with no prior political experience. That goes for Wes Moore, 43, set to become Maryland’s first African-American governor, a Rhodes Scholar whose career has ranged from investment banker and television producer to head of the Robin Hood Foundation to purpose. anti-poverty nonprofit.

Summer Lee, 34, left, won congressional elections in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Summer Lee, 34, left, won congressional elections in southwestern Pennsylvania. Photography: Quinn Glabicki/Reuters

“Wes Moore, Summer Lee — they have real-world experiences that will go a long way toward the policy dialogue needed to help people move forward,” James said.

Some of the most eagerly watched black politicians fell to the polls this week, including Stacey Abrams, 48, in the race for governor of Georgia and Mandela Barnes, 35, candidate for a seat in the United States Senate in the Wisconsin. However, neither should be struck off, given the excitement they brought to their contests and the extent to which they transformed their states by increasing Democratic turnout.

Across the country, other stars are rising. Gavin Newsom found his re-election as Governor of California a breeze on Tuesday night, which bodes well as he decides to indulge in national ambitions.

Maura Healey in Massachusetts and Tina Kotek in Oregon will share the distinction of becoming their states’ first openly lesbian governors.

Newsom, Healey and Kotek are all in their 50s. But they better watch their backs – a much younger cohort is on the move.

Maxwell Frost, an Afro-Cuban progressive from Florida, was elected Tuesday night as the first Gen Z member of Congress.

He is 25 years old. Election law prohibits anyone from running for president before the age of 35 – which is pretty good for Frost, who will turn 35 in the 2032 presidential election.

‘It’s all about abortion’: How women swung the vote to the Democrats Thu, 10 Nov 2022 05:01:10 +0000

Like Republican senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, Ece Bal, 28, who works in the healthcare industry in Philadelphia, is the child of Turkish immigrants to the United States.

But on the Wednesday morning following Oz’s defeat in Pennsylvania’s midterm elections, Bal pointed to a critical difference that led her to back her opponent, Democrat John Fetterman.

“Positions on abortion are absolutely important to me,” she said. “Fetterman is very pro-choice and didn’t want Roe [vs Wade] knocked down, unlike Oz. As a young woman living in the United States, I just don’t ever want to see abortion access become restricted in the state I live in.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Pennsylvania election results indicated that Bal was not alone, as the state’s Democrats clinched victory in hotly contested Senate and gubernatorial races.

Fetterman, the brash, hoodie-wearing Democrat, won an unexpected loss to former TV doctor Oz, despite suffering a stroke early in the campaign, while Democrat Josh Shapiro won the race for governor of the state by a wide margin over Trump-backed Doug Mastriano. .

Abortion’s impact on critical midterm races surprised many pundits, who had predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the decision that enshrined the constitutional right to process, would have faded in the minds of voters since the summer. .

Yet from Michigan to Pennsylvania, exit polls and early vote counts showed women voters were more galvanized on the issue than pre-election polls suggested, with many indicating abortion came second only to voters. economic concerns.

You see a snapshot of an interactive chart. This is probably because you are offline or JavaScript is disabled in your browser.

In Pennsylvania, 35% of registered voters surveyed in the state Senate race said they were ‘angry’ at the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe vs Wade, AP data shows. VoteCast, a national survey of approximately 115,000 registered voters.

In the same race, women in the state preferred Fetterman over Oz by 53% to 45%, according to the AP’s survey of registered voters, while female graduates voted for Fetterman in Oz by 60% at 39%.

“I value my rights and those of my children,” said Susannah Bien-Gund, mother of two young boys, who had voted for Democratic candidates in the election.

“I’m relieved for Pennsylvania,” she added, referring to Fetterman’s win.

Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, a nonpartisan nonprofit, said Tuesday that voters had “rejected the false narrative that too often treats women and the issues that concern them as separate from the economy”.

“We have long said that women, who are the majority electoral bloc and a major driver of our economy, do not live their lives in silos,” Frye said in a statement. “They don’t see their economic security as separate from their ability to control their reproductive health.”

You see a snapshot of an interactive chart. This is probably because you are offline or JavaScript is disabled in your browser.

The influence of the women’s vote was also felt in other races across the country on Tuesday — as well as other statewide votes on social issues.

Democrats saw a similar trend in Michigan’s Pennsylvania, where the party won House and Senate majorities for the first time in 40 years, and also held firm in the races for governor and attorney general as well as in a tightly contested congressional district.

According to AP VoteCast data, women voted 56% to 43% for Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer against her Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, another candidate, while men voted 52% to 47%.

Supporters react as preliminary results arrive Tuesday for Michigan's Proposition 3, in which voters chose to enshrine the right to abortion in the state's constitution

Supporters react as preliminary results arrive Tuesday for Michigan’s Proposition 3, in which voters chose to enshrine the right to abortion in the state’s constitution © AP

The divide was even steeper among college-educated female respondents, 62% of whom favored Whitmer versus 37% who supported Dixon. Thirty-six percent of all registered voters polled in Michigan said they were “angry” about the cancellation of Roe vs. Wade.

Women also tipped the scales in other statewide ballot measures on Tuesday. In Michigan, California and Vermont, voters chose to enshrine the right to abortion in their state constitutions, while those in more conservative Kentucky rejected an amendment that would have blocked any right to abortion. abortion at the state level.

The better-than-expected results for Democrats have raised hopes that abortion could be the issue that will ultimately determine Senate control — especially in Georgia’s Senate runoff, which is now slated to start. December after the Republican and Democratic candidates failed to clear. the required threshold of 50 percent.

While Republicans had pointed to skyrocketing inflation and President Joe Biden‘s low approval rating ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Democratic strategists say the results have now forced them to determine which issues are most salient for the electors.

Tom Bonier, a Democratic strategist and chief executive of TargetSmart, a data and polling company, said even in September women registered to vote in significantly higher numbers than usual in states where the abortion was on the ballot.

“Democrats appear to have outperformed by the widest margins in states where we were seeing the biggest gender gaps in registration since [Roe vs Wade was overturned],” he said.

In Georgia, Carrie, a 20-something lunch-buying voter in downtown Atlanta, said she had concerns about the economy but decided to vote for Democrat Raphael Warnock and that she would do it again in the second round.

“When you go to the grocery store and things cost a little more, it doesn’t help,” she said. “But it’s all about abortion.”

Rachel Marschke, another Atlanta voter for Warnock, agreed. “Here, this election is about women’s rights in general,” she said. “I hear people talk about gun control and voting rights in general, but that’s definitely abortion.”

How Bad Inflation Can Be For Democrats, Historically Sat, 05 Nov 2022 11:30:39 +0000


Democrats are set to lose the House next week, and their Senate majority is also increasingly in jeopardy – with handicappers putting the odds of a GOP takeover at just over 50-50.

But the idea that either battle might be close is quite remarkable, historically speaking. And it’s not just because the president‘s party loses the vast majority of the midterm elections. It’s arguably even more remarkable because of inflation, which may well prove the Democrats’ loss.

We’ve already gone through the presidential party numbers and midterm results. Over the past 100 years, the opposition party has won Senate seats in 19 of 25 midterm elections. And they won House seats in 22 of the 25.

Given that Republicans only need to win one Senate seat and a handful of House seats to win back majorities, Democrats who save either would beat history pretty big. .

The odds are so inherently stacked, in fact, that the president’s party hasn’t won more than nine House seats midterm since the Civil War. And he hasn’t won more than two Senate seats in an election since 1934. It’s a very tough luge.

But perhaps the biggest reason 2022 luge is tough is inflation.

Significant spikes in inflation are relatively infrequent in the United States. But when they came, they were pretty bad for the incumbent president’s party.

Woodrow Wilson and the Democrats lost ground in the 1918 and 1920 elections when the annual inflation rate soared in the mid-teens – more than 80 House seats and 16 Senate seats, between those two elections . They also lost the White House in 1920 by a whopping 26 percentage points – still the biggest popular vote landslide of the past 200 years.

In 1942, inflation again soared to double digits, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Democrats lost 44 House seats and nine Senate seats. When it rose again in 1946 (above 18%), the party lost 55 seats in the House and 12 seats in the Senate.

The combined impact: Republicans controlled 246 seats in the House. That’s just one seat short of their largest House majority since the Great Depression.

The other elections where inflation became a major problem began in 1974.

That year, 11% inflation helped opposition Democrats win 48 House seats and four Senate seats. A smaller spike (less than 8%) in 1978 helped opposition Republicans win a more modest 15 House seats and three Senate seats. But when it lagged and rose again in 1980, Republicans won another 35 House seats and 12 Senate seats and won back the presidency – with Ronald Reagan beating Jimmy Carter by another huge margin: 18 points.

As with the inflation spikes of the late 1910s and 1940s, we were suddenly at a high point for the opposition party. Republicans did not regain control of the House, but the 53 Senate seats they controlled were their party’s most since the start of the Great Depression.

In total, the five inflation-colored midterms detailed above represent three of the eight biggest changes in the House over the past 100 years and two of the five biggest changes in the Senate.

The big caveat here is that many of these elections took place a long time ago. Inflation has been such a big story this year in part because it’s so unfamiliar to us; it has been more than four decades since we have seen such a spike in inflation. And our policy changes over time. The polarization is strong, which means that it is more difficult to gain a large number of seats, even when the environment leans strongly in that direction.

There’s also the fact that the current inflation spike is a little lower than most of the examples detailed above. We’re not talking about teenage inflation, like in the late 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s.

But we’re talking about a level of inflation that’s foreign to more than half of Americans, who weren’t born before this previous wave, and is perhaps more shocking because of it. And aside from job losses and a stock market crash, inflation is perhaps the most easily recognizable economic indicator for ordinary people.

At the very least, the combination of historically bad midterms for the presidential party and high inflation is very bad for President Biden and the Democrats. If they have a saving grace, it’s that Republicans have fielded candidates in major Senate races that voters don’t like, and the labor market remains fairly strong despite the rate of inflation. That may make it harder for voters to write off Democrats altogether.

But if they do, history tells us that shouldn’t be surprising.

]]> Democrats quietly accuse blue state governors of lowering ticket Wed, 02 Nov 2022 00:12:42 +0000
Left to right: Oregon Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Photos: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg; Jerod Harris/VoxMedia; Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With the midterm elections a week away, some Democratic operatives working on House races are already beginning to assign blame in case their party loses winnable seats: The culprit, they say, is blue state governors dragging out the rest of the ballot. .

Driving the news: Bake the political report changed his grades in favor of Republicans today in ten House districts — all in states President Biden has won by 15 points or more in 2020.

  • The districts are in New York (three), California (three), Illinois (two), New Jersey (one), and Oregon (one).
  • Some of those seats, like New York’s 25th district and California’s 26th district, are in deep blue territory but have attracted spending from both sides in recent weeks.

What we mean: “There is a direct correlation between the performance of [New York Gov.] Kathy Hochul and [California Gov.] Gavin Newsom and the effect it has on House candidates,” said A Democratic strategist working on House campaigns told Axios.

  • “I think the Republicans notice it too, especially in New York. They don’t even run ads with Pelosi and Biden anymore. They run ads with Kathy Hochul,” the strategist added. “Unless Hochul and Newsom get it back, we’re going to lose seats in the House.”
  • Newsom has been criticized for focusing more on his national aspirations than his safe re-election in California, including battling Republican governors in Florida and Texas.
  • The strategist also cited Oregon Gov. Kate Brown — who Morning Consult polls show is the nation’s most unpopular governor — as another ticket drag in a state where Democrats have struggled. .

Enlarge: Hochul’s campaign has come under particular scrutiny as polls show her top GOP representative, Lee Zeldin, in single digits in a state where Democrats routinely win by wide margins. Strategists say his apparent unpreparedness for a highly competitive campaign had a clear downvoting effect.

  • “I think they were caught off guard. Everyone I talk to, they’re like what the fuck is going on?” A New York-based Democratic strategist working on House campaigns told Axios, calling her an “absent candidate” until recent signs of her vulnerability emerged.
  • Another New York-based Democratic strategist said Hochul’s “lackluster” campaign was “dragging everyone down.”
  • “Instead of bombing Zeldin earlier this summer…they let it hang around and define itself and the race and now the top contenders are facing the consequences,” the strategist said.

What they say : Alyssa Cass, communications director for Rep. Pat Ryan’s (DN.Y.) campaign, said Hochul, a Buffalo native, has done well in upstate districts like Ryan’s, but “you don’t can’t take your eyes off the ball when it’s just turned base in New York – especially this year.”

  • “Republicans look stronger than we’re used to seeing them in places like New York State and even New York City,” Cass said, calling on Hochul to do more to energize. grassroots voters there.

The other side: Hochul’s campaign pointed to a memo from last week that showed the governor held more than 65 campaign events during the general election, including 47 in September and October.

  • A New York-based strategist not affiliated with Hochul’s campaign said it was “100% wrong” to blame her for the vulnerability of New York Democrats, telling Axios: “She spends royal ransom to help people , and I’m not sure what else she would have done.”
  • The strategist blamed only a disastrous redistricting process, in which Democrats’ attempt to herd Republicans into a handful of seats backfired when a judge blocked the map and appointed a mapmaker who drew lines of much more competitive district.
  • “They were so greedy in redrawing and were so egregious in violating the Constitution that the court had to remove the lines and now we have these ungerrymandered lines.”

A spokesperson for Newsom responded to Axios’ request for comment by sending a screenshot of the California governor’s commanding lead in the FiveThirtyEight poll average.

  • A spokesperson for Brown did not respond to a request for comment.

UGA College Republicans and Young Democrats Big Debate Ahead of Nov. 8 Election | Election Sat, 29 Oct 2022 23:00:00 +0000

Members of the University of Georgia Chapters of Academic Republicans and Young Democrats spoke at the UGA Chapel for their big debate Wednesday night. The two groups discussed various political issues, as polls close in less than two weeks.

This year’s debate was organized by Georgia Political Review, with Matthew Li, GPR’s chief operating officer, and Daniel Klein, editor-in-chief, as moderators.

University Republicans at UGA were represented by Gideon Fernald, Noah Ring and Julianna Jurkiewicz. The UGA Young Democrats were represented by Lola Murti, Dylan Woolsey and Zach Livsey.

Before the debate, GPR editor Caroline Schneider explained the rules of the event.

Schneider asked that there be no name-calling, inappropriate language, interruptions or aggressive behavior from debaters. Audiences were asked to avoid applause and cheering except after debater introductions and not before closing statements or intermission.

The debate covered seven topics, including foreign policy, the economy, education, reproductive justice, public health and healthcare, the environment and social policy.

Both sides had two minutes for opening and closing statements and time to respond to general and specific questions on each topic. The opposing party has one minute to rebut.

In the College Republicans opening statement, Noah Ring criticized President Biden, spoke of high inflation and bureaucrats in Washington.

“The divide between our two sides is very clear: who’s smarter, who can make a better choice about how you live your life,” Ring said. “As Republicans who believe in limited government, in personal responsibility, believe that when you reduce the role of the federal government in your life, your life will improve.”

Young Democrats then began their discussion by accusing Republicans of passing laws that hurt racial minorities, the working class and women.

“We stand for equality. We stand for racial justice, educational opportunity, the right to health care and compassion,” Murti said. “We support politicians who agree with these values ​​and show it through concrete policies.”

College Republicans and Young Democrats both said they supported Taiwan’s defense, access to contraceptives and the severity of the opioid epidemic, but disagreed on all elements of the issues. . There has also been much debate about inflation and access to abortion.

Academic Republicans supported a pro-life stance and Julianna Jurkiewicz said the biggest victory was the Dobbs v. Jackson decision (debate 0:21) returning power to the states, as opposed to the federal government. Jurkiewicz also said the organization supports a six-week abortion ban with exceptions.

Young Democrat Lola Murti disagreed and said 61% of Americans think abortion should be legal because most of the country is pro-choice. Murti also said 25% of women have to travel more than 250 miles to get to the nearest abortion clinic.

“That doesn’t mean equal access for women across the country,” Murti said. “We have a right to privacy, which means that our transportation and our means of getting to an abortion clinic should not be tracked and the lack of bodily autonomy in that choice is not something that we support at all.”

On the subject of inflation, academic Republicans have disapproved of Biden’s efforts, calling the Inflation Reduction Act “the Expanding Inflation Act.” They focused on raising taxes as Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

Young Democrats have criticized big business. Dylan Woolsey quoted the Economic Policy Institute and said that since COVID-19, 54% of price increases go to corporate profits.

When asked how to convince voters ahead of the upcoming Nov. 8 election that Georgia’s economy would be better off under Stacey Abrams, the Young Democrats said that if Stacey Abrams is elected, the $6.5 billion budget surplus dollars would be used to increase economic development.

“What Brian Kemp and the Republics do is just leave things as they are,” Woolsey said. “I don’t know if you know that with inflation, if you just keep your money and don’t spend it, it’s actually going to decrease its value.”

The debate ended with closing remarks, with each side encouraging the audience to vote.

“Debate is the catalyst that drives change in our beloved nation and the foundation upon which political progress is built,” said College Republican Gideon Fernald. “Participating in this process is a privilege that we have shared with all of you here tonight.”

Democrats seize on GOP plans for Social Security and Medicare Thu, 27 Oct 2022 00:12:25 +0000

Illustration: Aida Amer/Axios

In Hail Mary’s attempt to tarnish Republican credibility on the economy, Democrats step up attacks related to Social Security and Medicare in a final midterm period dominated by signs of a wave growing red.

Why is this important: The strategic shift comes after Democrats spent most of the summer and early fall campaigning on a heavily abortion-focused message that polls show is now falling flat. against issues such as inflation.

  • “Democrats don’t have a unified economic message; it just doesn’t exist. There’s no agenda,” said a Democratic strategist working on House campaigns.
  • “In [the] the absence of saying, ‘This is what we stand for’… your only choice is to attack what the other has.”

Driving the news: In a speech to the Democratic National Committee on Monday, President Biden has used the phrase “Social Security and Medicare” 11 times – seizing on the report that some Republicans want to use the debt ceiling to extract entitlement cuts.

In the wings: The The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent House campaigns test messages from Data for Progress showing that Social Security “is one of the most tested issues for Democrats,” according to emails shared with Axios .

  • Other memos on drug pricing, abortion, and domestic manufacturing do not contain such statements about the importance of these messages. A memo on immigration notes that even the most effective statements “were all below average messages compared to other topics we tested.”
  • “We’ve been pushing this issue, I think, since July,” McKenzie Wilson, spokesperson for Data for Progress, told Axios. She said it’s ‘slightly frustrating’ that rights are only now prominently featured in messages from Democrats: ‘I wish this had been picked up sooner, but I’m glad the campaigns are doing it now .”
  • The Democratic strategist working on House campaigns told Axios, “I’ve never said the word ‘Social Security’ in a press release, in a statement, before three… [or] four weeks ago.”

Enlarge: Last month’s rollout by House Republicans of the “Pledge to America,” which includes a vague pledge to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare,” was an inflection point. , according to Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.).

  • Protecting rights has been a “key theme” in her campaign, Craig told Axios, but post-deployment she “definitely intensified that message that we should believe Republicans when they tell us what they’re going to do.” TO DO”.
  • Rep. Dan Kildee’s (D-Mich.) campaign said they and Democratic groups collectively ran half a dozen rights-focused ads in his swing district in October alone.
  • Democrats also pointed out Senate GOP campaign leader Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) platform, which proposes ending all federal laws after five years, and the Republican Review Committee’s budget proposal, which suggests raising the eligibility ages for health insurance and social security.

Between the lines: Democrats’ economic messages have largely focused on their legislative record — emphasizing their achievements, such as the Cut Inflation Act, rather than offering a clear, forward-looking platform .

  • Just days ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a rare glimpse into the Democrats’ policy agenda if they retain a majority.
  • “Our message is that we’re going to build on what we’ve already done,” Kildee told Axios, pushing back against the notion that voters have left the Democrats’ economic vision guessing.

Data: Quorum. Note: Data collected daily in digital form from official press releases, newsletters, speaking statements and social media posts and analyzed weekly. Graphic: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

By the numbers: Mentions by congressional Democrats of inflation, drug prices, Social Security and Medicare in official communications rose in August as Congress voted on the Health Care Reduction Act. inflation, according to Quorum data.

  • The legislation included a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, which was heralded by Democrats as a major victory.
  • After the bill passed, mentions of the three problem areas dropped precipitously. But — unlike the other issues — references to Social Security and Medicare began to rise again in October, suggesting that Democrats have rallied around that as their most powerful closing message.

The other side: Some Republicans are quick to refute any notion that they want to cut entitlement benefits.

  • In a statement to Axios, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), one of the most vulnerable House Republicans, hit back at a new announcement from Democrat Tony Vargas accusing him of supporting the cuts.
  • “This is the fourth election they’ve tried this on me and voters don’t believe them,” Bacon said. “They throw everything they can [to] see what sticks. They wade. I’ve always been dedicated to saving Social Security and Medicare.”
WATCH: New York Mayor Eric Adams denies Democrats have been ‘too much awake’ Sat, 22 Oct 2022 20:14:00 +0000

NOTNew York City Mayor Eric Adams has ignored claims that the Democratic Party has become “too wide awake” – insisting instead that the loud voices of the privileged few often seem to drown out the pragmatists in the party.

“No, on the contrary, I believe that grassroots Democrats, we are radically practical. And the problem is that we try to highlight those who are on the extremes of both parties,” Adams said when he was in a hurry. by CNN’s Chris Wallace if his party was too woke and too left-wing.

Adams has at times been outspoken when deviating from Democratic orthodoxy, at times chastising those on the left who supported funding the police movement and portraying himself as a pragmatic progressive. He made his remarks during an appearance on HBO Max’s Who talks to Chris Wallace.


New York Mayor Eric Adams attends a screening of the film “Equiano’s Story,” Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in the Trusteeship Room at United Nations Headquarters.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The mayor has already distanced himself from being called an “anti-revival Democrat,” but he also blamed the spike in crime on policies championed by some corners of the left, a point of view. frequent friction for him with progressives.

In a nod to speculation of a red wave to come in the midterm elections, Wallace pressed Adams on whether Democrats should embark on a course correction if they take a bruise at the polls .

“We already have the right course, the right correction. I think it is truly unfortunate that these radically pragmatic Democrats like me, their voices are not allowed to be heard. Their voices do not pierce the volume of politics in this And we listen to those on the extremes instead,” Adams said.


Adams recounted his experience in the Big Apple as evidence that ordinary people largely eschew political extremes.

“When I move around New York City in America, they’re more in tune with the philosophies and beliefs about how we have a country that’s going to take care of everyday workers and make sure we’re protected New Yorkers,” the mayor said. said.

Tim Ryan asks why Democrats ‘don’t smell blood’ and helps him in Ohio Wed, 19 Oct 2022 22:43:05 +0000


National Democrats are praising their U.S. Senate nominee in Ohio, praising Rep. Tim Ryan’s spirited debate performances, quirky TV ads, aggressive campaign schedule and strong fundraising.

But they aren’t spending a lot of money on his run – prompting Ryan and his allies to complain that National Party strategists involved in funding decisions are falling short to adequately fund his unexpectedly competitive campaign against Republican JD Vance for a seat the GOP hopes to retain. in November.

“National Democrats are notorious for not making very good policy decisions over the years,” Ryan said in an interview with The Washington Post. “There’s frustration among rank-and-file Democrats that the leadership doesn’t quite understand where we want this party to be.”

In the final weeks of the midterms, super PACs and other bipartisan-aligned outside groups are forced to make tough decisions about where to spend their money on TV ads and other advocacy to boost preferred candidates. The considerations are particularly complex this fall, with Democrats defending a narrow Senate majority in a landscape that features several close races in expensive states.

Ryan said his campaign has shown Democrats can still appeal to working-class voters who turned away from the party in recent elections, and questioned why Democratic leaders “don’t smell of blood” and come in the state to help defeat Vance.

“We have 350,000 donors,” Ryan said. “It’s the people who are frustrated.”

Vance and Ryan won their respective nominations on May 3, and since then Ryan-aligned groups have been spent significantly more than Vance-aligned groups, according to data from AdImpact, which tracks such spending. The Senate Majority PAC, the main outside Democratic spending group for Senate races, hasn’t spent any money in Ohio, though several other organizations have collectively spent seven figures on Ryan’s behalf, the data shows. .

But a flood of outside Republican money has brought the two sides into a roughly even overall spending fight, with the campaign’s own advertising investments taken into account. Ryan’s campaign, which significantly outpaced Vance’s in fundraising, spent or booked far more than Vance, according to AdImpact data.

The majority of outside GOP spending comes from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), which has spent or earmarked about $30 million so far of the ballot, according to data from AdImpact. For Republicans who can ill afford to give up a seat they control as they seek a Senate majority, there is a party-wide agreement they must win in Ohio.

As races funded by major Democratic groups tighten, Ryan and his allies said the race in Ohio presented a real opportunity to overthrow a Senate seat held by Republicans. They expressed concern that the party’s recent history of losses in the state is preventing the national party from seizing a chance of overthrow.

Ryan’s allies pointed to Senate contests in North Carolina and Wisconsin where the Senate Majority PAC spent $15 million and $17 million respectfully. These races are also pick-up opportunities with polls showing equally competitive competitions. Another pick-up opportunity for Democrats is Pennsylvania, where the Senate Majority PAC has contributed $42 million. The polls show the Democratic candidate in the lead.

Ryan’s campaign manager David Chase recently voiced his concern on social media. “@TimRyan defended his lead,” Chase wrote. “PA is now the only D to pick up the polls better than us.”

JB Poersch, who leads the Senate Majority PAC, said in a statement that Ryan was “running a remarkably strong campaign” and “putting Republicans on the defense.”

He added that the committee’s spending plan remains fluid. “We will continue to make strategic and effective decisions that put us in the best possible position to accomplish our mission: to defend our Democratic majority in the Senate.”

For many Democrats, Ohio represents something of a trap, a state of Lucy and football where the party has tried time and again to win in recent years, only to fail. Hillary Clinton lost about eight percentage points there in 2016. Joe Biden lost Ohio by a similar margin in 2020, despite a last-minute push that included a whistle-stop train tour that started in the state.

Although Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) released what the party considers an impressive streak of victories in the state, other Democrats were unable to replicate his formula. Making matters more complicated for Ryan, this year’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Nan Whaley is voting far behind – suggesting that to win Ryan would need GOP voters to split their vote.

“Ohio is the battleground of the past,” said North Carolina-based Democratic strategist Morgan Jackson. He argued that North Carolina shows a better trend line for Democrats as the electorate grows and adds more college-educated voters who tend to support Democrats. “Every year, North Carolina gets a little bluer.”

Beasley’s campaign noted that Donald Trump won North Carolina by less than two points, a display that marked his narrowest margin of victory of any state he wore, and pointed to Beasley’s previous victories at statewide in court races. Barnes’ campaign pointed to some public polls showing his race is tied there and argued he has the ability to excite voters who typically don’t show up midterm.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who chairs the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, called Ryan an “absolutely phenomenal candidate” who “needs the resources,” in a recent interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who told him. pushed to explain why the national party is not putting more money into the race.

Greg Schultz, an Ohio native who led Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, said Ohio has “broken many people’s hearts many, many times.” Still, he argued there was an opportunity for Democrats in the race. Schultz said it would be helpful if a Democratic group “saturation redeemed” Ohio TV ads with contrast points. This would allow Ryan to redirect his resources to all the positive publicity.

Vance won Trump’s endorsement in a crowded GOP field in the spring. But he struggled over the summer to consolidate support and remained bruised by ads funded by GOP rivals in the primary that showed him making negative comments about Trump in the past. Before moving on to the former president, Vance had described himself as a “never Trump” and said Trump’s plans ranged “from the immoral to the absurd.” Vance’s team said they had repaired the cracks in the primary and were confident Trump supporters would come out.

Not helping Ryan sends a broader message that Democrats are abandoning the state, some party members say. “I’m afraid the Democrats in Washington are sending a signal to the Republicans, that if they come in droves and attack a Democrat, the Democrats leave,” said David Pepper, former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. .

Ryan’s not-so-subtle demands for more outside help from Democrats could threaten to undermine one of his candidacy’s key strengths: his independence from the Democratic Party.

Monday night, during the second and final Ohio Senate debate, Vance attacked him for his pleas. “The guy who’s subordinate to the national party is Tim Ryan, who begged these guys to get into this race and save him from the campaign he’s running,” Vance said during the debate.

Ryan later countered that Republicans had put millions behind Vance. “JD, what do you think they want for this?” They want your loyalty.