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Democrats Keep Winning

From Simon Rosenberg: "MAGA is a failed politics. It lost in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023, and is losing 2024. And this struggle Republicans have seen could get worse for them in the coming months. Their nominee is far weaker than 2020. He is campaigning from the court house not the White House this time." And Democrats? They just keep winning.
Published:February 14, 2024

*Published with the generous permission of Simon Rosenberg. Read more of his important work on his Hopium substack.

By Simon Rosenberg

In March of last year I launched Hopium Chronicles and community with a memo, Get to 55, which argued that because of MAGA’s escalating extremism more would be possible for us in this electoral cycle. That we needed to go big and shoot to get to 55% of the national vote in November. That our strategy in 2024 should be one of growth and expansion, and taking away geographic and demographic terrain from them. That as Biden went big legislatively in 2021 and 2022, we needed to go big politically in 2023 and 2024 and make this election a clear repudiation of MAGA, which is the only way MAGA will start to lose its dark grip on the GOP - something that would be good for us, for Republicans, for the country.

In the memo I lay out some ideas about how we could grow our coalition and get to 55 but “getting to 55” was always really about adopting an offensive mindset, one based on this basic idea we have:

Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. The Democratic Party is strong and winning elections across the US. And they have Trump, and MAGA and deserve to lose as no other group of political leaders have ever deserved to lose in our history

2022 had been a very good election for us. In the aftermath of Dobbs we over-performed our 2020 results in 5 House special elections by an average of 7 points. We blew it out in Kansas. Our candidates dramatically out-raised theirs.. Voter registration across the US turned more Democratic. In almost every state the early vote was better for us than 2018 and 2020, a remarkable thing given how much better we did in those elections. Then the election came, and despite high inflation, low Biden approval and a media spitting red wave every day we outperformed 2020 in AZ, CO, GA, MI, MN, NH, PA. We got to 59% in CO, 57% in PA, 55% in MI, 54% in NH. We picked up a Senate seat, state legislative chambers, governorships. Yes, we lost the House but we kept it close enough to deny Republicans ideological control and make it far more likely we win it back this year. Parties in power almost always lose mid-terms, off-year elections. Not this time - we gained ground all across the country, and MAGA had its third disappointing election in a row. We over-performed and won. They struggled.

I started Hopium last March because I thought that we could do something historic in this cycle and get to 55 together. And look at what we’ve done since last March. We took away a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat with 56% of the vote, ending right-wing ideological control of the court in one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. We took away Colorado Springs and Jacksonville, two of the largest Republican held cities in the country. We took away the six week abortion ban in Ohio, getting 57% of the vote there in two elections. We took away the Virginia House, and ended the fantasy that the 15 week abortion could somehow give them an escape hatch from ending Roe. Governor Beshear grew his margin in Kentucky, we gained seats in the New Jersey legislature, and won cities, city council races and school board races all across the US. In 2023, like 2022, we over-performed and won. And they struggled.

And now this same basic dynamic - over-performing and struggling - is showing up in 2024 now too. We took away a critical state House seat in Florida last month, HD-35, Tom Keen.

We took away NY-3 last night, turning an 8 point loss in 2022 to a 8 point win, and outperformed public polls, as we’ve been doing repeatedly since Dobbs. Joe Biden had a higher margin of victory in NH than Trump as a write-in candidate, and got more votes than Trump in Nevada. Our party committees and candidates are out-raising Republicans across the US, as we did in 2022. And look at them. Turnout in their Iowa Caucus was anemic despite $100m spent and lots of candidate time. Trump only received 56,000 votes of the 750,000 registered Republicans there - big yikes stuff. The heir apparent, DeSantis, flamed out, spectacularly. Trump underperformed public polls in NH by 10-15 points. Polling in these early states showed a very large number of Republicans very worried about Trump and willing to vote for Biden. The RNC is broke, and broken. State Republican Parties in the battlegrounds have atrophied under MAGA extremist leadership. Dozens of prominent Republican Party leaders in the states have been indicted for trying to overturn the 2020 election, many more are under investigation. GOP Party Chairs in Arizona and Florida just resigned due to epic scandals. Ugly MAGA candidates are winning primaries again. They tossed their Speaker. The new one is a coward and a traitorous fool. Trump’s putting his family in charge of the RNC. We keep over-performing and winning. They keep struggling.

MAGA is a failed politics. It lost in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023, and is losing 2024. And this struggle Republicans have seen could get worse for them in the coming months. Their nominee is far weaker than 2020. He is campaigning from the court house not the White House this time. He is far more degraded, extreme, dangerous. His performance on the stump more unhinged, erratic, distributing. Because of his decline and uncontrolled impulsivity, he is making huge traditional political errors - like coming out against the ACA - that cause candidates to lose elections all the time.

Additionally, there are at least seven things voters will come to learn about Trump they didn’t know in 2020 when he lost. He raped E. Jean Carroll in a department store dressing room.

He and his family committed one of the largest financial frauds in American history. He led an insurrection against the United States, tried to end American democracy for all time and has promised to finish the job if he gains control of the Oval Office. He stole America’s secrets, lied to the FBI about it and shared these secrets with others. He and his family have corruptly taken more money from foreign governments while in and running for office than any family in American history. More than any other person in America, Trump is responsible for ending Roe and taking away the rights and freedoms of more than half the population. He has committed to side with Putin and end the Western alliance. I just don’t know how this horrible, serial betrayer of our country could possibly overcome all this to mount a serious campaign for the Presidency.

Even more worrisome for Republicans, in recent months, due to the success of the Biden Presidency, their central attacks against him have evaporated. The economy is strong not in recession. Inflation is down, prices are falling, real wages making enormous gains. There is no crime wave - murder rates and violent crime rates are down across the US. There is no war on energy - all forms of domestic energy - renewables, oil, gas - broke records in 2023.

Which left them with the border and immigration, a place they choose to go all in, largely because it was all that was left for them. And their cowardly and foolish Speaker, pushed by their diminished and desperate leader, blew that one too last week, turning a political winner into a huge political loser, as we saw last night in NY-3. They’ve got nothing left to run on now. And if they think their guy, as bat shit crazy and corrupt as he is, is going to win a debate about who is more fit to lead us, go for it my MAGA brothers and sisters. Go. For. It.
Where they’ve ended up now, this once proud party of Lincoln and Reagan, is in this ridiculous place, much further from the electorate than 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023:

They want Putin to win, the West to lose. The border to be in chaos, and migrants to keep flowing into the country. The economy to crash. Women, people of color to lose more freedoms and rights. The planet to warm faster. 10 year olds to carry their rapist's baby to term, and for more women to die on an operating room table. Tens of millions to lose their health insurance. More dead kids in schools. Verified rapists in positions of authority. A restoration of pre-Civil Rights era white supremacy. Big tax cuts for their donors, higher deficits and less for everyone else. Books banned across the US. Seniors to pay more for insulin and prescription drugs. Foreign governments free to pollute our daily discourse and harass our citizens. Teenagers to work night shifts in meat packing plants and not go to school. The minimum wage to stay at $7.25. Mass arrests and mass deportations of immigrants long settled in the US. Insurrectionists to get pardoned. To end American democracy for all time.

I think we are going to win the Presidential election in November. We should flip the House, and if we work really hard we should keep the Senate. The Democratic Party is a force for good in America and the world, Joe Biden is a good President and we are far better off today.

We have a very strong case for re-election and the President will be laying out his agenda for his second term in the coming weeks. We keep winning elections of all kinds, all across the country, over many years now. And they are the worst group of political leaders our history. No one has deserved to get their asses kicked more than these cowardly betrayers of everything that has made America great. We should keep winning, and they should keep struggling.

Which is why we are here at Hopium, why we keep doing the work, making our calls and texts, writing our postcards, canvassing till our knuckles are worn, getting smarter, working our networks with the good news about Joe Biden and this great and historic party we are part of. But you know that we will only win, only get to 55, *if* we do the work this year. So celebrate friends. This was a big win. A big one. Savor it, and take a few days off. Rest up. If you have the itch today, and need to do a bit more, donate to Biden-Harris, join the campaign. It’s the big one this year, one we all have to make our highest priority. Or give to Anderson Clayton and the North Carolina Dems, our most important 2024 Presidential expansion state. North Carolina is another thing we are going to take away from them this year. But get some rest we have many many months of hard work ahead of us.

Thank you for being part of this incredible and inspiring community of proud patriots and info warriors working tirelessly to ensure that our freedoms and democracy don’t slip away. We played a big role in Suozzi’s win last night, as we did in Orlando, in Virginia, in Ohio, in Jacksonville and in Wisconsin. This is the most rewarding political project I’ve ever been part of, and I am proud, honored, humbled to be in this historic fight with all of you.

Keep working hard all, and congratulations again - Simon