Jared Gans reports at The Hill: “The public’s party preferences were almost evenly split in 2022 after years of Democrats having a slight advantage among U.S. adults….A Gallup poll released on Thursday found that 45 percent of adults consider themselves Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while 44 percent consider themselves Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents….The Democratic Party has led the GOP in the poll by at least three points since 2011, when the two parties were tied. Gallup found a plurality of adults, 41 percent, identify as independents. Only 28 percent identify as Democrats and 28 percent identify as Republicans….Gallup said in its analysis that the increase in independent identification seems to have been driven by members of Generation X and millennials identifying as such. About half of the millennials surveyed and more than 40 percent of Generation X said they identify as independents, while less than a third of older generations said the same….The results were based on 10,736 U.S. adults from 11 separate polls from January to December 2022. The margin of error was plus or minus 1 percentage point.”
What’s the matter with Florida (Democrats)? Some insights from “Florida Democratic Party chair quits after disastrous midterms” by Gary Fineout and Matt Dixon at Politico: “Diaz’s departure came after Florida Democrats suffering some of their worst losses ever, including the re-election of Gov. Ron DeSantis by 19 points over Charlie Crist, the election of a supermajority in the Florida Legislature and the flipping of several counties including once-reliable blue Miami-Dade County….“During my tenure, I hoped to address these issues, and build a united party without silos, focused exclusively on our purpose- to elect Democrats,” Diaz wrote in his statement, first reported by the Florida Phoenix. “Instead, I found obstacles to securing the resources and a long-standing, systemic and deeply entrenched culture resistant to change; one where individual agendas are more important than team; where self-interest dominates and bureaucracies focus on self-preservation.”….There were also signs of dissatisfaction heading into the crucial 2022 elections, with many Democrats privately whispering that Diaz appeared “missing in action” as the Republicans caught — and then zoomed past Democrats in voter registration numbers….State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) said “there is close to no Democratic Party in Florida,” which is what led her to launch her own voter registration and organizing group, People Power for Florida. “I wasn’t going to wait for the party to step up and I’m glad I didn’t. We — as individual Democrats — are the party, and we have to get back to basics and think long term if we’re going to win this state for everyday people.”….Diaz’s lengthy missive announcing his resignation savaged national Democratic organizations that raised millions from Florida donors but did not spend that money in the state.”
Fineout and Dixon continue, “He also took aim at legislative campaign organizations, including the one run by Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book for focusing “exclusively” on their candidates and not helping the party….It is impossible to build or ‘rebuild’ an organization without resources,” Diaz wrote. “Huge sums of money continue to be outside the control of the FDP. When reflecting on our disappointments during the past 20 years, one must follow the money. Who received the investments? What was the return on these investments?” ….During the 2018 midterms, for example, national Democratic groups spent nearly $60 million in Florida, a number that dropped to under $2 million in 2022….Diaz also contended that the party did not have an effective message to voters and had difficulty finding volunteers to help the party: “We have plenty of social media activists, not roll-up-your-sleeves volunteers. We communicate virtually, not personally.”….On messaging he wrote: “Campaigns are about winning and winning requires hard work and resources. No amount of hard work or resources can overcome a bad message, a message that fails to connect with people where they are. The point of messaging is to win votes. You do that by not prompting ideological polarization.”….“While the Florida Democrats seem to be in perpetual rebuilding mode, after a tough series of election cycles, it was time for a change in chair,” Book said. ”But to regain what has been lost, the changes cannot being or end there — and Manny Diaz cannot be used as a scapegoat for what has transpired….One person didn’t get us into this mess and one person can’t get us out,” she said.”
From “Biden’s sudden centrist push on immigration‘ by Stef W. Knight at Axios: “Zoom in: The administration deployed a White House address and a visit to El Paso, all while House Republicans readied for investigations into the administration’s handling of the border.
- “I think on this issue, he is shifting to where a lot of us have been wanting him to go. He has shifted to the center,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, a moderate border Democrat from Texas, told Axios following his trip to the El Paso border with Biden.
- Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who also accompanied the president to the border in her district, agreed last week signaled a shift in strategy.
- Escobar told Axios she thinks it is the right approach and that some of her more concerned colleagues are coming around.
Between the lines: Immigration has long been a political minefield — and the administrationhas struggled to politically address the record numbers of border crossings.
- The right accuses Biden of having “open border” policies and rhetoric.
- Left-wing immigration activists decry the administration’s use of Title 42, expedited dockets for asylum seekers, for-profit detention spaces and restricted access to asylum.
….The big picture: Biden embraced many of the priorities of progressive immigration advocates during the 2020 presidential election.
- He made sweeping promises to end several Trump policies, pursue legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and end for-profit immigrant detention.
- Since taking office, he has followed through on many of those goals and has repeatedly called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
- But a significant uptick in border crossings, a shift in migrant nationalities and vast logistical issues faced by federal agencies as well as border states have helped push him to make a more public stance on his new enforcement policies on the border ahead of 2024.
The bottom line: Some see a change but aren’t convinced the new policies are enough.”