washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Adriana Gomes Licon and Jonathan J. Cooper of Associated press report that “Biden’s rightward shift on immigration angers advocates. But it’s resonating with many Democrats,” and explain: “In his 2020 campaign, Joe Biden vowed to undo former President Donald Trump ’s immigration policies, specifically expressing frustration with a policy setting limits on the number of asylum seekers accepted each day at the southern border….This year, Biden backed a Senate proposal that would have set daily limits on border crossings — and Democrats are planning to campaign to reelect him by emphasizing that Republicans caused the deal to collapse….Democrats are reframing the immigration debate, going from embracing more welcoming policies in response to the Trump administration’s programs at the border — including its separation of hundreds of immigrant children from their parents — to declaring that they can get tough on border security and adopt policies long sought by Republicans. Biden’s rhetorical shift risks straining his support from immigrants and their advocates who campaigned for him in 2020, but it appears to be working for Democrats after they won a special election in New York….“We need to lean into this and not just on border security, but, yes, tough border security coupled with increased legal pathways,” said Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist….Democrat Tom Suozzi, who won Tuesday’s special election in New York for the House seat once held by ousted Republican Rep. George Santos, ran ads calling for more border security and featuring an interview he did on Fox News in which he supported U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement….His district includes parts of Queens, a diverse New York borough that has received thousands of migrants bused from the border.” However, note the authors, “More than 130 organizations from around the country sent a letter to Biden opposing the deal and the tougher standards for asylum. Some immigration activists expressed frustration with Biden and a lack of enthusiasm to go knock on doors for him at a recent gathering of more than a dozen advocacy groups in Arizona.”

Licon and Cooper continue, “Julián Castro, the former San Antonio mayor and secretary of housing and urban development who ran against Biden for the presidential nomination in 2020, suggested Biden and his allies were adopting the terms of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell….“Democrats, you’re never going to be cruel enough, ‘tough’ enough, anti-immigrant enough or able to deport your way to the negotiating table with McConnell and MAGA,” Castro said. “Stop playing their game.”….The border proposal would have included for the first time a right to counsel for vulnerable asylum seekers such as children 13 and younger and would have raised the cap on immigrant visas available by 250,000 over the next five years. The National Border Patrol Council and the Chamber of Commerce supported it….“The President stands with the overwhelming majority of Americans who demand action from Washington to address our long-broken immigration system,” Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement. “MAGA Republicans, led by Donald Trump, have opted to abdicate their responsibilities so they can demonize immigrants to score political points.”….Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat and the only Hispanic woman in the upper chamber, said her constituents want to see an “orderly process at the border.” She said they still demand broad immigration reforms that legalize the status of “Dreamers” and others who only have temporary protections from deportation. “We can work on a broken immigration system but also secure our border,” Cortez Masto said in an interview. “Many of the Nevadans that I talked to, including in the Latino community, get that because they want safe communities. They understand that. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to continue to work on fixing this broken immigration system.” Cortez Masto said she hopes that after the collapse of the border deal, the public sees that Republicans were not looking for solutions….Gabriel Aldebot, a 66-year-old union electrician in Las Vegas, said he felt lawmakers must secure the border, and a compromise that includes more resources for enforcement is the best way to do it….“The more bipartisan, the more it’ll seem like it’s fair to people,” Aldebot said after voting for Biden in Nevada’s Democratic primary.”

Rehan Mirza explores “How AI deepfakes threaten the 2024 elections” at Jounalist’s Resource: “Deepfakes already have affected other elections around the globe. In recent elections in Slovakia, for example, AI-generated audio recordings circulated on Facebook, impersonating a liberal candidate discussing plans to raise alcohol prices and rig the election. During the February 2023 Nigerian elections,an AI-manipulated audio clip falsely implicated a presidential candidate in plans to manipulate ballots. With elections this year in over 50 countries involving half the globe’s population, there are fears deepfakes could seriously undermine their integrity…. Media outlets including the BBC and the New York Times sounded the alarm on deepfakes as far back as 2018. However, in past elections, including the 2022 U.S. midterms, the technology did not produce believable fakes and was not accessible enough, in terms of both affordability and ease of use, to be “weaponized for political disinformation.” Instead, those looking to manipulate media narratives relied on simpler and cheaper ways to spread disinformation, including mislabeling or misrepresenting authentic videos, text-based disinformation campaigns, or just plain old lying on air.…As deepfakes continually improve in sophistication and accessibility, they will increasingly contribute to the deluge of informational detritus. They’re already convincing. Last month, The New York Times published an online test inviting readers to look at 10 images and try to identify which were real and which were generated by AI, demonstrating first-hand the difficulty of differentiating between real and AI-generated images. This was supported by multiple academic studies, which found that “faces of white people created by AI systems were perceived as more realistic than genuine photographs,” New York Times reporter Stuart A. Thompson explained….Listening to the audio clip of the fake robocall that targeted New Hampshire voters, it is difficult to distinguish from Biden’s real voice.”

“The media narrative is grim for president Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats,” Susan Milligan writes in “Democrats Are Trailing Everywhere But at the Ballot Box: Democrats aren’t getting a lot of encouraging news from 2024 opinion polls these days. But elections are painting a much different picture” at U.S. News: “Biden’s too old and his mental acuity is questionable, sayeth the pundits and the polls. Democratic base voters, particularly Black voters, are disenchanted with the president, leading a generally cranky Democratic rank-and-file to stay home this November….Actual elections, however, paint a much different picture. Democrats scored a big win in New York on Tuesday, and the numbers were extremely encouraging for the party. Not only did Democrats add a seat to their caucus in Washington, but it wasn’t even close: Tom Suozzi, a former House member who reclaimed his old job, beat Republican Mazi Pilip by 8 percentage points – a 16-point swing from 15 months ago, when former GOP Rep. George Santos took the district by 8 percentage points….Across the country, Democrats are winning special elections and overperforming in elections they have predictably lost. And it’s fueling optimism among Democrats looking at a challenging election year for both the White House and Congress….”Polls don’t vote. People vote. And that’s what’s been happening,” says Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, a veteran lawmaker from Massachusetts who has served in both the minority and the majority. Despite what the polls say, “people have been voting, and they’ve been voting Democratic. I feel really good about November – and not just about the president. I feel really good about us taking back the House.”….Experts caution that a special election win in New York – particularly a district Biden won in 2020, albeit when the district was drawn to be more Democratic-friendly – does not a national movement make. The president still has abysmally low approval ratings, and national and battleground state polls show him in a tight race with his likely fall opponent, former President Donald Trump.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.