washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

In “Biden campaign launches national strategy to reach Latino voters,” Maddie Gannon observes at NY1 News: “This year, an estimated more than 36 million Latino voters will be eligible to cast a ballot in the general election, according to the Pew Research Center, an increase of nearly 4 million since 2020…. While statistics from the most recent elections show Democrats still have a firm grip when it comes to the support of Latino voters, the margin by which Democrats have won among such communities has shrunk….In 2020, former President Donald Trump – who, along with Biden already received enough delegates to earn his party’s nomination for president – got the support of 38% of Latino voters to Biden’s 59%, according to the Pew Research Center. By contrast, Hillary Clinton won Latino voters 66% over Trump (28%) in 2016…. And looking at the two most recent midterm elections head-to-head, the GOP’s 25% support from Hispanic voters in 2018 grew to 39% in 2022, according to the Pew Research Center….Meanwhile, the Biden team’s Tuesday program launch also comes with a new ad aiming to connect with Hispanic voters, recorded in English, Spanish and Spanglish, according to the campaign…. The 30-second spot focuses on Biden capping insulin costs at $35 a month and his efforts to protect abortion access, seeking to use the two issues to draw a contrast with his former rival and likely 2024 opponent Trump…. “For women, the freedom to control our own bodies or doctors going to jail for an abortion,” the ad says. “This is the difference between Joe Biden or Donald Trump.”….The video – which is part of the campaign’s $30 million six-week ad buy announced following the president’s State of the Union address earlier this month – will air on news and lifestyle programming, such as CNN en Español and Galavisión, the campaign said….In January, the incumbent president’s reelection team said the campaign has already launched six ads targeting Latino voters between August and December, both in Spanish as well as English.”

A presidential campaign update from. “Biden’s Campaign Is In Trouble. Will the Turnaround Plan Work?” at Time magazine by Charlotte Alter, Brian Bennett and Philip Elliott: “As a fog of dread descends on Democrats, Biden’s inner circle is defiantly sanguine. They see a candidate with a strong economy, a sizable cash advantage, and a record of accomplishments on infrastructure, climate change, industrial policy, and consumer protections that will register for more voters as the campaign ramps up. They see a pattern of Democrats overperforming their polling in recent years, from the 2022 midterms to a spate of special elections and abortion referendums. Most of all, they see a historically unpopular opponent. And in the end, they believe, voters dissatisfied with the President will tally the stakes—from reproductive rights to the prospect of mass immigration roundups to the future of U.S. democracy—and pull the lever for Biden again. “Our biggest strength is that 80 million people sent him to the White House before,” says Quentin Fulks, Biden’s principal deputy campaign manager, who notes that Trump needs to find new voters to win. “Our challenge is winning people who have already cast a ballot for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris once.” ….Yet that may be a tall order in what’s shaping up to be a contest of which candidate America dislikes less. After a slow start, Biden’s campaign is charging forward, opening field offices, hiring staff, and launching an ad blitz painting Trump as a dangerous autocrat. But even if the President’s sputtering bid finds a new gear, allies say, the country is so bitterly divided that his ability to affect the outcome in November may be limited. Both sides are digging in for a gloomy slugfest, marked by depressed turnout and apocalyptic warnings about the fate that awaits the nation should the other guy win. Publicly, Biden’s brain trust is confident in their turnaround plan. Privately, even some White House insiders admit that they’re scared….Up next: a six-week, $30 million blitz of TV ads in battleground states that aim to define Trump as a threat to democracy and reproductive rights, while tackling the delicate issue of Biden’s age. The campaign has also begun rolling out its field operation; in addition to the new staffers, it plans to open 100 campaign offices in states like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. “It’s about getting the boots on the ground,” Chavez Rodriguez says, “and building the ground game that we need to in all of our battleground states.”

Alter, Bennett and Elliott continue, “The campaign is gaming out different paths to the 270 Electoral College votes it needs to win. One is to rebuild the Blue Wall, which includes the traditional Democratic strongholds of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and then capture another toss-up state. A second route cuts through the Sun Belt—Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Democrats are pushing to add an abortion-access measure to the ballot in Arizona that they believe would drive up turnout for Biden. The same may be said for a polarizing GOP nominee for governor in North Carolina. Some Democrats aren’t ready to abandon hopes of Biden’s putting Trump’s current home state of Florida within reach. The paths to a win are varied enough that a major Democratic PAC is spending almost $4 million in the Omaha TV ad market, where Harris’ husband Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff hosted political events in March in hopes of shaving off a single Electoral College vote in Nebraska’s Second District….But for Biden to beat the 77-year-old Trump, some allies believe it’s time to remove the bubble wrap. After campaigning successfully in 2020 on promises to restore the “soul of the nation,” Biden still clings to a self-image as a champion of comity. It is a pitch calibrated for an idealized electorate, not the one he has to win over. “People say, ‘I’m not going to vote for Trump, but I don’t know if I can vote for Biden.’ And everything they say has to do with his style: ‘He doesn’t seem to be fighting for us,’” says Representative Jim Clyburn, the former House Democratic whip, who has stepped away from his caucus leadership role to help Biden sharpen his message, urging the campaign to underscore the direct economic benefits of the Biden presidency….Recent flashes of fight have cheered the President’s supporters. After the boisterous State of the Union speech, he hit the road for a two-week swing through seven battleground states. The first event was at a middle-school gym in the Philadelphia suburbs, where Biden said Trump “got his wish” when the Supreme Court overturned Roe and states installed abortion restrictions. The President ticked through highlights of his record: limiting monthly insulin costs for seniors to $35; capping all Medicare prescription-drug costs at $2,000 a year; cutting credit-card late fees from $32 to $8; requiring corporations to pay a minimum of 15% in tax. When Biden called for an assault-weapons ban and stripping liability protections for gunmakers, the room erupted in cheers. After stepping off the stage, he shook hands and posed for selfies for 30 minutes, ignoring multiple announcements from his staff that it was time to leave.”

Sasha Abramsky addresses a question of concern for Democrats at The Nation, “Can Nevada Democrats Beat the Odds?,’ and writes: “Despite the energy in Trumpland, however, Nevada opinion pollsters and longtime observers of its politics tend to argue that the state, which went for the Democratic candidate in the past four elections, is still Biden’s to lose. They’re deeply suspicious of the early polls showing Trump considerably ahead and believe that Nevada, with its growing number of independent voters, has become increasingly difficult to poll accurately. Union organizing efforts in the Las Vegas area—the Culinary Workers, aware of the notoriously anti-union positions that Trump has taken over the years, knocked on more than 1 million doors statewide in 2022 and are likely to launch a similarly impressive effort this year—may still give the Democrats an edge as the election nears. “We knocked on the doors of over half the Black and over half the Latinx and over one-third of Asian voters” in the state in 2022, says Bethany Khan, a spokesperson for Local 226. In 2024, fresh off its successful negotiations with the largest casino-owning companies—which resulted in a new contract that increases workers’ starting pay and benefits from $28 to $37 an hour over the next five years—the union plans to lead the largest field effort in the state, Khan says….By most measures, Nevada these days is a blue state. Most of its senior elected officials, with the exception of the governor, are Democrats, and the party’s supermajority in the Assembly, combined with its near-supermajority in the Senate, has allowed it to push a raft of progressive reforms, from increased education spending to investments in electric vehicle infrastructure. A majority of Nevada’s population, propelled by liberal voting blocs in Las Vegas and Reno, is firmly on the side of reproductive rights. Las Vegas has embraced some of the country’s most innovative environmental sustainability policies, and demographically the city, which now has more residents than Boston, is increasingly diverse….the Harry Reid machine—resurrected after its brief toppling by the DSA—has a storied history of snatching narrow victories from the jaws of defeat. But the Democrats would be fooling themselves if they didn’t think they had a brutal fight on their hands in the Silver State.”

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.