washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

J.P. Green

Political Strategy Notes

From “Warnock And Ossoff Are Testing A New Strategy For Democrats In The South” by Perry Bacon, Jr. at FiveThirtyEight: “What makes Georgia electorally unlike most swing states is its large Black population. About 33 percent of Georgians are Black, a much higher share than the nation overall (13 percent) and higher than all but two other states (Mississippi and Louisiana)….To be more precise, what’s really different about Georgia’s electoral politics is that Democrats there are disproportionately Black….Neither Ossoff nor Warnock is saying anything particularly bold on racial issues to appeal to Black voters. That’s not surprising. Ossoff and Warnock can’t take a stand on any issue, racial or nonracial, that is likely to alienate a lot of white voters in Georgia. A Democratic campaign needs to win around 30 percent of white voters in Georgia to carry the state — and that’s often where they fall short….Ossoff and Warnock’s approach is similar to Abrams’s campaign in 2018, when she ran for governor: a lot of focus on showing connectedness to Georgia’s Black community, but not a ton of policy, particularly on more controversial issues specifically aimed at Black people….I doubt we have seen the last of Biden-Edwards-Jones-style candidates in the South. But what Abrams has dubbed the “Abrams playbook” for Democrats in Georgia in particular — trying to win a coalition of progressive white voters and people of color with candidates and strategies that connect with those two blocs — may eventually be the default Democratic Party playbook for the South.”

At The Cook Political Report, Charlie Cook notes, “A poll taken in the last two weeks for a super PAC found that out of 600 voters interviewed, there was only one respondent who split their ticket. In what today is surely the most evenly divided state in the country, I would not bet a dollar on either side to prevail; it is just that close. At the beginning, there was an assumption that because Republicans had fared better in past Georgia runoffs, they would again, but comparisons to 1992 and 2008, the previous two Senate runoffs in Georgia, are spurious. This is a completely different state than it was even 12 years ago….But heading into 2022, with a paper-thin Democratic majority in the House and a very nearly evenly split Senate, we’ll barely enjoy an intermission between election seasons. History suggests that Democrats, as the president’s party, are more likely to surrender seats in 2022. But Republicans will have 21 or 22 Senate seats up for reelection, compared to just 12 or 13 for Democrats. Historical patterns are important, but exposure levels are too….Having both chambers teetering on the edge like that is likely to infuse both sides with a great deal of caution.”

Also at FiveThirtyEight, Geoffrey Skelley, Elena Mejía, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Laura Bronner explain “Why The Suburbs Have Shifted Blue,” and write: “Suburban and exurban counties turned away from Trump and toward Democrat Joe Biden in states across the country, including in key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Georgia. In part, this may be because the suburbs are simply far more diverse than they used to be. But suburbs have also become increasingly well-educated — and that may actually better explain why so many suburbs and exurbs are turning blue than just increased diversity on its own….According to Ashley Jardina, a political science professor at Duke University who studies white identity politics, it’s not that racial diversity isn’t a factor. Among white people, at least, educational attainment is often a proxy for how open they are to growing racial diversity, with more highly educated white people likely to think increased racial diversity is a good thing. “Education is so important because it’s intertwined with racial attitudes among white people,” Jardina said….But the political swing among diversifying counties was much less uniform than it was in counties that became more educated….But a lot will depend on Democrats’ ability to mobilize the diverse groups that now are looking more and more like typical suburban voters….“The future of the Democratic Party is clearly with these younger, more diverse, more educated populations,” [Brookings Senior Fellow William] Frey said. “But they have to figure out how to keep them energized and voting.”

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. shares some salient insights in the wake of President-elect Biden’s recent trip to Georgia in support of Senate candidates Warnock and Ossoff, and notes that “by campaigning, Biden is also signaling that however strong his affection might be for an older, less polarized politics, he understands that it’s not the 1970s — or 2008 — anymore. The radicalization of the Republican Party is a fact he is coming to accept….Thus, he pulled no punches in his tough attack Monday on the efforts of President Trump and his GOP allies to discredit this year’s election outcome. He called it “an unprecedented assault on our democracy” that “refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law and refused to honor our Constitution.”….The GOP’s election denialism is terrible for the country and for democracy. But the early signs are that it could backfire on Republicans by turning Biden, bipartisanship’s best friend, into a tough realist about what he’s up against. And the longer Trump’s antics keep him in the forefront, the easier it will be for Biden to hold Democrats together. No wonder Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) finally told his party on Tuesday that it’s time to move on….In paying close attention to how Trump and McConnell approach politics, Biden seems to have learned something important: Hitting back is the only way to get the current Republican Party’s attention. Asking nicely won’t cut it in 2021.”

Political Strategy Notes

In his New York Times column, “The Resentment That Never Sleeps,” Thomas B. Edsall probes the insights of top scholars regarding status anxiety, and then he shares some cogent observations Democrats should ponder in developing election strategies, including: “Millions of voters, including the core group of Trump supporters — whites without college degrees — face bleak futures, pushed further down the ladder by meritocratic competition that rewards what they don’t have: higher education and high scores on standardized tests. Jockeying for place in a merciless meritocracy feeds into the status wars that are presently poisoning the country, even as exacerbated levels of competition are, theoretically, an indispensable component of contemporary geopolitical and economic reality….Voters in the bottom half of the income distribution face a level of hypercompetition that has, in turn, served to elevate politicized status anxiety in a world where social and economic mobility has, for many, ground to a halt: 90 percent of the age cohort born in the 1940s looked forward to a better standard of living than their parents’, compared with 50 percent for those born since 1980. Even worse, those in the lower status ranks suffer the most lethal consequences of the current pandemic….These forces in their totality suggest that Joe Biden faces the toughest challenge of his career in attempting to fulfill his pledge to the electorate: “We can restore the defining American promise, that no matter where you start in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. And, in doing so, we can restore the soul of our nation.”….Trump has capitalized on the failures of this American promise. Now we have to hope that Biden can deliver.”

At Daily Kos, SemDem argues that “When it comes to Georgia, Democrats can and must exploit the simmering civil war within the GOP , and notes how the contest resembles a tag team match: “Democrats, meanwhile, are in the unique position of playing smarter politics than Republicans by running Warnock and Ossoff as a team, which plays to the strengths of each candidate. They are holding joint events and framing campaigns around what they could accomplish together for Georgia, as well as the U.S., if they are both sent to Washington. Pairing the longtime pastor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Ebenezer Baptist Church with a young, progressive Jewish activist also helps represent the diversity of the Democratic party….Republicans are trying the team strategy too, but in their case it’s highlighting the party’s problems and the candidates’ flaws more than anything else. Both Loeffler and Perdue are not only obscenely wealthy, but they are the two of the most corrupt people currently serving in the Senate. Both downplayed the virus and used their positions to quietly move their money so they’d benefit from the crisis.” SemDem adds, “We need all hands on deck, so please pledge to do just one thing to help each Senate candidate win. Fortunately, with all eyes on Georgia, there are myriad ways to help,” and provides links for volunteering and making donations.

At The Cook Political Report, Charlie Cook notes, “There is no question that the polling industry is going through a challenging time thanks to caller ID. It is not uncommon for a pollster to make 20 calls in order to complete a single interview. Until now, the saving grace for pollsters was that the kind of people who didn’t consent to being interviewed did not have materially different attitudes toward politics as those who did choose to participate in polls. Considerable research is now going on to determine if that is still the case….As more research comes out, my bet is that many will see that the polls pretty much nailed the 51.3 percent Biden national share of the vote. In fact, the final RealClearPolitics average was a tenth of a point off, giving Biden a 51.2 percent share. Of the major polls released in the last five days before the election, Quinnipiac put Biden at 50 percent, while NBC News/Wall Street Journal and Fox News had him at 52 percent. Those taken a bit earlier tended to show Biden with a larger lead, indicating some closure in the last two weeks.”

A Closing Pitch for Democrats in the GA Senate Runoffs

It would be hard to overstate the stakes in Georgia’s Jan. 5th runoff elections, which could elect two Democratic senators for a 50-50 tie in the U.S. Senate and make Vice President Kamala Harris the deciding vote. Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the invisible face on the ballot, and whether or not he will continue to serve as obstructionist in chief is an overriding issue that will be decided on January 5th.

Thus far, the two Democratic candidates have emphasized the Covid-19 insider trading profiteering of  their Republican opponents, both of whom provide an irresistible target, with their shameless personal enrichment in stock trading, following their confidential briefings as incumbents. Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Ossoff and Warnock are right to raise hell about it. Otherwise they would be guilty of political malpractice.

Corruption is an issue that can flip even conservative voters who have high ethical standards and are paying attention. So there is reason to hope that educating voters about the extent of Covid-19 profiteering by GOP Sens. Perdue and Loeffler after downplaying the threat of the virus, will have a beneficial impact for Democrats.

Yet, both Democratic Senate candidates, Warnock and Ossoff, received fewer votes than Biden/Harris got at the top of the ticket. Ossoff received nearly 100,000 fewer votes than did Biden. Warnock received about 857,000 fewer than Biden/Harris, but there were 20 candidates on the ballot in his race. In the runoff, it is likely that Ossoff and Warnock will receive close to the same number of votes on January 5th.

No doubt some of the 100,000 vote gap can be attributed to deliberate ticket-splitting, a misguided belief that divided government is always a good thing. But some of it is the result of apathy about the Senate races, and another share of it comes from undecided voters, who just didn’t have a strong enough opinion to vote for a senate candidate of either party.

Many of these gap voters just wanted to get rid of Trump. It seems reasonable that some of them would be open to appeals rooted in the argument that it makes little sense to vote for Biden, then cripple his effectiveness by allowing Mitch McConnell to continue to exercize his veto over hundreds of bills passed by the House of Representatives, many of which are now languishing on McConnell’s desk.

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. put it well in a recent column:

What is at stake: whether President-elect Joe Biden will have a chance to end the scourge of the covid-19 pandemic, get the economy moving again, and enact some bread-and-butter programs to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and shore up our health-care system.

And voters must understand that as long as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the Senate majority leader and the base of the Republican Party is dominated by the far right — including “Stop the Steal” Trumpists — a divided government is not a recipe for compromise. Instead, it’s a ticket to obstruction and the very sort of partisan brawling that moderate voters can’t stand.

The belief that divided government guarantees moderate outcomes might once have been true when there was a solid moderate bloc in the Republican Party. But it should now be clear that it’s a destructive myth.

By all means, Ossoff, Warnock and Democrats should keep their Republican opponents’ pandemic profiteering front and center. But their campaigns should also appeal to gap voters to help the presidential candidate they voted for have at least a chance to enact needed legislation, including measures that can help end the pandemic and provide urgently needed economic relief.

Political Strategy Notes

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. has a messaging tip for Democrats: “President Trump’s success in politicizing mask-wearing has been destructive to human life. By encouraging his followers to ignore the advice of scientists, Trump has made the pandemic worse. None of this means that repeating “Listen to the science” as a quasi-religious mantra will undo the damage he’s done….It won’t work because it’s a sentiment that appeals only to the already converted. It feeds the war against expertise that has become a favorite propaganda tool for the political right. And without intending to, it reinforces the deadly and false dichotomies that Trump has ginned up to avoid accountability….The last things we need are arguments that pit science against the economy, science against democracy, science against individual rights, science against religion, or science against the intuitions of citizens. Such juxtapositions helped create the mess we’re in….But we need to understand that the election we just had points to a country far more divided on how to grapple with the pandemic than many of us would like….The Edison exit poll put an interesting question to voters about their priorities concerning the pandemic, asking which of two approaches was “more important.” The result: Fifty-two percent said “containing the coronavirus now, even if it hurts the economy,” while 42 percent said “rebuilding the economy now, even if it hurts efforts to contain the coronavirus.” Biden won about four-fifths of the first group; Trump won more than three-quarters of the second.” Dionne argues that Demoicrats and progressives “should begin by highlighting the economy every chance they get — by fighting for economic relief now and additional help and stimulus after Biden is inaugurated; by rolling out longer-term programs to assist those whose lives have been most disrupted by the pandemic, including the young; and by proposing a GI Bill and pay-and-benefit increases for those whose work we have finally discovered is “essential.”….Ending the pandemic and reviving the economy must always be mentioned in the same breath as part of the same fight.”

In “GOP holds big money advantage in Georgia Senate runoff races,” Sarah D. Wire and David Lauter write at The L. A. Times: “With spending in Georgia’s twin Senate runoffs rocketing toward record levels, Republicans appear to be gaining a significant advantage on the state’s airwaves as heavy spending by outside groups finances a flood of mostly negative ads….The Republican edge marks a sharp reversal from the general election, in which Democrats largely outspent their opponents in key races nationwide….Much of the Republican advantage comes from a set of campaign committees tied to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that are raising and spending huge sums on the two races….Combining ads that have aired so far and those that have been booked for later, the Republican side is currently on track to have a $118 million-to-$76 million advantage in the Perdue-Ossoff race and a $126 million-to-$81 million edge in the Loeffler-Warnock contest….McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund and three affiliated groups, American Crossroads, PeachTree PAC and One Nation, have spent or reserved nearly $140 million in advertising already, or about 35% of the total….a flood of Republican money has poured in. The Senate Leadership Fund raised $104.2 million nationwide between Oct. 15 and Nov. 23, bringing its 2020 cycle haul to $384.8 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. It spent $112.6 million in the final stretch of the regular campaign and had $60.8 million left in the bank.” Those who want to help correct the imbalance should check out this article.

For the best update on the GA runoffs, check out “What The Polls Say About Georgia’s Senate Runoffs” by Geoffrey Skelley and Nathaniel Rakich at FiveThirty Eight. As Skelley and Rakich note, “We don’t have a ton of polls of these runoffs yet, but FiveThirtyEight is rolling out its polling averages for both of the contests today to help everyone keep tabs on where things stand. (Note that these are not forecasts like the ones we published for the White House, Senate and House before the November election; they do not account for non-polling factors such as the state’s base partisanship, demographics or candidate quality. They are simply a fancy snapshot of what the polling says right now.)….And based on the initial wave of polls conducted since the Nov. 3 general election, both runoff races look very close. In the regularly scheduled Senate race, Republican Sen. David Perdue is roughly tied with Democrat Jon Ossoff, while in the special election, Democrat Raphael Warnock holds a narrow lead over Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler (who was appointed in January 2020 to fill a vacancy, which is why she’s up for election)….less than a week after the general election, GOP pollster Remington Research went into the field and found Perdue ahead by 4 points in the regularly scheduled contest and Loeffler and Warnock locked in a virtual tie in the special election. Then in mid-November, Insider Advantage/Fox5 Atlanta found both sets of candidates running neck and neck. Two late-November polls were somewhat more bullish for Democrats. RMG Research/PoliticalIQ foundboth races to be very tight but with Ossoff and Warnock leading by 1 and 2 points, respectively, while a SurveyUSA/WXIA-TV poll gave Ossoff a 2-point edge over Perdue and Warnock a 7-point lead over Loeffler. Lastly, Republican pollster Trafalgar Group just released an early-December pollthat showed Ossoff and Perdue separated by less than 1 point, but Loeffler ahead by about 5 points….Of course, some may wonder if it’s worth putting much stock in these runoff surveys after polls across the country underestimated President Trump’s support in November. But remember the polls in Georgia actually did pretty well: Biden led by 1.2 points in FiveThirtyEight’s final Georgia polling average, and he wound up winning the state by about 0.3 points, meaning the polls were only off by about a point. So we don’t think you should dismiss these runoff polls just yet.”

It’s about time somebody said it plain, and Charles Pierce rises to the occasion in his article, “The Republican Party Is Now a Seditious Organization: These authoritarian yahoos believe that the Supreme Court will ride to their rescue and disenfranchise millions of people whom they don’t believe should be allowed to vote anyway” at Esquire: “Nothing secedes like secession….Late Wednesday afternoon, in as clear a demonstration as there ever has been of the authoritarian rot at the heart of the Republican Party, 17 other states, all governed primarily by Republicans, filed an amicus brief in support of the ludicrous lawsuit being brought by Ken Paxton, the indicted Republican attorney general of Texas, that seeks to overturn the results of the presidential election by disenfranchising millions of voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania….The 17 accomplices to this braindead seditious conspiracy are Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, Florida (Shocker!), Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina (now two-for-two in attempts to subvert the republic over a presidential election), Utah, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama. None of these benighted places has any more standing to subvert the elections in, say, Michigan, than Texas or the Elks Club of Bugtussle have. But they’re willing to sign onto the closest thing we’ve had to secession in 150 years because the Republican Party has created a couple of generations of leaders who simply can’t think of any other way to do politics than to scorch the earth, win or lose. Zero-sum democracy is untenable….They all believe that the Supreme Court will ride to their rescue and disenfranchise millions of people whom they don’t believe should be allowed to vote anyway. The Republican Party is now a seditious, subversive organization, a Fifth Column of organized authoritarian yahoos. Where’s Joe McCarthy when you need him?”

Political Strategy Notes

In “How Georgia’s Senate race pits the Old South against the New South,” Maya King writes, The state has seen an influx of young people of color and college educated voters of all races, which has boosted the population by nearly 10% over the last decade, according to census data. Immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Jamaica also account for these changes. The immigrant population jumped 84 percent between 2010 and 2018, putting Georgia on the fast track to become majority-minority by 2030. Black, Latino and Asian voters in the once-Republican Atlanta suburbs helped deliver the state for Joe Biden in November. In the Peach State — and soon, strategists argue, the rest of the South — demography is becoming destiny….Carolyn Bourdeaux, who won one of a handful of down-ballot Democratic victories in Georgia, faced similar attacks from her Republican opponents during her House race. One ad described her as a “dangerous reckless extremist” who has “taken cash from groups who want to defund … the police,” which Democrats have cited as an anchor to their effort to expand their House majority. Bourdeaux said she decided to ignore Republican attack ads and focuses on policy points instead. “I try to sum it up by saying I’m here to take a passionate stand for the common-sense solutions that people in this district need,” said Bourdeaux, the only Democrat to flip a red seat this election. “And then combine it with building and engaging with the diverse communities that are now in Georgia.”

At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein shares some data about the declining influence of white Christians in U.S. politics: “White Americans who identified as Christians made up a majority of the nation’s population for most of its history—about two-thirds of the adult population as recently as the late 1990s. But sometime between 2010 and 2012, white Christians, for the first time, fell below majority status, according to the National Opinion Research Center’s annual General Social Survey. Their ranks have continued to shrink since: The latest data from the Pew Research Center puts white Christians at just above 40 percent of the population, with nonwhite Christians accounting for another 25 percent, people who practice a non-Christian faith representing a little less than 10 percent, and Americans who don’t identify with any religious tradition rising to 25 percent (up from 17 percent only a decade ago)….Given younger generations’ religious preferences, the unmistakable trend line is that Christians—particularly white Christians—will continue to shrink as a share of society, while the share of Americans who don’t ascribe to any religious faith will grow. According to the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute’s latest findings, among adults younger than 30, fully 36 percent don’t ascribe to any religious faith, and another 6 percent belong to a non-Christian religion; white Christians account for less than three in 10 of this group, only slightly more than the share of nonwhite Christians (just over one in four)….In PRRI polling, almost exactly two-thirds of Republicans identify as white Christians, a level last reached in American society overall in the late 1990s; Democrats, by contrast, divide about in thirds between white Christians, nonwhite Christians, and nonreligious or non-Christian people. Similarly, the network election exit polls this year found that while white Christians still provided fully two-thirds of Trump’s votes, Joe Biden garnered a bigger bloc of support from nonreligious and non-Christian Americans (about 40 percent of his voters) than from either white or nonwhite Christians.”

If you were wondering how many Americans are actually paying attention to politics, Nathaniel Rakich has some recent data on the topic in “Other Polling Bites” at FiveThirtyEight: “We at FiveThirtyEight were glued to the election results as they came in about a month ago, and it turns out we weren’t alone. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 36 percent of Americans say they followed the results of the election “almost constantly,” while another 34 percent “checked in fairly often.” Twenty-two percent said they “checked in occasionally,” while only 7 percent “tuned out entirely.” And, if you were wondering where Americans get their political news, Elizabeth Grieco notes at Pew Research Center that a survey of 12,043 adults who are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel found that, “In a late 2019 survey conducted as part of Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project, Fox News and CNN were named by the largest segments of U.S. adults as their main political news source – 16% and 12%, respectively. Six other news outlets – NPR, NBC News, ABC News, MSNBC, CBS News and The New York Times – were named by at least 2% of adults. The sources named by the remaining 51% of U.S. adults resulted in a long tail of more than 50 other individual brands….In all, about half (49%) of U.S. adults named one of these eight outlets as their main source for political and election news. The long list of all other individual outlets, named by fewer than 2% of respondents, included larger sources like The Washington Post, the BBC and Rush Limbaugh, as well as more niche sources such as One America News, The Young Turks and individual local newspapers. Some of the remaining respondents named social media sites (4% in total) or a medium without any specific outlet specified (“radio,” “the internet”). Finally, 13% of respondents declined to provide a recognizable news outlet, left the field blank or said they didn’t remember the name of their main news source.”

Here’s a chart from Grieco’s article showing some demographic breakdown data from the survey’s findings:

Political Strategy Notes

So, what did the density divide look like this year?,” Amy Walter asks at The Cook Political Report. Walter notes, “An excellent first draft analysis of the (still incomplete) county data by Bloomberg/City Lab found the tipping point to be 700 people per square mile. “Most of the red counties have densities of fewer than 500 people per square mile. Most of the purple counties are clustered at densities of between 400 and 1,500 people per square mile. And the blue counties are those above 1,500 people per square mile. While there are notable exceptions to this pattern, the basic trend suggests the dominant role suburban density plays in American political life.”….To me, the most interesting takeaway from this analysis was the designation of ‘purple counties’ — those counties that are more exurban than suburban. In fast-growing swing states like Texas, North Carolina and Georgia, how these areas vote will determine which party wins those states in the future…. This Democratic headway into fast-growing exurbs represents a serious threat to the GOP grip on these sunbelt states. As Dante Chinni, a political analyst for the Wall Street Journal and NBC and expert on the geographic distribution of the vote, argued in his recent analysis of the 2020 election: “Republican candidates need big margins out of those exurb counties to help offset the Democrats big wins in the urban suburbs and big cities.” And, as we’ve seen in states like Virginia, once these exurbs start to turn blue, they don’t turn back. Northern Virginia’s Loudoun County flipped red to blue in 2008, with Obama carrying this county by 8 points. In 2020, Biden carried the once rural county by 25 points.”

In his article, “Changing the Narrative in Georgia’s Runoff Elections,” Dylan Hu writes at The Harvard Political Review: “Were Democrats to win both runoffs, they still only hold a 50-50 majority with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote. Rushing through unpopular legislation would be a surefire way to lose that majority in 2022, and Democrats are well-aware of their congressional weaknesses with progressive messaging. Democratic senators with conservative electorates, such as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), may not join their liberal colleagues in such legislation either….Rather, the narrative around Georgia’s runoffs should be that McConnell’s possible retention of the Senate majority would ensure four years of political gridlock — not just of progressive legislation, but of basic governmental functions. Consider McConnell’s Senate under the Obama administration after the GOP swung nine Senate seats to take the majority in the 2014 midterms. Not only did GOP senators block Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for months, they also obstructed the confirmation of tens of federal judges, leaving vacancies open for Trump to fill. Legislatively, McConnell has also weaponized the filibuster to subvert any and all Senate bills that deviate from his conservative agenda, delaying critical pieces of legislation, such as the Dodd-Frank Act and the DREAM Act….In reality, the relevant dichotomy around Georgia’s runoff elections is not even between the “radical left” and moderate compromise, as Loeffler and Perdue would like to argue. As Georgia residents prepare for a second round of voting on January 5, voters should consider whether they want more years of a dysfunctional Senate — a Senate chained by a majority leader who prefers legislative paralysis over popularly-supported Democratic bills.”

“It won’t be easy to persuade a swath of President Donald Trump’s loyal base to embrace a practice that he’s denigrated for years, claiming without evidence that millions of illegal mail-in votes have resulted in a “rigged” election,” Greg Bluestein writes in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Republican “Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s top elections official and a frequent target of Trump’s criticism, said the president essentially orchestrated his own defeat in Georgia by undermining confidence in mail-in ballots….In interviews, Raffensperger notes that roughly 24,000 Republicans who voted in the state’s June primary didn’t cast ballots in the general election. That’s about twice the margin of Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, which made him the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state since 1992….Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, meanwhile, hope to expand on a mail-in edge that helped Biden beat Trump in Georgia. The president-elect tallied roughly 300,000 more mail-in ballots than Trump, helping him offset the Republican’s Election Day advantage….Spurred on by the pandemic, absentee voting has never been more popular in Georgia. Nearly 1 million mail-in ballots have been requested for the runoffs, according to state elections officials, including roughly 600,000 people who were eligible to receive the ballots automatically….The campaigns and their allies are bombarding Democratic-leaning voters with urgent pleas to request absentee ballots — followed by reminders to fill them out and turn them in once they receive them….After a coronavirus-related hiatus, Democrats have resumed door-to-door canvassing with safety precautions and are staging events to encourage supporters to cast their vote early…..“Democrats won Georgia by empowering voters across the state to exercise their right to vote early and safely — we fully intend to follow and expand on that playbook to win in January,” said Maggie Chambers, a spokeswoman for the party’s coordinated campaign.”

E. J. Dionne, Jr. lays bare “The Destructive Myth About Divided Government” at The Washington Post: “The Senate runoffs in Georgia should not be allowed to become a festival of lies about whether socialism, radicalism or defunding the police are on the ballot. They’re not. What is at stake: whether President-elect Joe Biden will have a chance to end the scourge of the covid-19 pandemic, get the economy moving again, and enact some bread-and-butter programs to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and shore up our health-care system…And voters must understand that as long as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the Senate majority leader and the base of the Republican Party is dominated by the far right — including “Stop the Steal” Trumpists — a divided government is not a recipe for compromise. Instead, it’s a ticket to obstruction and the very sort of partisan brawling that moderate voters can’t stand….The belief that divided government guarantees moderate outcomes might once have been true when there was a solid moderate bloc in the Republican Party. But it should now be clear that it’s a destructive myth…..Since Barack Obama’s presidency, the GOP’s leadership has been committed to preventing a Democratic president from governing successfully — even when that president is willing and eager to compromise….Biden will keep talking about bringing the country together. That’s good. But he’ll have a better chance of success with a Senate that doesn’t define its purpose as throwing “sand in the gears” of good governance.”

Political Strategy Notes

The ‘Hillbilly Elegy” fuss gets a new round of buzz with the Netflix movie, which dodges the major political arguments in J.D. Vance’s book. While some critics have faulted the book for its political distortions, Stanley B. Greenberg has the most nuanced takedown at in his new article at The American Prospect. As Greenberg writes, “The book’s cascading errors begin with its failure to appreciate how exceptional Appalachian white history and culture actually are, and how dangerous it is to equate Vance’s hillbillies with today’s white working class. Yet that is the equation Vance makes at the very beginning of his memoir: “You see, I grew up poor, in the Rust Belt, in an Ohio steel town that has been hemorrhaging jobs and hope for as long as I can remember.” Vance’s equation reinforces conservatives’ and President Donald Trump’s mistaken conviction that coal mining and West Virginia are the epicenter of America’s working-class life….The pace of cascading errors grows with the classless and benign history Vance presents, one that erases from the Appalachian landscape the powerful business actors who seized the timber and mineral rights, fought the coal-mining unions, and created an economy of poverty. Outside companies had long since claimed the rights to the timber, the land, and the coal beneath it, rendering the region’s population—all their resources owned by outsiders—dependent on coal companies and shuttled into company towns….Maybe Vance’s hillbillies would not be helped by new and better job opportunities, higher wages, less outsourcing, investment in building infrastructure, expanded child tax credits and income supports, housing vouchers, nutrition programs, unpolluted rivers and air, consumer protections, affordable child care, paid family leave after bearing a child, and universal health insurance. Before we assent to Vance’s indictment, we’d do well to try out such policies….Vance’s book suggests a dysfunctional culture has left these people and communities disabled and our medicine cabinet of governmental remedies empty….The problem with those judgments is that you have to erase a lot of history and a lot of experience with policy outcomes to get there. Working-class families and communities are indeed in trouble, but a lot of factors contributed to it. The culprit was not bad choices. It was not lack of personal responsibility or a government that was clueless about how to get to a better economy and society. We are not powerless to address these ills.” Read all of Greenberg’s article for an insightful understanding of working-class politics on the eve of the Biden Administration.

In his Washington Post column, “Team Biden has to show that foreign policy elites got the message,” E. J. Dionne, Jr. writes that “the incoming administration needs to ponder why President Trump’s nationalism took hold. Part of it was voters’ sheer exhaustion with foreign military entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan. But over many years, there was also a rising and justifiable suspicion in our nation’s struggling communities that foreign policy elites didn’t really give a damn about how their decisions affected the lives and livelihoods of their fellow citizens….Some of this had to do with trade policy. The loss of manufacturing jobs to China after its 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization helped foster the Midwestern backlash that culminated in Trump’s electoral-college victory 15 years later. More broadly, there was little in the foreign policy conversation that related diplomatic statecraft to the construction of a decent society at home….Here is where Biden and his colleagues can take a cue from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Sanders spoke of a foreign policy based on “shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people,” while Warren argued that “Washington’s focus has shifted from policies that benefit everyone to policies that benefit a handful of elites.”

“Joe Biden marked an unexpected and unwanted milestone this month when he won a clear popular-vote majority in the presidential election but saw his party suffer substantial losses in the House of Representatives.” Ronald Brownstein writes in his article, “Democrats’ Real Liability in the House” in The Atlantic. “That unusual combination of results—the first time it’s happened in more than 120 years—crystallizes the core challenge Democrats face in translating their consistent victories in the popular vote into congressional power….But even as Democrats have improved their position inside the nation’s largest and most economically vibrant metropolitan areas, their support in exurban, small-town, and rural regions has collapsed. While Bill Clinton twice won about 1,500 counties (roughly half the counties in America), Hillary Clinton carried just less than 500 (roughly one-sixth). Though Biden won the popular vote by at least 3 million more votes than she did, he only slightly expanded her geographic reach: So far, he’s carried 509 counties, based on the latest count from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program….For Democrats, the surest way to defend their House majority may be to rebuild their capacity to compete in at least a few more small-town and rural districts. That proved impossible with Trump polarizing the electorate so sharply along cultural lines. The future of the House Democratic majority may depend on whether Biden succeeds in his uphill quest to lower the temperature of partisan conflict and narrow the nation’s gaping political divides.”

A.P.’s Astrid Galvan writes at Talking Points Memo that “President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign credits its success in Arizona to the immigrant-rights and grassroots organizations that have been mobilizing Latinos for nearly two decades. The fruits of their labor — in triple-digit heat, no less — paid off in this traditionally conservative state, where changing demographics and suburban voters turning out to oppose President Donald Trump also worked in Biden’s favor….But what that means for the future of Democratic candidates and how the party can capitalize on these gains will be tested in 2022 and 2024 — especially because there wasn’t a blue shift in statewide races or in some other parts of the country with large Latino populations….A coalition of longstanding grassroots organizations known as Mi AZ started knocking on doors in July, eventually hitting 1.1 million homes, even in the hottest summer on record in Phoenix. They made nearly 8 million phone calls and managed digital and broadcast campaigns. Their work is nothing new. In 2016, groups involved with Mi AZ helped get a minimum wage increase passed and then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had long targeted immigrants, voted out of office….Driven by years of anti-immigrant propositions and legislation — from banning bilingual education 20 years ago, forcing college students without legal status to pay out-of-state tuition in 2006 to SB 1070, the infamous “show me your papers” law from 2010 — these groups have built a network of activists and voters who turned out in huge numbers….Latinos also now account for 24% of eligible voters in Arizona, compared with 19% in 2012, according to Pew Research Center….Antonio Arellano, interim executive director for Jolt, a Texas advocacy group that aims to grow Latinos’ political power and mobilize young voters, said both parties need to invest more in their outreach efforts if they’re going to win an increasingly large and diverse constituency….They have to hire people who come from and reflect their communities and stop treating them as a safe bet, Arellano said. “The parties know what they need to do, they’re just not doing it. They have outdated strategies,” he said. “The Latino electorate is incredibly young. In order to connect with them, they need to modernize civic engagement, and that requires an investment… What we’ve seen is that Latinos are an afterthought.”

Political Strategy Notes

In “Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine ‘stuck in the past’,” Scott Wong and Mike Lillis write at The Hill: “The polling is antiquated. Money is being frittered. Diversity is lacking. And digital outreach lags far behind the times. These are the warnings from Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a four-term New York Democrat who’s vying to lead the party’s campaign arm in the next Congress…..Democrats are expecting a tough environment in the 2022 midterms, and Maloney’s message is a foreboding one: Modernize the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), he says, or President-elect Joe Biden will be battling a House under Republican control come 2023….To move the party into the future, Maloney is vowing to listen to younger progressives when it comes to social media and digital outreach; to shift away from “stuffy old traditional crappy polling” and adopt community-based focus groups; and to reject the idea that big fundraising hauls are synonymous with election success — a formula that didn’t play out this year, when Democrats raised historic amounts of campaign cash but still lost House seats…..Maloney will square off with Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) in an internal, secret-ballot election that will decide who becomes the next DCCC chairman. That vote is scheduled after Thanksgiving….Cárdenas, 57, who’s run the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s (CHC) campaign arm Bold PAC for the past six years, has pitched himself as a proven fundraiser and someone who can help Democrats make up lost ground with the tens of thousands of Hispanic voters who backed President Trump this year in places like Texas and Florida.”

Newsweek’s Christina Zhao reports that “Trump to Campaign for Georgia Senate Candidates as His Supporters Threaten Boycott,” and writes that “Donald Trump on Thursday said he will travel to Georgia to campaign for Republican Senate runoff candidates as his supporters threatened a boycott of the upcoming election….”Speaking of Georgia, I’ll be going there,” Trump told reporters after talking to U.S. service members in a teleconference call on Thanksgiving Day, “Maybe I’ll go twice.” He noted that he wanted to encourage support for Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in a stadium, but “can’t, because of COVID….Meanwhile, a number of pro-Trump Republicans have taken to Parler, the “free speech” social media network, to discourage members of their own party from voting. Some of the users have invoked a conspiracy theory about “rigged” ballot machines to call for a boycott of the upcoming Georgia elections in a move that threatens Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s plan to restrain incoming President-elect Joe Biden….The boycott calls driven by Trump supporters appear to have been inspired by the president, who has spent the past few weeks alleging without evidence that a “rigged” election and widespread voter fraud caused his loss to Biden.” Trump’s December 5th visit may energize his GA base, but it could also backfire by reminding Atlanta donut suburbs voters that Trump’s chief enabler, Mitch McConnell is the invisible name on the ballot supporting the Covid-19 profiteering Republican incumbents.

Dissent magzine has a forum, “The 2020 Elections: A Roundtable,” in which Michael Kazin observes, “The problem the Democrats have is that they’re a heterogenous party, and they have been since the 1960s, when they, at least officially, got rid of their racist past and pushed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Spanberger wouldn’t win in AOC’s district in the primary, and AOC wouldn’t win Spanberger’s district. Democrats have to find a way, as they always have (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) to make both progressives and centrists happy. Biden really didn’t try to do that; he didn’t have to, because the election was all about Trump. All the Democratic operatives I know said, if the election’s about Trump, we win; if it’s about Biden, we lose. Biden was not the kind of candidate Obama was, or even that Clinton was in 1992. He was a generic white Democrat. That was good enough to win pretty convincingly in the popular vote. Only because of our ridiculously stupid eighteenth-century way of electing presidents was it even close….Activists on the left were crucial in winning key states like Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. But they alone were not going to win control of the Senate or expand the majority in House. We have to figure out the few ideas and programs to push that will win over people in the middle who are part of neither side’s base. Some of those people were won over in Georgia, Arizona, and even Pennsylvania—Erie County had been Democratic, went for Trump in 2016, and then went narrowly for Biden. Though I don’t think Bernie would’ve won, I think he was right that you have to push universal programs, you have to have economic populist messaging, and if you don’t do that, you’re prey to falling into the culture wars.”

At Crooks and Liars, Mike Lux writes, “I am convinced that Democrats can win those two Georgia Senate seats and win the 2022 midterms. In Georgia, I have full confidence in the Stacey Abrams strategy of winning by inspiring, mobilizing, registering, and turning out people of color and young voters. But I also think that tactically, we have to invest the resources we need to compete with the right-wing infrastructure on social media, because if we are not going toe-to-toe with them, they will swamp us in the end. And message-wise, we need to show voters we are fighting for working families on the economic issues that matter the most to them. We have to showcase Mitch McConnell as the barrier to all the good things we want to do, the same way our Clinton team successfully showcased Gingrich in the 1990s. Remember: in most midterms the president’s party loses seats. But in 1998, we picked up seats by building our campaign around Gingrich blocking everything good on the issues people cared about in their lives….Republicans have been running ads with spooky music saying Democrats want to change things. We should say: damn right we do. We want to give you a $15-an-hour minimum wage. We want to create millions of new infrastructure and green energy jobs. We want to tax people worth more than $50 million dollars and use the money for jobs and child care. We want to rein in drug prices and student debt. We want to make government work for the people again — not Wall Street billionaires — and that’s not socialism, it’s just good governance….We can win in Georgia, and win the midterms. We just have to show the people which party is fighting for them and which isn’t.”

Political Strategy Notes

At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein has some insights about the reasons for Trump and McConnell’s continued refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory: “Most Democrats I’ve spoken with believe that Trump will be pushing against an open door if he demands blanket Republican opposition to the incoming president. Biden has mostly shrugged off congressional Republicans’ refusal to acknowledge his victory or to call for the transition process to begin, insisting that he can still work with those legislators later. But other Democrats see a resemblance between the GOP’s recent actions and the scorched-earth resistance Mitch McConnell pursued against Obama for eight years. “As someone who spent a long time in the Senate, I see a poison coursing through the body and the Republican Party that is going to be very difficult to get out,” Jim Manley, who served as a top communications aide to the former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, told me. “I think we are in this for the long term.” Another high-ranking Democrat in close touch with Biden’s transition team, who asked for anonymity to discuss his advice, told me he worries that McConnell is supporting Trump’s stonewalling of the transition process because he believes it will cause Biden to stumble out of the gate, weakening Democrats for the 2022 elections. Yet as much as the GOP’s continuing deference to Trump constrains Biden’s options, it also limits the ability of congressional Republicans and potential 2024 candidates to question, or even just recalibrate, the outgoing president’s polarizing direction for the party.”

In “Biden reaches out. The GOP slaps him in the face,” Washington Post syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes that Biden “can take no comfort if Republicans who stayed mum during Trump’s attempted election theft turn around later and pretend that they had nothing to do with this. Their silence is complicity….This presents a challenge to those of us on the progressive side who in the past respected conservatism as a coherent and morally serious worldview. We saw it as a set of ideas, advanced by thinkers such as Edmund Burke and Robert Nisbet, dedicated to preserving what is good in our institutions and traditions. Even when we emphatically disagreed, we could understand why they might be skeptical of the unintended costs of some of the reforms we might put forward….But now we confront a form of conservatism that openly disdains democracy, its rules and its obligations. In his book “Democracy and Tradition,” the philosopher and religion scholar Jeffrey Stoutargues that “one thing a democratic people had better have in common is a form of ethical discourse, a way of exchanging reasons about ethical and political topics.”….Those who lack the conviction to sustain that tradition by defending rationality and the democratic rules of engagement forfeit their standing to ask the rest of us to believe that they are operating in good faith.”

Kyle Kondik ponders the 2022 U.S. Senate races and observes at Sabato’s Crystal Ball:”Democrats may have a better chance of winning the Senate in 2022 than holding the House, even if Democrats lose both Georgia special elections in January…The president’s party often struggles in midterms, which gives the GOP a generic advantage in the battle for Congress…The Republicans’ three most vulnerable Senate seats may all be open in 2022….Democrats may have a better chance of winning a Senate majority than a House majority in the next national election….That is not to say Democrats have a great chance of winning a Senate majority — they don’t, particularly if Republicans hold the two Georgia Senate seats in a Jan. 5, 2021 runoff. Rather, it suggests that the Democratic Senate path might be more plausible than the Democratic path in the House, given looming redistricting and reapportionment and the history of presidential party House losses in midterm elections….Of course, we know little about the Senate candidates, national environment, and other factors that will determine the outcome of the next cycle. Nor do we even know what the Senate will look like next year, thanks to the Georgia runoffs….Biden is not guaranteed to suffer down-ballot losses in the House and Senate, even though that is the usual midterm pattern. That Biden does not enjoy big majorities to start his presidency may make it less likely for him to agitate the opposition through the divisive, one-party legislating that helped cost the Democrats and the Republicans the House majority in 2010 and 2018 respectively….Based on the history, we should presume Republicans will have an edge in the 2022 midterm, but there are no guarantees.”

The Washington Monthly’s David Atkins notes that “the slow demographic death spiral of the GOP is still continuing apace. Donald Trump embodies the Republican Party’s doom: older, mostly white, mostly male voters yearning for the imagined cultural dominance of decades past and increasingly divorced from the reality of America today….Yes, the Emerging Democratic Majority has been long promised without overwhelming success–so much so that it is now often widely mocked as a fallacy. But it is still very real. The oldest Millennials are now turning 40, and they haven’t gotten any more conservative with age. Zoomers, once hoped by conservatives to be a new vanguard for them, are even more progressive than Millennials (despite a very loud and obnoxious fascist minority of young white men.) Generation X has turned into a surprisingly conservative bastion for Trumpism, but Generation X is also smaller than the Baby Boom or the Millennials. The country gets less white every year. Women are becoming more hostile to conservatism….The greatest political divides in America outside of generation, race and gender are education and geographic polarization. There again, the trends are very much against conservatives. Americans are becoming more educated than ever, and moving away from rural areas and small towns into cities and suburbs. The greatest bulwark against white racism is a college degree, and as younger whites become better educated the overall percentage of the white population becomes more immune to the appeal of Trumpist demagoguery. And, of course, there is the fact that the suburbs are trending rapidly blue…If Trumpism can continue to pull strong numbers even without Trump himself on the ballot, the country (and the world) will be in for a very difficult next decade or two. But if it can’t, generational trends will compound the interest on a bad demographic deficit for the GOP that will overwhelm even its artificial geographic advantages. And if Democrats manage to change even a few of the rules, from the electoral college to adding states to reversing gerrymandering, the disaster for the GOP may be irreversible.”

Political Strategy Notes

In “How Georgia Turned Blue: And why it might not stay that way,” Perry Bacon, Jr. writes at FiveThirtyEight that “overall, the story is clear: Biden won Georgia because he did really well in the Atlanta area, far better than Obama eight years ago and significantly better than Clinton, too. Biden won about 65 percent of the two-party share of the votes in these 10 Atlanta-area counties, up from Clinton’s 59 percent in 2018. He also gained in the other 149 Georgia counties in Georgia, but it was smaller: Clinton received about 34 percent of the vote outside the Atlanta area, while Biden received about 37 percent….What does this very blue Atlanta mean for future Georgia elections — not only for the Jan. 5 runoffs for the U.S. Senate seats, but also Abrams’s likely 2022 gubernatorial campaign and subsequent presidential elections?….Remember, the Democrats are losing badly in most areas of Georgia outside of Atlanta — and the state is only competitive if the Atlanta area stays as blue as it has been during the Trump era. If some Atlanta-area voters no longer view Trump as the defining figure of the GOP, do they go back to the GOP in the Senate runoffs and in subsequent elections?”

When an incomming President-elect comes from a different party from the incumbent, much of the media coverage focuses on upcoming changes regarding the cabinet and Supreme Court, along with policies regarding health care, abortion rights or environmental protection, among others. But one of the most consequential agencies, which affects the quality of life for millions of Americans is the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces labor law regarding collective baraining and unfair labor practices. As President, Biden will have the opportunity to transform this pivotal agency from an anti-labor agency into a pro-worker force with his appointments. At present the NLRB has four Republicans and one Democrat, with one seat vacant. Two of the Trump appointees, including Chairman John Ring and William Emmanuel will be replaced by Biden, who will also fill the vacant seat, giving pro-worker Democrats a majority on the Board. As Sahid Fawaz writes at Labor 411, “So how do things look for labor? Pretty good, depending on the what the Senate will look like….Biden can nominate a Democrat to the current vacant seat right after he takes office. And he can nominate another in August of next year. The two nominations, if confirmed by the Senate, would flip the Board from Republican to Democrat….Given the rash of anti-union decisions by the Board during Trump’s term, it would be a welcome change, to say the least, to see a Board that is no longer dominated by Trump-appointed Republicans…And a (big) bonus is that the term of Trump-appointed NLRB General Counsel, Peter Robb, who is definitely no friend of labor, expires November of next year.” But note Fawaz’s key phrase, “depending on the what the Senate will look like” — which underscores once more the pivotal importance of Georgia’s two senate run-off election on January 5th.

New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall quotes a “Democratic operative with experience working on elections from the presidency on down to local contests,” who “emailed me his views on the complexities involved in developing Democratic strategies. He insisted on anonymity to protect his job: “I do think that defund the police and socialism hurt in Trump-leaning swing districts with more culturally conservative swing voters,” he wrote, but, he continued, “it’s not clear what one can do about it as you can’t reject your own base. You do need progressive politicians to be a bit more “OK” with centrists denouncing their own base. And you need centrist politicians being OK that the grass roots will have ideas that they don’t like….This all needs to be more of a “wink wink do what you need to do” arrangement, but it’s not there right now — it’s all too raw and divisive. So as someone involved in campaign strategy, that is frustrating. But to me, this is less of a campaign and message issue, and more of a political one — it’s about organizing and aligning the various constituencies of our party to work together. If we can do that, then we can figure out how to solve the message puzzle. But if you don’t do that, then this conflict will continue….We need to extend the tent and extend the map further in some way — out of necessity. That’s where I sympathize with the centrists. You also need a strong, passionate, determined base. That’s where I sympathize with the progressives…From race, to culture, to socioeconomic status. All of these items — knowledge professions vs. working class, young vs. old, rural vs. suburban vs. urban — makes us far more complex to manage than the G.O.P.”

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr. notes that “in 2020, Trump voters came out in droves and thus boosted down-ballot Republicans. Trump won over 10 million more votes in 2020 than in 2016 — exit polls suggest that 6.5 million of his ballots came from first-time voters — which means he brought new supporters into the electorate who were important to this year’s House GOP victories….Going forward, figuring out how Trump won an additional 10 million votes is one of the most important questions in politics. Here’s a plausible and discouraging theory: Given Trump’s intemperate and often wild ranting in the campaign’s final weeks and the growing public role in GOP politics of QAnon conspiracists, the Proud Boys and other previously marginal extremist groups, these voters may well be more radical than the party as a whole. This means that Republicans looking to the future may be more focused on keeping such Trump loyalists in the electorate than on backing away from his abuses.” Another theory, which is compatible with reports that Republicans registered more new voters in 2020 than did Democrats in key states, is that GOP strategists deployed a strategy used by the successful ‘Brexit’ movement in the U.K.: invest money and time in identifying non-voters, then match them with 500 data points (developed by Cambridge Analytica) to target them as potential Republicans for GOTV.  C.A. was involved in 44 Republican races in the U.S. in 2014, as well as Ted Cruz’s campaign in 2015 and Trump’s 2016 campaign.