Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

By Joe Trippi

I wanted to take a few minutes and explain why I’m optimistic based on my 40+ years in the business.

It boils down to five or six reasons.

#1: Redistricting wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought

Everyone -myself included- was assuming Republicans would be able to gerrymander their way into a huge advantage this year – up to 12 or even 14 seats. But with redistricting mostly done, it looks like that juice was already mostly squeezed. Turns out for the most part, you can’t gerrymander more than they did 2010, which means that the process is looking like it’ll be a wash or even as Dave Wasserman at Cook puts it, “there will be a few more Biden-won districts after redistricting than there are now.”

Instead of starting down 14 seats, we might be up a few, or even more, pending some court battles. But in any case this is a very positive sign.

#2: The GOP/MAGA party is nominating loons like we’ve never seen before.

Nominees still matter. The current crop of Republicans have the potential to be crazier than even the 2010 Tea Party revolution, where the Republicans nominated, among others, an actual witch, who proceeded to blow a winnable Senate seat in Delaware. That’s the history they’re up against. On the Senate side, you’ve got a Big Lie true-believer, a disgraced former governor, an incumbent senator whose conspiracy theories are regularly debunked, a first-time candidate who will be nominated solely because Donald Trump wanted him, and a TV doctor who’s put profit ahead of the health of his viewers for decades. And it’s going to be even crazier on the House side as the Trump-led purge of moderates continues in favor of those pushing the Big Lie.

But it’s not just that the GOP is nominating loons. The Democrats have largely avoided this problem this cycle. A lot of the candidates the Democrats are nominating – the people actually running – are strong candidates. They aren’t getting bogged down like the Republicans are. Which in turn means Democratic primaries are not the slugfest the GOP candidates are facing. Looking at a state like Pennsylvania with Lamb, Fetterman, and others – the winner will not emerge as bruised as the GOP nominees in some of these places. And that’s a huge advantage.

If you’re following me this far, you know I’m optimistic. But we still have a lot of work to do. Can we count on you to keep The Lincoln Project in the fight?

#3: Externalities will provide opportunities for Democrats

This one is really simple. Yes, Biden’s approval rating is the lowest it’s been. But given the polarization in our country right now the only way he can go from here is up. And there’s still plenty of time for Omicron to pass, inflation to subside, and positive externalities to shift momentum in Dems’ favor. Not unlimited time. But enough to shift the momentum and Dems are in a much better place to capitalize on it. Look at how DeSantis and Abbott are handling COVID and the economy. That’s the clear contrast right there and Democrats can take advantage.

#4: There’s still time for Democrats to coalesce

I know the reaction to President Biden’s speech in Georgia might contradict this. But there is still time for Democrats to unite behind a pro-democracy message. The Lincoln Project is beating the drum as loudly as we can: 2022 is about democracy first, second, and always. Policy has to take a back seat – if we don’t win this year and in 2024 we might not have another chance to argue about policy anymore under an authoritarian government. We are not being alarmist.

But now it’s our task to make sure we build the largest, widest, deepest and most diverse political coalition in American history. This work starts at the local level. We have to organize and we have to do it now. Everyone has a part to play. Help us keep it up.

Which brings me to my fifth point.

#5: There are more of us than them

For the past two decades the margin of the popular vote has steadily tilted in favor of the Democrats. Looking back to the Gore years – the margin was still pretty small. Now you’re talking several million more votes. That margin is so big that even in some of these marginal Congressional districts – in a Presidential year, many more Democrats vote than Republicans. Why is that important?

We know their names. Yes, this is an off-year election so turnout will take more work. But we know they’re persuadable and they voted two years ago this November. The end result here is that there are more potential voters for us than there are for Trump’s autocratic movement. The historical headwinds are tough. But the numbers are there for us to win.

All of this points to why I believe Democrats are going to hold the majority in the House and even expand it in the Senate this year. It will be a colossal task. It will take all of us from every part of the political spectrum to stop Trump and his MAGA mob. It will take a true pro-democracy coalition.

That’s what we’re building right now at The Lincoln Project. Everything else is secondary. Are you with us?

-Joe Trippi

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