And how to square the results with Joe Biden's very bad polling
I am genuinely proud of my state for reasons other than college football today! On the ground advocates for issues 1 and 2 were inspiring and relentless. They simply had way better messaging. “Regulate marijuana like alcohol” is simply hard to argue with! Not to mention...weed and abortion are bipartisan issues no matter what the GOP leadership says.
I think (as an expert in zero things) that the main message and the thing that worked here is making it about FREEDOM. The government wants to control your medical decisions--that led to one of the best political ads about abortion ever, but it can also be applied to trans issues. I think this is what the message needs to be for the likely Biden v Trump rematch. Biden wants workers rights, Trump wants to send American jobs oversees. Trump overturned Roe v Wade (he literally says this so we have no shortage of clips) while Biden wants women to be able to make their own choices. Trump wants tanks in the streets, Biden wants American made automobiles.
I woke up proud to be an Ohioan. I work in a hospital with 90% Trump supporters, but a lot of them voted yes on Issue 1! Make it about the issues not the man, and people are more likely to vote in their interests. Or maybe we’re all doomed! But today is good.
Kudos for delivering 24 takes on a morning when Matt Yglesias could manage a mere 23. Your move, Noah Smith.
Motion that “reverse coattails” be referred to as “bootstraps.”
“Send me back to Washington with one more senator and the House, and I’ll sign a bill to codify Roe in January 2025. Send me back with even more Senators and we will take the Courts back from the extremists.”
I agree with just about everything you say and recommend for Ds. And, specifically, I've been thinking lately about the reverse-coattail effect that might benefit Biden in 2024.
1. Of course, the New York Times has to frame a rather remarkably good day for Democrats this way as if it's some inexplicable mystery.
"President Biden is unpopular, but the winning streak for his party and its policies has been extended through another election night."
2. Other good news was that the "Moms for Liberty" type school board terrorists seem to have hit a wall in places like Loudin County VA and Iowa.
I sense some competition with Matt Yglesias here.
Here is the most interesting thing I have seen this morning - a tweet from Rachel Cohen of Vox:
"meanwhile a mid-October Wapo/Schar-School poll found: 47 percent of VA voters opposed to 15-week ban, 46 percent approve, but 51 percent in the poll saied they trust Democrats on abortion, 34 trust Republicans. (voters don't believe GOP will even stop at 15 weeks)"
While a 15 week abortion ban polled OK in the VA electorate (at least in this poll, there are others where it fared less well), there is a clear "trust gap" on this issue.
So, are issue salience (as you have noted many times) and "issue trust" more important than specific issue position? Is this why popularism (particularly the strain of popularism that gets derided as "free ponies") is less predictive of electoral outcomes than the popularists would have expected?
How do Democrats use that?
"Codify Roe" is going to counter-mobilize the right for Trump. We don't want that. Democrats are best when they play defense on abortion.
As JVL over at The Bulwark says, "I come from the future, and I'm here to tell you what's going to happen..."
"Codify Roe" is going to start out like you think it is. Biden will make his big pitch, say he's just codifying the protections we used to have, nothing more nothing less. You and all your friends (no snark!) will cheer and say he's Doing The Right Thing For Women.
The [Abortion] Groups will screech that although codifying Roe is a good start, Biden is betraying millions of women and "birthing people" who need late-term abortions with zero limitations. Fox will then proceed to have a field day with all of this, and paint Biden as the extremist. And we'll end up playing the same rear-guard defense we actually SUCK at, where Vox and MSNBC will be explaining in their mightiest of impotent indignances how "'Codify Roe' doesn't actually mean what the extremists are saying it does, it actually means [blah blah blah]", and muddying the message with "Well, it depends on what you mean by 'Roe', since it means a lot to a lot of different things to different people".
Tell me I'm wrong.
I don't say these things to be an asshole. I'm just saying, this is the world we live in. The script where we DO win is the one where we let the Republicans overextend themselves by promising a federal abortion ban; then we run against that, and even if we don't win on that, then in the worst case where they actually win a 2024 trifecta, either way we lobby Roberts and Gorsuch to strike it down as violating the precedent set by Dobbs.
Regarding point 3 - Obama may have won 2012 but the GOP’s wins in lesser elections throughout his presidency were bigger and more consequential than Obama’s re-election.
Gerrymandering, the loss of the Voting Rights Act, the stacking of the Supreme Court and Appellate Courts with the worst garbage mucked up from the bowels of the Federalist Society all happened from 2009-2016. The biggest thing to happen in Obama’s second term had nothing to do with Obama.
Two things the Left has no problem with:
An authoritarian government that can force you to take a vaccine against your will under threat of losing your job. A vaccine that may very well put your life in danger by taking it.
Rebranding the murder of unborn children with euphemistic slogans like “reproductive rights”