Stuff You Should Consume - Nov 22, 2022
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume.”
“Survey of 2022 Midterm Voters” by Navigator Research
“Democrats on Offense: Messages That Win” by Data For Progress
The most effective Democratic messages featured lowering costs; creating new jobs; spurring domestic manufacturing; taking on Big Pharma; protecting Social Security; highlighting the economic benefits of clean energy production; and defending abortion rights by emphasizing bodily autonomy, personal privacy, and government interference.
The most effective Democratic policies featured protecting and expanding Social Security; reforming prescription drug pricing; increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour; improving infrastructure; raising taxes on individuals making more than $1 million a year; and requiring a background check for every gun purchase.
“What Happened on Election Night in Michigan,” by Dante Chinni, American Communities Project
Michigan is a complicated state with deep red rural areas (Working Class Country and Graying America counties) and deep blue Big Cities, Urban Suburbs and College Towns, but across all the ACP types Whitmer saw better margins in 2022 than Biden did in 2020.
That does not mean Whitmer won everywhere, but even where she lost, she lost by less. For instance, Whitmer lost the state’s 31 Graying America counties by 15 percentage points, but that was more than 8 points better than Biden’s loss in those counties in 2020. And in the state’s 17 rural, blue-collar Working Class Country counties, Whitmer’s 20-percentage point loss was 11 points better than Biden 31-point margin of defeat.
Whitmer even managed to flip the vote out of the state’s one Exurb county near Lansing and the blue-collar Middle Surburb counties on the eastern side of the state, mostly around Detroit. She won the vote from those seven counties after Biden lost them by 7 points in 2020. Those counties had been a well of support for Republican Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
“The Democrats Remembered How Politics Works Again” by Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
Democrats did not see Clinton’s defeat as a rebuke to her decision to move to Obama’s left. Instead, the compounding shocks of Bernie Sanders’s surprisingly robust primary challenge, followed by Donald Trump’s election victory, convinced many of them that the old rules of politics did not apply at all. If one looked carefully, there were conventional explanations for both these phenomena: Sanders had actually relied heavily on conservative-leaning voters casting protest votes against Clinton, and Trump, by positioning himself rhetorically in the center on issues like health care, taxes, and trade, was actually seen by voters as more moderate than Clinton. But progressives instead took the rise of Sanders and Trump as proof that the best strategy was to shock the voters to life with promises of radical change.
“The Enduring Power of Trumpism” by Jelani Cobb, New Yorker
In the seven years since Trump took his ride down the gold-colored escalator in Trump Tower to declare his candidacy for President of the United States, the movement that coalesced around him has died a thousand deaths, only to climb out of its shallow grave before the first trowel of dirt hit the casket. The political landscape in front of Trump is different and far more formidable than it was even in 2016, when he was a political novice. Notable Presidents—Ulysses S. Grant and Eisenhower among them—had been elected without much political experience. But, in 2024, a prospective Trump would be attempting reëlection after having lost a Presidential election, a feat that only the Democrat Grover Cleveland achieved, in 1892, by defeating Benjamin Harrison, who was himself hobbled by divisions among Republicans. Moreover, in 2016, Trump sliced through a fairly unimpressive field of G.O.P. competitors in the primaries. This time, though, he could face a significant primary challenger, in the form of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis. All this seemingly points to the diminished viability of one of the most disruptive political movements we’ve seen in modern American history. Yet it’s worth thinking about what exactly Trumpism is and how it came to be before penning another potentially premature eulogy on its behalf.