Very positive, informative, encouraging speech by Simon Rosenberg of “Hopium Chronicles” at the VA 2023 Women’s Summit earlier today. See below for video and a transcript; bolding added by me for emphasis of key points.
“We’ve had three great national elections in a row and it’s because of all of you. It’s because of the passion, the intensity, the sense that we can do better, that we’re not going to let MAGA take over. And we’ve…been able to forestall MAGA nationally.
Now we have in this coming election…this incredible opportunity not just to beat the Republicans, but to do so in a way that sends a clear sign and a clear signal to the country that we’re repudiating this politics, that this is this is not the direction that we want to go in.
And so part of the reason I’m so pleased to be here is as we gear up for the fall here, Virginia, this incredibly important race that will send a loud signal to the country about the state of our politics, we need to not just try to win here, we need to try to run up the score. We need to go big, do everything we can, so that everybody knows that Glenn Youngkin is a failed politician and has been repudiated by the people of Virginia. And then it will set the table for a big election in 2024.
Because we just had a terrific election. I mean everyone said a red wave was coming, there was high inflation and low Biden approval. And yet in the battleground states, we actually gained ground – in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania did…we did better than 2020 in all these critical states. We got to 59% in Colorado, 57% in Pennsylvania, 55% in Michigan, 54% in New Hampshire. We just got to 56% in that Supreme Court race in Wisconsin that many of you may have helped out in. We’ve been pushing our performance to the upper end of what’s possible in these recent elections and we’ve been doing it because of all of you, because you’re raising the money that our candidates need to communicate and control the information environment. We’re creating a condition where we can get turnout at the highest level possible because of all the work you’re doing – the postcards, the texting, the phoning, the zooming, all these new tactics that we have – to work together in more effective ways. And it what it’s led to is that the Democratic Party today and our grassroots is stronger than it’s ever been.
It’s a bit humbling to come here to an event in Virginia given how successful you’ve been over a long period of time – the great leaders that you’ve sent to Richmond and to DC, the elections that you’ve won (you’ve turned a state that used to be a battleground state into a largely blue state). And you do something that almost nobody does, which is you have elections every year. And so I’m very humbled to come here and to share some thoughts about how can I help you, inspire you, because you all do this all the time and you do it really well. But this election really matters…yeah, let’s have a round of applause.
So let me make let me make three suggestions about as we look to the fall. One: one of the things we learned in the battlegrounds in 2022, we did better in the early vote in 2022 across the country than we did in 2018 and 2020. And it’s one of the reasons Youngkin is so scared, right, and has initiated this early vote program. And it’s because our grassroots every two years or every year is getting stronger and more powerful. And so one of the things I want you to think about – and this is something we talked a lot about in the election of 2022 – is about encouraging our voters to vote on day one of early voting. There needs to be a day-one kind of concept. Why? Because when our prime voters vote early, they come off the GOV roles and that means the big campaigns that we have start going into lower propensity voters at the second day of early vote, not at four o’clock in the afternoon on Election Day. And one of the reasons we’re seeing Democrats perform in such extraordinary levels is that we’re getting the early vote is a better way to mobilize our coalition than the way we used to. And so one of the things to be talking to all of your communities about is if you want to be a proud Virginian, you want to be a proud patriot, you need to vote on day one. And we pull all the prime voters out as early as we possibly can; that means these massive GOTV operations are going down into voters that we never used to be able to talk to, because we just didn’t have the resources or the capacity. And that’s what happened in the battlegrounds, and that’s one of the reasons we did so well all across the country.
The second is you have a much better issue environment in this election than we did two years ago. I mean…[Biden’s] poll ratings were collapsing as we came into your election here in 2021. Things are so much better now – the economy is so much better, inflation’s down, growth is strong…the deficit has come way down, we’re not now dealing with the failure in Afghanistan but the success of NATO and revitalizing the western coalition. The border – Biden’s border plan is successful, and now the Washington Post says the border is now eerily quiet…Murder rates are down all across the country and crime is…look, crime went up during COVID, it’s not a big surprise, but it’s coming back down to where it was. And virtually in every state in the country, crime is still a fraction of what it was a generation ago. We know that their attacks on ‘woke’ are failing…you’re seeing it in Florida, you’re seeing it here. A plurality of voters believe, and in some cases the majority, that ‘woke’ is good not bad. I think…[Republicans] deeply misread the issue…they’ve misplayed that issue badly and misinterpreted what happened here in Virginia. It’s my own view that what happened in 2021 was much more about COVID than it was about all the ‘woke’ stuff, that when we went back to school, and I have kids in school, it was hard during COVID in 2021, there was a sense of unsettledness. Well they misread it, in my view, and misinterpreted it.
And then finally, what’s different from two years ago is the whole country has seen just how extreme they’ve become – the Dobbs decision…permitless carry…Youngkin’s governorship. The voters here now know more than they knew two years ago of how dangerous the Republican Party’s become. And that’s also what makes I think this election gives us so much opportunity here, not just to win, but to go big.
And then finally young people. We have to make young people the center of everything we do. It shouldn’t be that the people who vote for us the most, vote the least. We can change that. We have the ability to change that. We have huge margins coming from 18 to 29 year olds, under 45-year-old voters here and everywhere. They just don’t vote enough. And that’s our fault, not their fault. We have to change that. And I’ll just give you one statistic on this, and I’ve written about this a lot…If you take the 2020 results of the election, where Biden won by four and a half points, and you keep everything constant but you change one thing, which is you have under-45-year-old voters vote at the same level as their population distribution – not a crazy thing, right? just at the same level as they represent – Biden wins by 10 points. And so imagine if we do that here in Virginia. You want to put MAGA into the dustbin of history and Youngkin’s politics in the dustbin of history here in Virginia? You have to mobilize young people, register them, talk to them, make them the center of everything you do. That’s the way we’re going to run up the score here, in addition to all the other tactics that you use…
…The country is going to be looking at Virginia. You all know this, you’ve been through this before…You know in these off-year elections, everyone’s reading the tea leaves, everyone’s looking. The great thing you’re going…to have hundreds of thousands of people all across the country who are going to be helping you make GOTV phone calls and texting into Virginia. The reinforcements are coming everybody. I’ve been working with these groups all across the country. They are ready. They’re focused. You’re not going to be alone. And it’s why I’m confident in every bone in my body that we’re going to have a great election this fall. Let me know how I can help and thank you to this amazing…organization you’ve all built together.”