Saxman: Can the Hokies Teach Biden and the Democrats a Lesson in Winning This Year?
Early Programming Note: Virginia FREE Friday 3pm Zoom will feature Youngkin pollster Amanda Iovino, Vice President of WPA Intel, who will give us an update on 2022 midterm polling. (themed On Hold videos below)
The pre-dawn walk to retrieve the old soldier Richmond Times Dispatch and Wall Street Journal coincides with the brewing of the morning elixir.
This morning’s ritual of reading the RTD Sports section first was rewarded with the David Teel column on Virginia Tech’s recent home loss to Miami in men’s basketball.
Here is today’s headline:
Good coffee that one.
Wednesday night, last place Virginia Tech lost on a last second half court shot to the first-place team in the ACC – Miami. A bank shot no less.
So, why is this a story? A last place team lost to a first-place team.
Well, this is a down year for the ACC. Only one team, Duke (#9), is ranked in the top 30 and Virginia Tech, according to Teel, is:
… a team with obvious talent and a program that reached the tournament last season. With rebounding issues and questionable depth, this wasn’t going to be a Sweet 16 bunch, but last place in the ACC is not where the Hokies should be.
VT Coach Mike Young is quoted at the end of the column:
This thing’s going to turn, he said. We’ve got a really good basketball team. We have deserved better outcomes, but that’s the game, man. Doesn’t owe you a damn thing. You’ve got to suck it up and play better.
But will they play better? What will it take for the Hokies “to turn.”
Which brings me to President Joe Biden. This was supposed to be a much better year for Biden and the Democrats.
Let’s see the scorecard for that team:
Biden’s approval score has gone, since this time last year, from …
+11 to +5 among Republicans (-6)
+61 to +33 among Independents (-28)
And perhaps more dangerously within the base:
+98 to +82 among Democrats (-16) and was (-20) in December.
Here’s a visual for overall trend line of Joe Biden:
Why more dangerously?
Well, those numbers could lead to an explosion of primaries at every level of their party. And that, my friends, is painfully expensive and could also push the Democrats in a direction even further away from the majority of voters.
Here is the Real Clear Politics Generic Congressional Vote.
Clearly things are going in the wrong direction for Joe Biden and the Democrats.
Down 28 points among Independents combined with an erosion of enthusiasm among the base of his party, Biden, like the Hokies, has decisions to make.
Here’s what C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:
Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.
If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.
But will Biden walk “back to the right road”? Will he be the “most progressive”?
Axios today reports these nuggets:
Democrats in swing states and vulnerable districts in this year’s pivotal midterms are distancing themselves from President Biden on social media as his poll numbers hit their lowest point, Axios’ Sarah Mucha reports.
… and swing state U.S. Senate Democratic candidates?
They want to develop a brand distinct from Biden and the national Democratic Party.
But can they?
No. They cannot.
Our politics are deeply divided, binary, and national. It is even color coded – Blue or Red.
Biden’s recent attempt to rally his base with a voting rights appeal in Georgia coupled with a pledge to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court are clear indications of a MASSIVE problem facing the Democrats.
What’s the problem?
Well, Virginia Democratic campaign consultant Ben Tribbett refers to his party as
… a complex coalition.
And indeed it is. There are sooo many subgroups that must have agendas adopted before they will show up to vote let alone actually work to help a candidate win.
Left Handed Middle School Teachers UNITE! Red Headed Thursday Night Mixed League Bowlers Demand ACTION which is wholly different from the national Gingers Alliance, a dark money 501 c 4 funded by an unnamed Silicon Valley tech guru who really just wants to bring down crypto.
Keeping that coalition together in 2022 is absolutely essential for a Democratic comeback.
It’s just math and the harder the math gets, the more pliable candidates in close elections become.
As a reminder – just look at how the Democratic coalition broke down in 2016 with Green Party, independents, and Libertarians costing Hillary Clinton critical electoral votes that eroded the Blue Wall of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
In 2020? Everyone was all in to defeat Donald Trump. That was their united purpose.
So, if Biden is having to make efforts to keep Blacks in the “complex coalition”, the Democrats are in deep trouble.
Here’s an exit poll on African American voting from the Virginia elections just four months ago:
Look at the numbers among AA with children under 18 and Richmond/Southside.
Rut ro, Raggy.
Any further erosion with AA voters is devastating political math for Democrats.
As VT Coach Mike Young says:
… that’s the game, man. Doesn’t owe you a damn thing. You’ve got to suck it up and play better.
Playing better for the Hokies means making necessary mid-season changes.
Will Biden and the national Democrats make the necessary – maybe even “progressive” mid-term changes?
If you are paying close attention to the Virginia General Assembly this year, you can already see the beginnings of that dramatic decision being played out.
Talk about the ultimate bellwether! Sic Semper, baby.
Tune in today at 3pm on Virginia FREE Friday Zoom to discuss.
Second Programming Note.
Many of you have inquired about the recent negative interaction I had with a member of the Virginia House.
The Delegate sought me out yesterday and very graciously apologized asking me, “Did I really act that badly?” Certainly not an end of Casablanca (Rick and Louis moment), but … you never know … and that’s the whole point of this thing, innit?
Anyway, good on that Delegate for being (as noted above) – progressive.
President Biden, now it’s your turn.
(Yeah, that ain’t happening)
See you at 3?
Pick your campaign songs for the 2022 Democrats this year: