Why Democrats are on better footing against Trump in 2020

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But don’t lose heart, Democrats and others who want nothing more than to evict him from the Oval Office. You have a lot going for you, too.

1. $412.1 million

Like a lot of people, I was blown away by Trump’s 2019 cash haul. Between his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, he raised $463 million last year. Of that, as The Post reported, “In comparison, then-President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party raised roughly $220 million in 2011, the year before his reelection.” Then, I took a look at the fundraising numbers from the Democratic candidates. Their numbers are equally impressive.

The president raised $46 million in the last quarter of 2019. That was nearly $12 million more than the impressive $34.5 million pulled in by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). But there are 13 other candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination. According to an NBC News tally Monday, the seven candidates who have already announced their fourth-quarter fundraising numbers raised a combined $137.6 million. That’s three times as much as the president. When you look at the entire year, Trump raised $143.8 million. Those seven Dems pulled in a combined $412 million with $108.9 million of it raised by Sanders alone.

Actions speak louder than words, but money shouts. With their pocketbooks, some of our fellow Americans have clearly stated that kids in cages and flouting the rule of law are among the many horrific administration policies worth supporting or condoning. But the money raised by the Democratic candidates is a demonstration of disgust with the president, his policies and what both are doing to our nation at home and abroad. Once there is a Democratic nominee, watch out.

2. Bloomberg

Enough with the whining about Mike Bloomberg — the multibillionaire former mayor of New York City — trying to “buy” the Democratic presidential nomination. Yes, he’s spending a lot of his own money on staff, ads and other things to make his presidential bid viable, especially since he’s skipping the first four primary and caucus contests. But Bloomberg is also waging an assault against Trump that will benefit the eventual Democratic nominee.

More than a week before Bloomberg announced his presidential run late last year, he announced a $100 million digital ad campaign against the president in the battleground states Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Bloomberg then announced a $15 million-$20 million voter registration effort in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina and Texas. According to the Associated Press, “The new effort will target 500,000 voters from traditionally underrepresented groups that typically lean Democratic, including African Americans, Latinos, Asians, young voters and those living in some rural communities.”

But wait, there’s more.

Last month, Bloomberg donated $10 million to House Majority PAC to help defend House Democrats against Republican attacks on their support for impeachment. On Tuesday, his campaign announced that the former mayor bought time for 60 seconds worth of ad time to run during the Super Bowl, television’s most expensive real estate. The estimated cost is $10 million. Trump is doing the same. Lord only knows what his ad will say. For its part, the Bloomberg campaign was matter-of-fact. “The biggest point is getting under Trump’s skin,” said a campaign spokesman.

This is part of the larger effort that campaign manager Kevin Sheekey told me about when I interviewed him for my “Cape Up” podcast last month. “Mike has started the general election now, on behalf of Democrats, and, again, is doing things that are not designed to benefit his candidacy,” Sheekey said, “but are meant to weaken the president, so when there is a nominee, we can replace him.”

3. Hip to voter suppression

As much as Republicans are trying to deny Americans the right to vote, Democrats are fighting back just as aggressively. Many organizations have been fighting to preserve the integrity of elections and ballot access for years, especially after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. And after losing her 2018 bid for governor in Georgia, which many attribute to voter suppression, Stacey Abrams founded Fair Fight 2020.

The organization’s goal is “making sure that voter suppression in 20 battleground states does not take root and block us from victory again,” Abrams said when I interviewed her at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston last month. She added that her goal is “making sure that in the 20 states that will determine the future of our democracy, that I have done the work I can do to make sure that no matter who the nominee for president is in June or July of 2020, that that presidential nominee can scale up these teams, can take them over, and can march to victory.”

Unseating an incumbent is not impossible, but it’s hard work. The last one-term president, Republican George H.W. Bush, was elected in 1988. That’s why this is no time for unrestrained pessimism, Democratic bed-wetting, unconstructive second-guessing and needless hectoring of the eventual nominee who might not be your idea of “The One.” This is a time for the focus and determination needed to take our country back.


By Jonathan Capehart

2020-01-08 05:45:45

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