April 17, 2022

In the first part of the discussion, MSNBC host Tiffany Cross pointed out that whether it’s Donald Trump, himself, or Trumpist acolytes, Trumpism and worse are poised to make big gains in November. What’s needed is the same kind of mobilization of Democrats that occurred in 2018 and 2020. But a recent poll shows Republican enthusiasm far exceeding that of the Democrats (55% vs. 35%) for the midterm elections.

Fortunately, Fernand Amandi, a pollster and MSNBC political analyst, and Lucy Caldwell, the manager of Joe Walsh’s 2020 presidential campaign, offered what seems like sound advice. It’s all about messaging, messaging, messaging.

AMANDI: I see a very clear, three-legged stool on messaging that i think will be successful. Number one, tell the truth about the context of what the Biden administration inherited: an economy in absolute free fall, a country overrun with COVID because of the anti-science policies of the previous administration. So, you’ve got to first remind people what cards they were dealt.

Then, tell the truth, Tiffany, about what the administration has done. We are in an economic boom now, and that means you’ve got to give the Biden administration and the Democrats credit for what they've done to create that boom while acknowledging, yes, inflation is a problem. But that's not a problem because of the Democrats. It's a problem because of world events. And if you talk about those accomplishments, how they've also fortified the Affordable Care Act, how they've done and dealt with college student loans, extended the payments on those as well, that gives a lot of folks a chance to get back to normal, giving them this opportunity in this nearly full economy. It is a very powerful message.

I'm not one that thinks we have a bad message to sell. We have a fantastic message to sell. We just got to make the case.

Finally, the third leg of the stool. Tell the truth, Tiffany, on who the other side is. This is a radical, extreme-authoritarian party that no longer believes in science, that feels books should be banned. Now they're actually banning math textbooks over this boogeyman of CRT in my home state of Florida, and they want to outlaw a woman's right to choose. That's the next step that's coming.

We make that case, the American voters, like they did in 2018 and 2020, I think will vote en masse again against this MAGA, radical Republican movement.

Caldwell talked about the urgent need to fight Republican extremism by fiercely calling it out up and all the way down the ballot

CALDWELL [I]t was state legislatures that were trying to do things like send alternate slates of electors, decertify elections, basically upend and ignore the will of voters, right? And the state legislatures that are seated this November, those are going to be the people who are in office on that fateful day in 2024, going into 2025, where we need to make sure the rightful winner of the 2024 election is not impeded in the kind of dream of the Republican MAGA nut jobs.

And so I would say that not only do we need to really focus on telling these stories, we need to tell these stories up and down the ticket. We need to tell them all the way down to the down ballot.

I spend a lot of time thinking about state-level politics. I'm one of, like, five people in the universe who does, unfortunately, and I have to tell you, the Steve Bannons of the world, the Trump hardcore base - it is one thing to say these are disorganized people, they're crazy, whatever. They have become incredibly effective and they will continue to be.

So I think that telling these stories of who are actually the lawmakers pulling the levers to make your life worse, to make your child less safe in school, to make your right to choose endangered, to literally try to upend the will of voters and send fake electors to put another Trump or a Josh Hawley or a Ted Cruz or a Ron DeSantis in office. We need to tell those stories of the way that these nut jobs have infiltrated every level of our American government.

I hope every single Democrat running for office this year hears these words and takes them to heart.

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