The AAPC recently spoke with two Democratic consultants, Taryn Rosenkranz, Founder & CEO of New Blue Interactive and Jef Pollock, Founding Partner & President of Global Strategy Group, to get their takes on emerging trends post-election. Stay tuned for the next November eNews issue to get the take of two Republican consultants weighing in on the same topic.
What trends or themes have emerged so far from the 2020 presidential election results?
Rosenkranz: Vote by mail is here to stay. It’s clear with such large turnout that when we make voting accessible, more people vote and that’s great for democracy. Grassroots efforts matter. We had our traditional campaign tactics turned upside with Covid-19 but it’s clear that people remained more engaged in creative and unusual ways – the dawn of a new campaign era has begun.
Pollock: First, while there were clearly issues with polling, especially in deep red states and districts, when all the ballots are finally counted, we suspect that many of the private polls will look far better than the current narrative.
Are any of these trends or themes unexpected or surprising?
Rosenkranz: The idea of accessible voting resulting in more voters is not unexpected or surprising. But, I do think the ability for us as voters/supporters as well as campaign professionals to pull off these campaigns in these extraordinary times was not surprising but it was refreshing. It was great to see people’s creative ways to connect with voters nationwide while suffering through a pandemic and all that comes with it. I found it inspiring.
Pollock: I think that the continued bleed for Donald Trump in the suburbs of the country is a trend over two cycles, so the question becomes will the trend continue once he’s gone? That will be a real question heading into the 2022 midterms.
What states or voter trends are particularly surprising to you and why?
Rosenkranz: For years, Democrats have worked hard in Georgia to turnout and activate voters. It is amazing to see how directly Stacey Abrams’ work in registering voters, voter education and turning out the vote made such a direct impact. My guess is Rep. John Lewis is smiling from above. In Arizona, Latinos reported the highest vote share for Biden of any state. The Latino vote in Arizona was over 75% for Biden. Biden built a strong coalition of African American and Latino voters, suburban women and independents who organized, were engaged and determined. Some voters standing in lines for hours to exercise their right. It was a beautiful show of democracy, engagement and the true power of grassroots.
Pollock: It’s hard to not call Georgia a real surprise and even more of one when we are about to head into 2 special elections in the state. Stacey Abrams deserves a lot of credit for what she started and then continued this year.