The Cure for Democrats’ 2020 Terror

Voters who fear a Trump re-election can start rebuilding the blue wall now.

Comments: 243

  1. Thanks, Michelle! Say it loud and say it often. We ALL need to get out there one way or another.

  2. @Teresa So glad to hear your affirmation of a great article. I'm a member of the Sister District Project...we've just spent the last year raising money, calling, canvassing, and writing postcards for Virginia state level candidates! AND WE FLIPPED VIRGINIA!! We just put on a USE YOUR VOICE AND YOUR VOTE high school assembly and got a dozen youth to register and sign up to volunteer, And we're taking this assembly nation-wide next...organizing needs to be happening all the's a slow process of getting people to believe that it's possible for things to be better...keep up the good work!

  3. @Teresa Democratic TERROR or Democratic ERROR Why are we not asking WHY Democrats lose to Trump? -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Maybe they are losing, by not learning from Trump. Trump has FOCUS and SIMPLICITY. Democrats are too complex. Democrats ramble on and on, and voters forget their message. I suggest IDEA contests for Democratic SIMPLICITY. ----------------------------------------------------------------- An idea for Democrats is the use of the DEMOCRACY song. "Democracy is coming to the USA" (Leonard Cohen, 1992) Using the DEMOCRACY song may help Democrats FOCUS. And I hope the Times will discuss the words of this song: "Democracy is coming to the USA" -------------------------------------------

  4. @Teresa The Trump era may encourage a Trump ANTI-VIRUS, ======================================= Perhaps the multitude of Trump evil doing has a plus side. It may lead to a new DEMOCRACY wave in the USA! I suggest the DEMOCRACY song of Leonard Cohen: "Democracy is coming to the USA" ------------------------------------------ (Can the Times discuss this song?)

  5. I am one of the 67 percent of Democrats who feel anxious about a possible reelection of Trump. I make an automatic monthly donation to Indivisible. I participate in anti-Trump and anti-Republican activities. But Michelle reminds me I can always do more and so I will. We cannot afford to have Trump reelected. Let me say that again...We cannot afford to have Trump reelected. Many of our parents, brothers, sisters, ancestors have fought in active wars to serve and defend America, the least we can do is fight an election to keep our country.

  6. @JABarry Voter apathy is high. Given most places offer the opportunity to vote absentee, or are open for multiple days - should elimate the excuse of not having time to vote. I agree with your last point. We (I'm a Vietnam vet) and millions of others fought so we could have the right to vote and have a say in our democracy. Sad that so many don't appreciate this freedom.

  7. @JABarry I'm with you. After the results of 2016, I took the step of becoming a precinct delegate and wore out shoe leather knocking on doors in my precinct. It's great being able to introduce yourself as a neighbor and to then be able to ask for a vote. We flipped the Secretary of State, Attorney General and Governor here in Michigan, and just elected progressive candidates to the City council in what has traditionally been a very very blue district.

  8. @misterarthur I meant very red district. Sorry about that error in my reply

  9. Spot on and brilliant! Wish I could volunteer to help but am currently outside looking in from Australia. But I’m a born Michigander and have heaps of friends back home I’d e happy to tap on the shoulder?

  10. @Carl: And you can cast your absentee ballot.

  11. What we need to do is make sure we have provided all the help we can to get people registered and get them to the polls. All the ads, phone calls, neighborhood canvases are great, but if the people on the other end of those endeavors are not registered or who find getting to the polls too cumbersome, then what will have been accomplished? I think Gillum and Abrams' efforts are exactly what needs to happen. Imagine , also, if a voter calls a hot line on election day and says "I have no way to get to the polls" and the next thing you know an Uber driver is sitting in front of their house. What would that say to voters? Republicans fear a huge turnout more than anything else. They bank on, and actively work towards low voter participation in the democratic process. How sad is that?

  12. @Walking Man : I signed up for Abram's Fair Fight platform and have heard exactly twice. That is worrisome. I was enthused about her doing this and thought it would really take off. It hasn't.

  13. @Walking Man A few years ago, in my district, we did offer rides in several elections. While canvassing the area, we would identify older Democrats who had no way of getting to the polls and volunteers would give them a ride to and from the polling site. We also had "Take a Friend to Vote" posters in heavily Democratic areas.

  14. @Walking Man Hang in there and never lose faith. Dems need every opportunity to fight the devil AKA Trump. You're from NY, as am I. We KNOW how fraudulent Trump is and always was. His family fight for him with the equally fraudulent ways theu were taught. Dems can and will win big in November 2020. Oh, and with a new manager and great GM, the Mets will win ahain too. 2020? ;-)

  15. This is a false debate, because the Democrats and Republicans are much more than political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. That's why people like Bernie Sanders had to enter the Democratic Party in order to have a realistic possibility of electability. That's why people like Donald Trump had to enter the Republican Party in order to have a realistic possibility of electability. If the Republicans went with someone like Romney and the Democrats went with someone like Sanders (or even Warren), the centrists/moderates would've been bashing the Democrats and voting for the Republicans. It's only a serendipity that it was the GOP -- and not the Dems -- that went to the extreme of the political spectrum first.

  16. @VK: All good and well, but what do the Democrats need to do in order to beat Trump in 2020 in your opinion? Ms. Goldberg gives some good advice. Anything to add?

  17. Its not just Trump that need to be defended. As we speak the billionares are mounting a offensive against Progressives by running Bloomberg. If the people who own and control everything think they will have to pay one cent more than the average 3.2 percent they pay now they will split the vote keeping Trump and the tax cuts they love in office.

  18. @gene: Yes it IS Trump who needs to be beaten. Bloomberg is a true progressive about tackling climate change and gun violence. I don't care if he's a billionnaire (and he's not in shady real estate or the fossil fuel industry by the way), as long as he has integrity and competence. The mid-west and South is predominantly conservative to moderate and without a number of those states Democrats won't win. If the choice will be between Trump and Bloomberg (third party candidates won't win at that stage and will be spoilers), the choice is perfectly clear to me. Or do you want four more years of Trump trashing the climate to serve his oil oligarch masters and fomenting violence, bowing to the NRA?

  19. @gene Even though I personally lean a bit more to the left, I honestly prefer Bloomberg over Biden. As I just said to another person, when it comes to the final nominee, any blue will do as long as we beat Trump.

  20. @gene I oppose a Bloomberg candidacy. The last thing we need is another old white man in this race. And Bloomberg is 77 now and if elected will be a couple weeks shy of 79 when he takes the oath of office. If we want an octogenarian president, let's at least elect someone with a proven track record who is actually a democrat and has successfully run the world's fifth largest economy: former California governor Jerry Brown. Yes we need to beat Trump, but Bloomberg is not the ticket and his money spent on gun-control measures will be used as a club to beat him in WI, MI and PA.

  21. Democrats can’t invest enough in going door to door and motivating people, one home at a time, to get out and vote. It’s the single most important thing they can do. They need to continuously test and refine their messaging, and learn, state by state, how best to make people really understand and feel the importance that their single vote will have in keeping the republic from going into an abyss. Everyone needs to viscerally feel part of a movement that is centered around one thing in the next year: voting to save their country.

  22. Probably should pay more attention to the Bernie or Bust movement that will split your party by or at the Convention. The Squad illustrates it quite well. Two have endorsed Bernie, the other Warren. That mirrors the party as a whole and you still have those who want it to Biden or Buttiegieg. So, brokered convention it is. Might want to focus on that before you talk about a blue wall or wave.

  23. @GregP To be quite frank, I don't think "Bernie or Bust" will be a huge, make-or-break thing in 2020. I hang out in some die-hard Democratic circles and while everyone has their preferences, when it comes to the final nominee the rallying cry is "Any Blue Will Do".

  24. @GregP Actually, THREE "Squad" congresswomen endorsed Bernie Sanders; the fourth endorsed Elizabeth Warren. That's *all four* popular congresswomen supporting a significant shift to the left, including on hot issues like healthcare, living wage, climate, and immigration policy. Given the excitement around both candidates, especially among young people supporting Bernie Sanders, there's your mirror of the party as whole, ca. 2020. Times are changing--that's good! As for your warning about the so-called "Bernie or Bust movement", you are scaremongering. (Also, the 2016 convention wasn't brokered, though what happened with regard to delegates and superdelegates is a separate matter requiring a comment of its own.) Bernie did 41 rallies for Hillary Clinton and urged his supporters to vote for her; the vast majority of us did, with only about 11% of disappointed Bernie voters voting for Trump. Whereas in 2008, one in FOUR (25% of) disappointed Clinton supporters spite-voted for John McCain. The stakes are high. Turnout is going to be everything in this election, and Democrats will be wise to nominate the candidate who has the policies people want, and who brings out the crowds--most saliently the young Americans who will inherit the nation and all its problems going forward.

  25. @GregP. The people who are so wrapped up in their favorite candidate's campaign that they absolutely refuse to vote for anyone else are a very tiny minority. Despite all of the bitterness that the 2016 primary engendered the vast majority of Sanders supporters voted for Clinton in the general election. I'm one of them and I voted for her despite the feeling that she and her people didn't particularly care whether I voted for her or not. This time, whoever wins the nomination is going to have to do whatever it takes to bring all the factions together and that goes double in those troublesome swing states. Simply acting as if they have no place else to go as Clinton did is a recipe for disaster.

  26. Absolutely. If you're anxious about a Trump re-election, take that energy and put it into doing something positive. On a personal level, you can talk to your friends about the importance of voting. Then, volunteer at your local Democratic Party office. A few hours here and there can have a huge impact. Send your local candidates a few bucks. Hillary didn't lose in 2016 because she didn't have the majority. She lost because some Democratic leaning voters in Midwestern states didn't show up. You won't let that happen again, will you? And, let's be realistic. The fight is in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and perhaps Florida, not in California, New York, or Massachusetts. The candidate who wins this election will be the one who can talk to those Midwestern voters and their parents in Florida. Hint: They are concerned about their jobs, healthcare, and their children's and grandchildren's futures, not the usual divisive social issues on which Democrats tend to beach themselves. Trump will be hammering immigrants and taking credit for the economy that Obama built. Reframe those issues by talking about the benefits of legal immigration and the better jobs and healthcare that would be available if Democrats win.

  27. @Crossroads This is exactly why I am concerned about Warren as the nominee. She may frighten away the very voters who can deny Trump a second term.

  28. @Crossroads Indeed. Trump got the state by 2 votes per precinct in Michigan. Wayne County didn't show up to vote in large enough numbers for Hillary to carry the state.

  29. @Crossroads We should definitely talk about better jobs and healthcare, while being kind yet firm about limiting immigration. However much white liberals might support expanding legal immigration, extolling its benefits will not be a winning issue for Democrats.

  30. Totally agree with comment that the far too much energy is spent on the primary unless clear programs and proposals are spelled out that will address and benefit the people who were duped and lied to by Trump. Jobs, real tax reform (i.e., making the ultra wealthy pay a fair share - thanks Reagan), endorsement of the Paris accord, and repeal of all EPA regulations created under this administration, infrastructure programs which will create an infinite number of jobs and enhance the economy. And finally, this person's additional wish list: A return to civility, respect for the Golden Rule, and a return to bipartisanship in the legislative branches, reform of a corrupt lobbying system, and a realistic health care system for all Americans with an opportunity for choice and options. Trump's only care at this point is that he will be able to rule and wreck for four more years and the thoughts of this are terrifying so hopefully the Country will mobilize and send Trump home permanently.

  31. I am not listening to debates or watching polls. I like them all , though I like Elizabeth Warren the best. I know I will vote blue no matter who. It is the party of the people, the party of truth and compassion. Not hard at all. I agree we must focus on turnou.

  32. While this is all true, this biggest thing Democrats need is a candidate who can win--and by win, I mean in the general election. People who are turn-on politically and active at the primary level often have more liberal (or conservative in the case of the GOP) ideals than the general public. My fear is that they will choose someone who will not appeal to midwestern voters, swing voters, and the suburban voters who recently started voting Democrat. These folks do not want Robin Hood as their President. Also, while they abhor cruel/racist immigration policies/rhetoric, they would still like to see our borders and our laws respected.

  33. We're all agreed that are should do all we can to help beat Trump in those crucial states that make up the blue wall but let's also commit ourselves to changing the laws that designate some states, some locales and some voters as being "crucial" . All votes should be treated as crucial and the only way to achieve that is to get rid of the Electoral College. It's antiquated, it's unfair and it's undemocratic. Like daylight savings time, the reasons for it's existence longer apply to our present reality.

  34. Dems want to get rid of electoral college Bc they can’t win at it. Can’t win at Supreme Court, so try to change court makeup by proposals to pack court. How about just trying to win over electoral college state voters? Now that’s an idea!

  35. @BT In a fair world, there wouldn't be "electoral college states". There would just be states, none getting special treatment. I thought conservatives didn't believe in special treatment for minorities? If your "electoral states" don't have the population to win, maybe that's an indication they don't know what they're doing. Adopt smart policies, and the population will follow.

  36. @BT Democratic wins in the electoral college: 1992, 1996, 2000 (see pg. 23, NY Times, November 2001 for proof), 2008, and 2012 Republican wins in the electoral college in the past 30 years: 2004 (maybe), 2016 (maybe)

  37. I’m from Wisconsin. So glad to have Ben Wikler at the helm of our state Democratic Party. We look forward to the National Convention in Milwaukee next year. Steps are being taken to make it great. But Wikler’s right. We have been hesitant to try to tap into other prospects. I remember canvassing in our rural town, not real far from Seymour, actually. We have come across silent Democrats, all right. This area has been primarily Republican rural dwellers. It has been historically comprised of Republican farmers for many years, Trump/Pence signs in abundance. But we do need to get over that! We see the need for great public education, for healthcare, for saving our natural resources. Wisconsin cannot in any way afford to lose the pristine land we live on. And speaking of pristine land, we need to appeal to our Native American friends. They, for the most part, would not vote for Trump, ever. So we need to get them involved, to help us, and to bring in their voting power. We have a large casino in Milwaukee. If we could assure voting interest there, and then spread that interest it would make a difference. Many Native Americans are veterans. My husband, who is not Native, but who has taught in a public school on a reservation is right in there at the pow-wows with the Native veterans, not for elitism, but for camaraderie. We have venues to gather in Democratic votes. We Dems need to get to work! Yes we do, and in the words of Barack Obama, “yes we can!”

  38. @MIMA Don't forget the voter suppression and ID issues that made it easy for trump to win WI. I too will be out knocking on doors! I hope for and expect an organization at least as well coordinated as for Obama in 2008.

  39. Great suggestions. I should patch this article though to my dad, who spends a lot of time on Facebook leaving angry comments on the Michigan Senate Republicans Facebook page as if it will change their minds.

  40. I just sent a message to local Democrats who seem to be more interested in eating than working. Some local groups are more organized than others, but local leadership needs to treat this like it is, an emergency. Let's not have regrets a year from now.

  41. Michelle, I’m all in for whomever the Democrats nominate in 2020. That said, I don’t think having Elizabeth Warren running around touring an idea that, at best is controversial, and at worst is so polarizing it’ll keep Trump in the WH.

  42. Much has been made of the Democratic victory in the Kentucky gubernatorial race, and Goldberg mentions it here. While, yes, it is a big deal, it is worth noting that the outgoing governor won in 2015 with just over 500,000 votes out of total turnout of just under a million. He lost on 2017 with over 700,000 votes. Turnout was up by 40%. Democrats are not the only ones mobilizing, apparently. In the struggle against Trump, there is no room for complacency.

  43. @Bob23 Sure wish Beto would have concentrated on another senate run instead of the presidency. He wasted a lot of important political capital and energy. (And I've often thought about Molly Ivins during this whole Trumpian disaster.) Go blue in Texas!

  44. Dems traditionally win the battle but lose the war. THe big picture is still being missed. No long term vision. Learn from Koch and Black Money. Plan for: Citizen’s United and Fairness Doctrine. Laws that a Presidential candidate be properly vetted before running; taxes and mental health. THe Koch brothers had the big picture way back in the 70’s; take over the American political system. Control education. Make Black Money great again; Vision works. It gave us McConnell. Dems need to have a Long Game. Or keep the popular vote and lose the election. THey win battles but lose the war.

  45. I drove up to Kenosha, WI on Sunday and did just what Michelle Goldberg said: I knocked on doors and talked to voters. On a sunny fall morning--no snow!--I met more than a dozen voters and learned what issues are important to them. Though I live in a blue bubble, it's always great to get out and talk to more moderate Democrats and Independents. I learned that Democrats, through hard work, can definitely win back Wisconsin in 2020.

  46. Good old fashion campaign activism: canvassing,phone calling, letter writing, etc...I am not planning on working much for Dems in Vermont...we are solidly 'blue'. But I have and will continue to work for Dems in New Hampshire where DJT almost won in 2016. The prevailing thought of reasonable, thoughtful people concerned about this country's future is we need to get rid of DJT ! So GET OUT THERE and make sure that happens !

  47. I am extremely nervous. And since Warren proposed the government taking over healthcare I’ve gotten more nervous. We need a private-public cooperation, akin to Germany or Switzerland. That’s our only chance in the US for universal health care. Warren and Sanders are handing Trump this election.

  48. @J I believe those two countries have government-funded healthcare.

  49. All politics, in the end, is local. How much is known about local candidates? We no longer get information from Town Newspapers, or at Fellowship breakfast after weekend religious services. It should be easy for Dems to win voters based on the ideas that matter to them the most. But where is the beef, so to speak? How much effort is being put into this approach? Who is willing to run for office, and put their lives on hold? The second issue is the Senate. A decisive win in the Senate can do much to blunt the affect of a Trump re-election, a travesty that so many of the 20 or so candidates on the Democratic side are helping. Lets hope some of those candidates stop wasting everyone's hope and dreams and either step aside, or run for those other critical offices. If anyone is not sure about why this matters, just ask Merrick Garland.

  50. The debates, campaign, soon to be primaries result in the Democratic candidates attacking one another non-stop. (And not just one another; Ms. Warren went after Mr. Bloomberg, undeclared, with a vengeance). Assuming that they are honest, then one can only believe all the attacks of each on the others. True, one will ultimately remain standing, but after months of attacks, there will be many people believing what has been said. Hard to at that point say it was only make believe. The system provides canon fodder for the opposition and depresses voters. And you think Ms. Goldberg that volunteering for a candidate is the antidote or panacea?

  51. Absolutely sound. Do something, rather than mope around being scared. But there is an important issue to consider. Who should lead the ticket? It is quite possible that each of the top four contenders today, should one of them be the nominee, may not have enough to win in the general election, despite favorable democratic winds. And that is a source of worry that gnaws deepest. This is just the usual calculus that the candidate preferred within party may not be ideal for the general election, a well-known issue, but still critical. However, having said that, the mounting evidence against Trump, impeached or not, should erase the razer thin margin that he won by last time, and lead to a Democratic victory for the WH. The Senate -- that's another story. Even with favorable winds, are there enough flippable Republican seats available?

  52. I wonder if the powers-that-be in the Democratic party are mounting grass roots, well-funded efforts in the few states that threw the election to trump last time and appear to be lining up to support him to our great misfortune - Michigan, my state, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. We are still stuck with the completely dysfunctional electoral system that has revealed the elitism of our founders when they wouldn't actually let "The People" have one person one vote and honor that result. The founders were educated intellectuals of the Enlightenment when it came to the interests of their "tribe" but as to women, slaves and the indigenous peoples who were victims of genocide not at all and so here we are, in the gravest threat to our democracy we could never have imagined.

  53. @fg We would have won if enough Democrats hadn't decided that Hillary Clinton had to be absolutely perfect, when that has never been required of a male candidate.

  54. My wife is a call fanatic and knocker on doors---for the last two election cycles she has worked the phones and walked local neighborhoods for a number of candidates in our state, and out of state candidates. What she tells me is that she rarely convinces those supporting opposing candidates, in fact, to her credit, she is able to take an awful lot of abuse over the phone and in person---Republicans are not nice people. But, the real story is her personnel call/appearance is able to get out people---mostly family members---who have not voted before. With a little push they tell her tell that yes, their son or daughter or mother in law will now vote. So far her record of 18 wins, 1 loss- Should add, I only wish I had the courage/fortitude, whatever you call it, to emulate her grassroots drive.

  55. It's not rocket science Michelle. Do what the democrats did in 2016 to take back the House despite big odds. 1-Do not identity/social engineering obsess and run a Neo con like Hillary again. This is exactly what the moderate progressive voters in middle America who elect presidents in the electoral college did not want. 2-Do nominate somebody (right now it's Biden) but it could be anybody white, black, male, female, young old who offers moderate progressive ideas to issues like immigration, wars, Wall Street, medical care, blue collar job loss etc. that Trump demagogued. 3-Stay away as far as possible from the word socialism or anything that is related to it. If the democrats do they, they stand an excellent chance of taking the WH and even the Senate in 2020 like they did with the House in 2016.

  56. America has changed. Customary electioneering practices no longer work, at least with regard to Presidential elections. Knocking on doors and meeting voters may be effective at the local level where voters can meet and speak to candidates, but everyone knows who Trump is and already has opinions. You are not likely to change the mind of Trumpiteers by ringing a door bell and discussing his candidacy face to face. As an example, a few years ago, when Obama was President, a friend was running for Mayor in a NJ community, going from home to home to meet voters. At the local level, candidates often don't identify their political party. One resident insisted on disclosure, and when hearing that the candidate was a D stated "Oh that means you support the N word", slamming the door in his face. You aren't going to change the minds of conservative, white American voters. Voter complacency is also a major issue. Look at the percentages from Tuesday's election- deplorable. Admittedly, it wasn't a presidential election, yet you would think any concerned D would have come out just to show displeasure for the current administration. We are divided on the basis of race, religion and reason. Trump should have provided all the motivation Liberal voters need. If he hasn't sufficiently terrorized them by now, increased campaign efforts and spending are not likely to change anything.

  57. Democrats need to fund the relocation of volunteers to states whose electoral votes put DJT in power. You can vote 30 days after a move. After the election, they can move wherever they want. That would be a better use of campaign money than TV ads in deeply red states.

  58. @JM Impractical, BUT if volunteers worked on getting college students (every single one of them) from blue states who are going to university in red states to vote in that red state, that might make a difference.

  59. @Karen K They don't have to change their state residency to attend college in a different state, so I doubt they would be willing to switch when they might be more interested in their home state's government.

  60. One of the most rewarding things I ever did as a GOTV volunteer was to call voters in Alabama on behalf of the NAACP on the eve of the special senatorial election in 2017 to make sure they had a ride to the polls and to bring their picture ID (required in AL). Not only did I get to talk with some wonderful, passionate, people, I also received a first-hand education in how much black Americans are determined to exercise their civil rights, and to stand up for them, and many of those I called inspired me to work even harder towards that ideal of a "more perfect union." Doing something is the best antidote for fear, and generates a great deal of positive outcome. Multiply that doing something by thousands of people and that is how change happens.

  61. @Jan With one drop of water into a bucket followed by another and still another, soon enough we’ll have a full bucket, maybe even overflowing. I’ll be searching for a way to help soon — just a little more rehab on a new knee and then I’m there. I like what you did — it seems like an effort that would fit my quirks better than others.

  62. I believe one thing that really scares people is how few voters are again likely to decide the election, viz. the ones in WI, MI, and PA. And when we learn from polls, as we just have, that people in those states aren't very keen on impeachment, it makes us worry that if we nominate Warren we may find out that in those states she looks to a lot of voters like Hillary II. But if we nominate Biden he'll be too feeble a candidate. And who knows if voters in those states are ready for a gay president? It's a frightening time.

  63. @Greg Weis Hillary was seen as generically untrustable and unlikeable. Tell the swing voters that they may lose employer based healthcare or give someone (doesn’t matter who) loan forgiveness or free college, and you’ll lose more than the swing states. “It’s the economy, stupid” encompasses not just jobs but perceived pocketbook issues. America doesn’t do nuance...Warren and Sanders have already (unfortunately) lost the national election, and no amount of pivoting is going to correct the stated positions.

  64. Michele's advice rings true in swing states, but in NY door to door is a waste of time. We're lucky if the Democratic candidate makes a visit to NY - he/she knows that NY is a lock. If you want to spend time/money, direct it to states that matter.

  65. @Dave 1984, the election, not the book.

  66. @Mike Apples and oranges.

  67. Over the past 2/3 years I have marched (locally) in the Women's March, & March for Our Lives marches. I also participated in a Trump protest this summer. I've already made a calendar reminder on my phone for the mega-march in Washington, D.C next October sometime) combining participants from all of the above movements & more. Now, to get organized!

  68. For the Democrats to take back America they need to accept the fact that ‘good’ beats ‘perfect ‘. Whomever becomes the Democratic nominee for president will be light years better than the current president. She/he may not give the answer you want on every issue but they will be close enough. Any vote for a ‘pure’ third party candidate will be a vote against a real change.

  69. I agree with all of this, but the thing that scares me most is that Democrats haven't articulated a vision that can be expressed in a few sentences. They desperately need a "build the wall" equivalent. Then, there needs to be unity among democratic candidates and a well articulated plan for explaining how this will benefit people. When I listen to Tom Perez, I hear him talk and talk but he says very little. If we don't want to lose, I think we need to start with these fairly simple ideas.

  70. @Susan I like "Lock Him Up" simple and to the point. I'm still smiling about the World Series last week.

  71. @Susan I hear you. Progressive democrats need a "build the wall" alternative. I suggest we go the "OK boomers" (the young who blame their parents and grandparents for the mess they're in) one better, and appeal to those who can really make a difference. Let's have some tee shirts and bumper stickers saying "OK billionaire."

  72. @Sandy L Lock Him Up may play to Democrats, but we need the Independents to get Trump out there. Need something better than that.

  73. Many people cannot register to vote because they do not have the proper identification papers. Maybe they don't drive and can't get a picture ID; maybe their wallet was stolen; maybe they were born at home and have no "official" birth certificate. While these restrictions may be unnecessary, voter ID laws will not be going away in 2020. This lack just doesn't affect the ability to vote, it affects everyday lives. And many states have made it even more difficult to get identification -- one cannot get a replacement card if you need ID to get into the office to get new ID! So look for organizations, often connected with churches, which help these people navigate bureaucratic Catch 22's to get the documentation needed to become counted citizens. It helps voting; it helps people. It's needed all the time.

  74. People tend to live in bubbles, that's the problem. I recall scrolling around YouTube back in 2016 and feeling shocked at the coverage of the Trump rallies. Who were all these people queing up to get into the venue? The rest is history. It is definitely a mistake to take anything for granted. The election will boil to six or seven swing states. So far, I have felt deeply uneasy at the candidates on offer. As much as E. Warren and Bernie appeal to me PERSONALLY, when I look at them through a Trump's supporters eyes, their problems are all too obvious. Biden, too, has several weaknesses. I think therefore we should take comfort that Michael Bloomberg is in the running. Firstly, Bloomberg is on board against the most serious crisis we face -- the rapidly changing climate. He is also supremely well funded and has experience leading America's foremost city. To most Americans he will look like a safe pair of hands, not too radical, which is what we want. This is not the time for long shots and hail marys. We need Trump gone!

  75. The most important step Democrats can take is to begin addressing the inevitable disappointment that will occur when voters’ preferred candidates don’t top the ticket following the primaries. Younger, idealistic voters must learn that their votes still matter, even if Bernie, Biden, Warren, Pete, etc., doesn’t win the nomination. If your chosen candidate isn’t on the ballot, don’t stay home on Election Day complaining about the perceived failure of democracy. Don’t write in your first choice as a protest. Get to your voting booth, vote for the nominee, and accept that, sometimes, voting against the other party is as important as voting for your candidate.

  76. @Janette Yandrasits Yes! I believe this is vitally important and when Bernie Sanders did not ask his people to support Hillary in the general election, I was very disappointed. It's a big reason I cannot consider his candidacy at this time.

  77. @Janette Yandrasits Moderates and Never Trump Independents and Republicans also need to prepare for the possibility that the Democrats nominate a more progressive candidate than they prefer. If you care about democracy, you will vote Blue, no matter who. It is really that simple.

  78. @Janette Yandrasits Indeed. If every single person who voted for Jill Stein in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin voted for Clinton instead, we would had had a Clinton victory on November 8, 2016.

  79. The primary process produces winners who are good at winning primaries.

  80. Democrats are trying to be all the things to all the people. That is just not possible. The reality of politics is that you have to make choices and you have to make your stand clear to those whom you expect to vote for you. The Democrats are painting such a broad canvas that I doubt it is possible to achieve any of it. The only real achievement Obama administration had was Obamacare and it was more of a giveaway to the health care insiders than anything else. The legislative achievements of the Clinton administration were the war on crime and the war on welfare, both highly successful but more in tune with the Republican agenda rather then the Democrat agenda.

  81. @Rahul This is true for voters as well. So many seem to expect candidates to match their every belief. At this point, candidates’ policies mean less to me than Who They Will Bring With Them in Office. Who will be in their Cabinet? Who will they nominate to head agencies. These people will match most of my positions. Voters: stop being toddleresque and expect everything to be exactly like you want it. No candidate will match you 100%. Compromise.

  82. Blue and Red combined make Purple. The US needs: 1. An emphasis on disease prevention, with candidates from both parties demanding nutrition education and free and low-cost immunizations and flu shots; with the federal government releasing figures on which counties and towns have rates of which diseases and what to do to prevent them; and a push for bike paths, sidewalks, trains, and fewer cars on US roads by TAXING HEAVILY all oil products, except in agriculture and for public safety where necessary. 2. Allowing a return to fee-for-service and cutting the health insurance companies out of the picture, eliminating the middle man. 3. Candidates from both parties going after the so-called "architectural review committees" of neighborhoods as un-Constitutional, so that in places like Charlotte, NC, one might grow food without having the neighbors pitch a fit. Self- sufficiency is the old American way. 4. Candidates from both parties demanding gun registration, background checks, and that any youth with a gun be enrolled in gun safety classes and if found to be unfit emotionally to bear arms, or too immature, to be told to wait. Fathers would teach their kids gun safety, but some sort of written test and field tests should be involved. 5. Candidates from both parties need to work with the religious communities to open orphanages. Foster care hardly works. 6. The school systems must include writing (fine motor skill development), arts/music/PE/home economics/shop.

  83. @Cheesecake Nutrition education? Bike paths? Home gardens? Hardly the stuff of a national presidential campaign! Add in your call for a return to “fee-for-service” and you’ll end up with most of the country being priced out of health care, not getting preventive care, etc. History matters. Before we passed Medicare and Medicaid, most poor people and elderly were suffering from a lack of health care or from poor health care. We need single-payer, universal health care. You’re endorsing a handful of local issues plus a return to the dark ages of health care. And calling for orphanages is, please forgive me, simply daffy! “More gruel, please!”

  84. People who say party isn't scared enough or doing enough about Trump are usually sitting in DC or NY and have no idea what the candidates are doing in Iowa, N.Hampshire, etc. I think the NYTImes and major press should put their reports and commentators like Goldberg out in the country from now to election day. No coming back to comfortable DC or NY and really see how the country is and what they are thinking. They have to live it not just conversations here and there.

  85. I canvassed for Obama when he ran and haven't done any canvassing since. It seemed pointless. I either got the door slammed in my face or a quick smile from those who took the flyers I was handling out and no doubt (I thought) threw them away before I got to the next house. Now I am beginning to believe that the door-to-door strategy is what might work -- especially if, for now at least, we focus on registration and the broad picture of what Democrats stand for instead of individual candidates. We are so bombarded by advertising these days many of us don't even bother to open a candidate's emails and turn off the sound when another political ad appears on our TV screens. What really matters is human connection, real human faces, handshakes, and individual passion. I open my door to all the political workers here in NH and invite them in when it's cold. We sit down at the kitchen table and I learn things. Mostly what I learn by talking to everyone from the earnest young men to the tired but spirited older women who stop by, is that there is real hope among them and that they feel empowered being out there, working for what they believe in. If they can go out day after day, hopefully more of us will be shamed into at least getting out to the polls on that one day it really matters -- maybe even inspired to do more.

  86. The Republicans already have a huge war chest and an incumbent on their side. Democrats need to create a tsunami of voters who will overcome inertia and complacence and go to the polls. Evil can only remain, and grow, when good men and women fail to act. Democrats: As Ms. Goldberg notes, NOW is that time to act.

  87. It was a mistake for over twenty democrats to compete in primaries in order to take on Trump. By the time the eventual Democratic nominee emerges, he or she will have been badly bruised from all those primaries fights and all their weaknesses exposed for Trump to exploit.

  88. @Shailendra Vaidya vote blue does not matter who. No bruising no scars. Just plain blue.

  89. @petey tonei Just hope that Sanders supporters don't cross party line or stay home this time in 2020.

  90. @Shailendra Vaidya you can’t ignore them they have got to be included in the process. They were told to shut up by the DNC in 2016.

  91. Democrats should not be demoralized, but they need to be realistic. The Times/Siena polls confirmed what I repeatedly experienced. I think a great deal of Elizabeth Warren, but everyone who believes she can win the Electoral College needs to speak with people outside of the physical/virtual insular groups they associate with. I know a lot of people in the Midwest, specifically Michigan and Wisconsin. Travel in Wisconsin or Michigan and you'll find support for Warren is weak. In Michigan much of the state is downright hostile. These are not Trumpsters, they're people who don't like Trump. (Biden and Sanders do considerably better). Things are very bad in traditionally Republican suburbs central to moderates Gretchen Whitmer and Tony Evers winning in 2018, where gains in the House were made in 2018, and where gains were made 3 days ago. This is where winning votes will come from. These voters may support a Democrat, but Warren isn't one. (Among the women I spoke with events like the Women's March played no part in their thinking). As Nate Cohn laid out, Trump can lose by far more than 3 million votes in 2020 and still win the presidency as Democrats have "no promising" way to win the Electoral College if Trump wins Wisconsin or Michigan in 2020. Registering voters is good, but among the top tier of Democratic candidates "Warren is worst", and "nonvoters and unregistered voters" are not "poised to save the Democrats in the six key battleground states" by voting for her.

  92. @Robert B the Siena poll was one poll. On the same day Emerson posted a poll of MI: Warren + 8, Biden + 12, Bernie +14. Also just one poll. There aren’t enough aggregated polling of the swing states to know yet how close this will be, but in every poll to date rump is down, as are his approval numbers in every state. Our collective ‘16 PTSD shouldn’t lead to fear, but to motivation, engagement and action.

  93. @Robert B Virtually all the results from that six state poll fell WITHIN the margins of error. All the Democratic candidates were essentially tied with each other and withTrump. The poll was based on small samples with HUGE non-response rates. The results were weighted based upon past demographics and turnout. That doesn’t reflect what will happen in 2020. The poll was conducted beginning in *mid* October—BEFORE the impeachment inquiry and damning testimony came out. Such polls, a year from an election and months before any primaries no or caucuses have been held are notoriously *unreliable*. Other polls have shown Biden, Warren, and Sanders beating Trump, even in the key battleground states. In other words, don’t base an argument about electability, the status of the race, or who is appealing to midWesterners on this single deeply flawed and misleading poll!

  94. @Mags I've been a strong Warren supporter, but what I experienced in Michigan and Wisconsin is the same thing which Clare Malone, senior political writer for FiveThirtyEight experienced in the same states, and has reported on. The Times/Siena polls merely confirms what we have experienced. Further, I truly wish the Emerson Polling poll was accurate, but it isn't. The Times/Siena polls was a very large, very high-quality poll of Likely Voters, which is the actual metric which all quality polls should use, not Registered Voters. In contrast, the Emerson Polling poll you cite made the same exact mistakes which 2016 polls made in radically underestimating Trump's appeal, and radically overestimating Clinton's strength, in the Electoral College. The mistakes in Emerson Polling's poll are glaring. It's why Poll analysts, if they're being overly polite, are quick to point out how problematic the poll is, and if they're just being honest, say it's simply wrong. Firstly, the Emerson Polling poll you cite has a very small sample; secondly it heavily undersamples working class whites which are Trump's strongest supporters, finally, it is for Registered Voters, not Likely Voters, which is out of favor in polling for very good reason, as it tells next to nothing about who will actually vote. Little wonder why every poll analysis has given the Emerson Polling poll very low marks. Many of us wish it were otherwise but it isn't. If Warren is the nominee, she'll lose to Trump.

  95. Good call, Michelle! I will look for ways to join the movement in Pennsylvania today!! You capture the sense of emotional anxiety perfectly and outline the steps to take NOW! Thank you for the wake up call!

  96. AAAAA Action almost always absorbs anxiety! Take small or large actions to help Democrats win. It helps you to feel better in that moment. No one likes to feel powerless. So taking an action helps you feel less powerless.

  97. I don't like Trump, but I even more dislike the radical ideas that some of the more extreme Democratic candidates are proposing. "The cure for 2020 terror" is to nominate a sensible candidate like Biden or Klobuchar or Mayor Pete.

  98. @John Radical ideas like affordable healthcare and education, similar to what they have in other civilized countries that are thriving? The horror.

  99. @John This is the only "advanced" country that even considers that the ideas the more progressive Democrats are proposing are "radical." The country has been heavily propagandized for decades to accept trickle-down, neoliberal economics. Although I think the people have finally had it with Reaganomics and Thatcherism, I do agree that there is a political danger in proposing ideas that have been the norm in, let's say, Germany for decades. America needs more time to catch up to the ideas and economic arrangements of most 20th century democracies before moving on to the 21st. So maybe a Biden is the wiser choice at this time.

  100. Just vote for Trump then. You're looking for any excuse to vote for him.

  101. This is the glass half full way to look at things. The longer Trump stays in office the worse things will get for the republicans. They have already lost the House of Reps, they will surely lose the Senate by 2022, and we can presume we will definitely get a Dem in the WH in 2024. With super-majorities at every level of the process, whatever the dems want to do will pass, including national healthcare, free college, and anything else you can think of. The republicans have made and will continue to make a mockery of their parties message, let them continue to show what they are all about, a whole generation of first time voters will come of age in the next 4 years, these people will have to choose a party. The longer Trump stays in power the easier the choice.

  102. Maybe this is my millennial cynicism, but I don't believe it's possible to change anyone's mind anymore. But it's definitely possible to affect voter turnout. This election I'm planning to go to my home state of Pennsylvania and make sure everyone has their ID on election day, to register voters, and to offer logistical help getting folks to the polls. In other words, it makes a lot of sense to try to reduce the cost of voting for folks for whom time is really valuable.

  103. I fear we face a lose-lose future. If Trump is either removed from office or loses the 2020 election, he will incite a civil war throughout the country. If Trump escapes removal and wins the 2020 election, he will irreparably destroy the fabric of what made our country great. All norms, all traditions, will be shattered.

  104. @nzierler This is exactly my fear. The more upset guys on the fringe right are already talking about "Second Amendment" solutions if Trump is removed, or (even more frightening), if he's voted out.

  105. @nzierler Well, it isnt a norm to remove a President over a phone call. It also isnt a norm to remove a President because he wanted to address the history of blatant corruption before he hands over 400 million of taxpayer money. Hunter Biden, the son of the Vice President of the United States, was in this Ukranian company's back pocket, and on their payroll. Reuters investigated, and concluded he was making 83k, not 50k. He never stepped foot in Ukraine, and was hired specifically as a ceremonial position to ward off investigations. The owner of Burisma was under multiple investigations, giving Joe Biden ample motive for getting that prosecutor fired when he held back that 1 billion. Again, this is the son of the VP of the US with a pay for play no show job, that was being investigated. Our current President isnt allowed to ask about this? And now you want to remove him for even asking?

  106. @SurgicalBiologics trump met with three Russians in the White House without another American present soon after the electoral college named him president. he also met with Putin without another American present. In both instances, the interpreters were Russian, not American. he has held international meetings in his private hotel properties, thus earning money from USG activities. he had/has his daughter and son-in-law on the payroll, though no one knows what their roles are...and, the list goes on. Fortunately, the most recent incident--ordering a US military unit to stay at his property in Ireland--was widely condemed and he recanted.

  107. Organizing is very therapeutic. Of course we are afraid of of four more years of the mad king. It would be folly not to be afraid. Here in WI in 2016 in the state wide race for governor and US Senate the Republican incumbent and Repulican challenger for the Senate seat ran as fervent Trump supporters. Both lost. The most interesting results were people in nominally suburban Republican strongholds split their vote because Tammy Baldwin, who is gay, won her Senate seat with more votes than the male Democrat governor did. And remember Trump won here by the smallest of margins. A Democratic candidate who voters are enthusiastic about will win for turnout in Madison, Milwauke, EauClaire and cities with a college will be the key to victory here. And Trump aversion in Republican areas may lead to a decrease in turn out. Young people and even some oldsters like us and our friends are all in for Warren.

  108. @Edward B. Blau This New Jerseyan votes by mail. I vote in every election and always vote for all Democrats on the ballot. I get my news digitally -- NY Times, CNN, Washington Post, Guardian, Politico. I never see political ads. My favorite at this time? Elizabeth Warren.

  109. Thank you for this article, it just amazes me how someone could put their hand on the Bible to take an oath to the United States of America and only represent a fraction of this great Republic. Trump talks like a one hit wonder let’s hope he proves to be a one term wonder.

  110. @CathyK The folks Trump represents support capitalism. The folks that support Warren or Bernie support socialism. This great Republic is great because of capitalism, not socialism. If you support socialism, you arent part of this great Republic. You are part of a group of folks who would like to change this great Republic into something that it isnt. Dont like capitalism? Well, this isnt the place for you. Move to Greece, Venezuela, or even the Scandinavian countries.. If you wont or cant, you should ask yourself why. Then youll begin to understand why capitalism works, and socialism doesnt.

  111. Democrats need to deal with who their lead candidate is. Warren comes across as unwilling to compromise on her high ideals. She smacks of she knows better on virtually everything. The almost overpowering messaging is from the progressives who are trying to convince the party moderation and incremental are bad words lacking in vision. Like single payer is the only right answer. And big multi national corporations don't care about America. I can't get on board with re-engineering more than half the economy.

  112. What a strange democracy you have when only two states out of 50 are the only ones that matter. Surely there are far better ways for electoral systems to be devised that actually are closer to the ideal of democracy.

  113. @Kevinlarson Yes, this is the biggest problem we face every 4 years in our national election. For a progressive society, we can't seem to overcome it, except at the state level in most states.

  114. The solution is clear: they need to triple the number of candidates. And make sure that they’re all ABSOLUTELY committed to their particular microscopic world view, with no possibility of compromise. That way, when their particular candidate loses, they stay home on Election Day, and hold their breath until they turn blue. That’s why it’s called the Blue Wall. It certainly worked in the last election.

  115. This kind of directionless fear gives more moderate liberal leaning voters real hesitation; a hesitation reflecting doubt surrounding this panicky, disorganized, pie in the sky approach delivered with rage and some kind of revolution. That right combination seemed lost, until yesterday when Michael Bloomberg entered the race. A Measured, confident, professional who still has all the intellectual bandwidth and realistic views of change that can bring respect, dignity and leadership back to the Oval Office. Democrat-only voters should sigh in relief because this guy is exactly what moderate liberals want— and they decide elections.

  116. @Thinking Moderate liberals like me do NOT want a rich guy coming in to buy the election.

  117. Voter registration and get to the poll on Election Day should be on the front burner now. Enlist students during breaks to go from door to door and get people to register. If the people who don't like Trump vote Trump is toast. If Africa Americans voted in Mississippi this week they could have flipped that race. The world should be out there every day that all hands on deck are needed to save us from Trump. All of our energy is on an impeachment that every one knows is going nowhere. Trump has to love the excuse of impeachment to do nothing.We need to stop crying about voter suppression and make our vote fail safe.

  118. For those worrying about who is electable, stop. No one has a crystal ball, and, depending on circumstances with the economy or foreign policy or whatever, whoever is electable now may not be a year from now. Or we might be able to elect a toaster because T has so wrecked everything. There is no way of knowing. Instead, investigate, learn about the candidates and their positions, while at the same times following the excellent suggestions for involvement listed in this piece. Vote in the primary for the candidate who best represents your values. Then get behind the one who wins. Is that candidate too progressive/not progressive enough for you? Remember that this person will not govern by fiat, but in conjunction with the other branches of government. That's the way it's supposed to work. Stop worrying (from a Virginian who was worrying up until Tuesday night).

  119. @L. M. Allen Well said! I'd add that people have to get used to the fact that primary campaigning is very, very different from campaigning in the general. In a primary, candidates are seeking to differentiate themselves from the primary field. In the general the candidates are seeking to differentiate themselves from the other candidate(s) in the general field. HUGE difference, and we saw this play out in spades on the R side in 2016. And the D side in the 2018. For some reason, the media, and obviously many, many people don't get that distinction.

  120. @L. M. Allen Thank you so much for your wise words! For those many of us who are suffering the fear that the "wrong" Democrat will be up against Trump in 2020, your thoughts are like a balm for a painful wound. It's good to pause and remember that what we as individuals have actual control over, in the end, is very small. Living and acting by our values is one of those things we have complete control over. I will be using your comments as I reach out to other voters.

  121. @L. M. Allen , Thank you. I am so tired of all the negativity about Warren, etc's viability. Who is behind this discouragement? The status quo is not working for majority of our citizens. 45 does not deserve to have 4 more years to destroy our government. Between impeachment and rational discussion any democrat is going to defeat the horror we now have. Just enough people need to learn the facts and reject the lies, and it will happen.

  122. Your column impressed me for one main reason: not once did you mention the progressive vs. moderate wing of the party. My affinity lies with Pete Buttigieg, but ultimately I will vote for any breathing Democrat who gets the nomination. I've said several times I'll even back the Philly Phanatic if that's who it is.

  123. This is helpful in describing why funds are needed now and describing the development of strategic outreach campaigns. But I'd like more information about how the money is being spent because I can't see what is being done. It would also be helpful if there was more emphasis on raising money to be spent on generic Democratic talking points. One of the things that is really good about Bernie's facebook posts is that they have simple facts making the point that the Republicans' actions, or lack thereof, are very harmful to the 98%. If someone could promise me they would use my contributions for billboards pointing out the Republicans' refusal to help real people I would readily give that group generous contributions. My suspicion is that the money spent on tv ads and social media is too easy for uninformed voters to ignore. Instead of dunning me with requests for money coming from specific candidates, at this point in the campaign I would like to see more outreach from a generic Democratic group.

  124. @Eero You can conribute directly to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who accepts contributions to help the party nationwide.

  125. In 2016 Hillary lost in Michigan by 2 votes per precinct. In 2018 the Democrats mobilized voter turnout and won the executive offices, Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State all women BTW! Focusing on turnout in the 4 or 5 most populated counties won it for the Democrats. It is true when there is high voter turnout Democrats win. Whatever anyone can do to help with voter turnout in their state, county or community is what will end this nightmare.

  126. We democrats are a deeply divided party. Are we going to become a party of centrists to get votes in the midwest, or are we going for broke with a progressive candidate who will work for radical change? We have had an administration who worshiped corporations and the rich as never before, to the destruction of our air, water, food and peaceful relations with the rest of the world. The Paris accords to combat climate change and the Iran nuclear deal to make the mideast a safer place weren't considered worth the price to the fossil fuel industry and some adversaries of Iran in the area. So many of us want to change the world for the better. We see others in Europe who have made laws and regulations for a social safety net and a cleaner environment and some semblance of privacy for the individual. In other words a more civilized society than ours, and we say if not now, when?

  127. This article clearly points out "where to start" with a dump Trump campaign. What it and the Democratic candidates have failed to do is outline a resonating message that will convince voters to get out there and actually do what needs to be done. To some extent, I'm more concerned about our national apathy than Trump. While a Trump reelection would be bad news (who knows what this guy will do next to weaken the ties that bind this nation together), we're practically ignoring a number of issues that are far more dangerous than Donald Trump. Indeed, our preoccupation with Trump is part of the problem. If we don't do something now about climate change, the result could be beyond our imagination. If we allow foreign adversaries to determine our elections, we've undermined the very thing that holds us together. If we allow the rot to continue in our basic infrastructure (energy, communications, education, science, etc) that alone could spell doom. And if we don't prepare ourselves for the impact of AI, the fractures in our society will dwarf what we're seeing now. All these things I've mentioned are crises in and of themselves and Trump is exacerbating them. If we can't formulate a message around this, I doubt we're capable of formulating a message at all. On the bright side, I'm pretty sure most Americans are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work to insure a better future for their children. They just need to be convinced about the task(s) at hand.

  128. @Jack Hartman most voters, especially hos who vote fo Trump dare not capable o procesing a "message" that Democrts might offer. they vote with thei toxic guts inflamed (the spastic colons of he electorate) by a dmagugue whose only skill is showboating on a stage. and insulting non-cultists)

  129. Being terrified is a very good thing. Complacency is one cause of the perpetual swing in American politics from left to right and back again, repeated endlessly. We need to stay terrified, stay motivated, stay energized, stay organized, stay granular & local in our politics, and stay active. If anything can achieve that, it's the memory of the trump catastrophe. That's his value to the left. Never let up, even after winning! Some say that's exhausting. Poor baby, you're tired? I say it's crucial.

  130. My suggestion, join an advocacy group of your choice, and keep up the fight, regardless of the defeats that will inevitably happen along the way. For example, if your state suffers from partisan gerrymandering, consider volunteering in whatever organized efforts are available that advocate for fair redistricting reform. After the 2016 election, I signed up to volunteer for the main advocacy group for redistricting reform in my state (OneVirginia2021) and have found robust bipartisan support for this issue. Over the last several years, progress has been made. (And this progress has been very hard fought, with many ups and downs along the way - including politicians sneaking out of the back doors of meeting rooms in the state legislative building so they did not have to face their constituents on this topic!) As a NYT Op-Ed from earlier this week so clearly presented, change does not happen overnight and without commitment. It requires dedicated grassroots effort over a long period of time.

  131. @Voter Advocacy group? Who has the time? Many of us are working and enjoying this booming economy! Im making more money now then I ever did in my 50 year old life!

  132. I made more money at 50 than I ever did before, either. Pretty much everyone who works steadily does. During that time, I had at least six different presidents. I don’t give any of them much credit. I do give Pres. Carter credit for student loan programs that enabled me to go to college (at interest rates lower than mortgage rates — something that doesn’t happen anymore). And yes, I paid it all back. This president is toxic to our national health and welfare. I actually care about my fellow citizens. All of them.

  133. @Tami Garrow "This president is toxic to our national health and welfare." True, but while many people agree with you, they'll vote with their pocket book. You cannot seriously argue that anything the current Democrats propose will lead to growth and better outcomes for hard working people.

  134. It might help if they had ideas that went beyond "Trump is bad" and "You've got a right to stuff other people made because they took it from you". But they don't. So those will have to suffice for now.

  135. @Michael Increased minimum wage, universal health care (in several varieties), undoing regressive taxation for corps and very wealthy, a return to ethics in governance, ensuring voting rights, incentives for alternative energy technologies and jobs, a return to the Paris Accords (as a start), renegotiation of Iran Nuclear Deal, (real) infrastructure spending and jobs, and generally not praising dictators just because they own or flatter you. There are just a few! There are more!

  136. @blue l Increased minimum wage = job killer universal health care (in several varieties) = high taxes on the middle class undoing regressive taxation for corps and very wealthy = job killer and penalizing success. The rest= nobody cares.

  137. @Michael What about combatting environmental degradation, working to make access to high-quality health care affordable for all people, and improving public education across the country, especially in less affluent areas? Are those not worthy goals and endeavors for the U.S? Do they necessarily equate to unfairly taking from people stuff they’ve made?

  138. With so much attention focused on the presidential primaries, it’s important not to forget that there are going to be down ballot races where Democrats simply have to ensure that Democratic incumbents keep their seats (I’m talking to you AOC) and that Democratic candidates unseat every other Republican, from Governor to dog catcher. Given the structure of our system, if you want real change, Republican politicians must be sent into political exile, and their bench and farm teams have to be decimated. The only way to get real change through our system is to get the Republicans out of the way, and convince them that their return to power is more than a few elections away. All politics is local.

  139. @Martin Kobren Yep. We did our job in Virginia. Who would have thought ten years ago that the Democrats would be in control of all of our statewide seats and both houses of the legislature? If we can do it in the Old Dominion, we can do it anywhere.

  140. ...yes and this took years of on the ground organizing. It’s never too early to pick the ground game you’re going to be involved and start donating your time and your money. Tuesday shows that every state is a battleground, turnout is critical, voters CAN be persuaded to switch, and pavement pounding get out the vote elbow grease is how we win. “The antidote to depression is action.” - Edward Abbey

  141. Congrats to you in Virginia! Good job! You give the rest of us hope.

  142. All Democrats and fair-minded people should realize that any democratic candidate will be far better for us, America, and everyone's future. We each hav positions that vary on some points, but at the end of day, voting for Trump because of some fear of "too much progress" is a mistake. Even the most liberal of Democrats will be tempered by Congress, even a democratically controlled one. But another Trump term will further divide and destroy us.

  143. @SurgicalBiologics How many of those “skyscraper” workers and their employers got paid?

  144. Trump created jobs but famously refused to pay the people who did them.

  145. @Surgical Biologics: So you prefer someone who creates jobs, then stiffs those who work them? What value do "jobs" have if they are unpaid? Sounds more like slavery to this reader. You say you are looking for a candidate who has actually created something? Have you not heard of the Consumer Protection Bureau, which was created by candidate Elizabeth Warren, and has served thousands of Americans? As for trump tower in Chicago, the retail spaces on the ground floor stand empty. From the Chicago Riverwalk, the property looks bedraggled and disused, hardly a successful venture. It's actually losing value as other, comparable properties are thriving and gaining value. Do you not realize that Mayors Corey Booker and Pete Buttigieg have created jobs (that, in fact, paid the workers) and have actual experience in governance? Yes, let's look at candidates who have governed, and who have shown they are committed to serving their constituency, not fleecing them. That does not in any way describe trump.

  146. Here’s the way I avoid panic at night. First, I remember that Clinton won almost 3 million more votes than Donald Trump did. Next, I think about the fact that the number of votes Jill Stein and Gary Johnson probably subtracted from Clinton’s total in the midwestern states would have been enough to put Clinton over the top there. There could be 3rd party candidates, but given what happened with Trump, I think it’s unlikely that voters will be willing to cast protest votes for these kinds of people. Third, I remember that Trump won in 2016 by less than 100,000 votes across three states, largely because some Obama voters didn’t show up to vote for Clinton, perhaps because of complacency, and perhaps out of disgust with her. Regardless, I don’t see those people making the same mistake. Surely they’ve learned that every vote counts. And last, I look at the massive turnouts all around the country after 2016, I remember that in the past, midterm turnout used to favor Republicans but doesn’t anymore, and I think about the fact that the number of Republicans and Republican leaners is falling, while young people favor Democrats by a margin of 2 to 1. Sweet dreams!

  147. @Martin Kobren If Warren or Sanders fail to win the nomination, their purist and woke supporters will do what they did last time and put trump over the top by staying home or voting for a third party candidate. if one of them wins the nomination, trump will be easily re-elected. Me? I'd vote for even a serial killer against trump--even Warren if I must.

  148. @Martin Kobren Hope you're right but fear what the repubs can do to get people to vote for Trump as the defender of their health insurance that Warren actually wants to take away. Repubs voted for Putin's favorite candidate and I guess Dems will vote for Trump's preferred opponent. Defeating Trump is everything. Policy debates are academic. Better to address how candidates will win votes. Offer to appoint a Green Party member Sec of the Interior and EPA. Offer Kasich (Ohio-R) a cabinet position. Solve a rural problem by offeingr to "fight" to allow rural voters in counties like mine with few insurance providers (1 in my county-HMO's only) to buy into any plan offered in their state at the same rates offered in urban areas or a public option that will lead to lower premiums, deductibles and universal insurance. Offer subsidies for high mpg autos built in economic opportunity zones in the midwest. Any closed auto plant automatically qualifies.

  149. @Big Frank Purist? Clinton spewed insults at progressives repeatedly in the last campaign and then arrogantly expected their support. Alternative candidates received negligible support and did far less harm to Clinton than she did to herself. The largest voter block did not vote for any Presidential candidate. As for me, I don't seek purity. What I want is honesty, a progressive, citizen-first leadership and most of all, integrity. That is why I and so many others support Bernie Sanders.

  150. I live in a beautiful area with horses, cows, chickens, deer, elk, eagles and year round snowy mountains. Many young people like to come to "the ranch" for talk, downtime and to be around the animals, the garden and the wilderness. The price of admission is voter registration and a story of a great experience in their life.

  151. I think Goldberg needs to talk to more Democrats than just progressives. Many have been rendered bored, indifferent and even torpid by the unilluminating , confusing and divisive Democratic debates and the ceaseless labelling of them on a linear political spectrum.

  152. @Alan J. Shaw Not buying your assessment. Even moderate Democrats are terrified of a trump reelection. Boredom is not acceptable at this point. If you want a moderate nominee, then start canvassing for that nominee if you're in a swing state, or support a moderate nominee in another swing state. Turning off your TV and complaining is not enough.

  153. @JH I agree that many, including myself, are quite fearful and even rendered ill by Trump. Contributing to a favored candidate may be just as important as canvassing, but some might wish to save what they can afford for the general election. Those who are "woke," or are at least awake at midnight and after, in NY will keep the TV on even to watch repeats of Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O' Donnell. I still think there is too much division within the Democratic party based on the plethora of hopefuls and misleading labels. I am not sure that all Democrats will unite behind a single candidate. Can there be much doubt that disaffected Sanders voters who failed to vote for Clinton contributed in some part to her defeat?

  154. @Alan J. Shaw -- The problem is that "talking" to Corporate Democrats is a fruitless as "talking" to Republicans. They just can't dump their love of big money bribery, power for themselves, and incredible tax cuts that hurt the majority of our people. Most of them are very rich. How did they get that way? There's hardly any difference between Corporate Dems and Republicrooks. Eventually, we will move them out of our government, as well. Persistence and hard work will get the job done. Never look away, again.

  155. If Democrats can’t get behind a progressive candidate, win or lose - going for broke, they should lose to Trump, deservedly so!

  156. As long as we have the Electoral College then disenfranchisement of the majority will be a problem. There are 5 states "in play" and that means the remainder of us will sit back and let the people in those states decide whether trump and his followers will have free rein. Focus on the fact that fully 11 Million more people voted against trump in the last election (including third-party candidates). In 2020 there could be as many as 20 Million people vote against him, BUT the election could, once again, boil down to as few as 100,000 people in several states making the difference. Pure lunacy.

  157. The Electoral College has far outlived it’s utility and has become a serious liability. As the country continues to self-sort it’s only going to get worse. It should be abolished, or changed from a “winner take all” system to a ranked choice system that actually reflects the voting results in every state.

  158. @Allen82 . . . and it would help if those sent to the Electoral College voted in such a way as to represent the people who sent them, not their own personal "feelings." They vote their consciences, but that conscience isn't their Personal Conscience, but to be true to the people who sent them and do their jobs as they were sent to do. We do not want Faithless Electors, but Electors who will keep faith with what they are sent to do by the people who send them.

  159. @WesternMass . . .Ranked voting is working great in Maine. It could be used Nationally so the popular vote wouldn't be a waste and people felt their vote mattered, even if they don't get their first choice. They might get their second choice. It gives people incentive to vote. People wouldn't write in Daffy Duck because they can't stand to vote for either candidate.

  160. As someone who lives in Wisconsin, canvassed last week, and canvassed in Seymour this past summer, I can tell you we have lots of people working hard to win in 2020 though we could always use more. One thing I've found in canvassing here is that people who traditionally vote R are often more swayed by a local candidate running as a local representative than by national politics. If you can get them flipping D for a state assembly person or congressperson then it's not so hard for them to do so higher up. As such, much of my energy is focused on getting Amanda Stuck (a terrific candidate) to replace Mike Gallagher for the Wisconsin 8th. I firmly believe that a large percentage of people we could convince to vote for Amanda would also end up voting straight D. So, if you're stuck in a deep blue state, well, here's an opportunity to help. Full disclosure - Amanda is not (yet) the official Democratic nominee but AFAIK there is no primary opponent.

  161. Democrats should be very afraid right now. Despite Trump being largely viewed as one of the most toxic and inept President's of all time, he is LEADING both Sanders and Warren in swing states polling, as reported by the NYT earlier this week. This is not an aberration folks, it's a reality check. The Electoral College math should be the first, second and third most important issues for Democrats right now. Instead its whether to push for medicare for all and tens of trillions of dollars in new spending that will double the federal budget. Not to mention other divisive ideas like reparations, abolishing ICE and forgiving student load debt. If people can't connect the dots between this progressive "darling agenda" and the maddening results of these polls then I fear we have no hope for 2020. As Nancy Pelosi recently said, these ideas may play well in San Francisco, but they don't have nearly the same support in the heartland. Trump may be widely despised, but he is a formidable candidate who has yet to even strike at the Democratic nominee in all the ways we know he and his team will. Anyone who thinks that Warren or Sanders or Biden or whomever will just shrug off those attacks is living in an echo chamber. I am a registered Independent, so I can't participate in the Democratic primary, but if I could I'd be voting for Biden or Harris, as they are two candidates most likely to win in 2020.

  162. @John Please register and vote in the primaries, especially if you live in a district/city/state that leans solidly one way or the other. It's critical that the best people make it onto the ticket.

  163. Here’s a thought: temporarily change your affiliation to a party so you CAN vote in a primary. It has no bearing on who you can vote for in the general, but it does determine who is on the ballot that you are able to vote for. When the presidential election is over, go back to being an independent. I honestly don’t know why more people don’t do that. I have a cousin in Florida who becomes a Republican every four years so she can vote for somebody sane in their primaries. She obviously has little impact on her own but if more people did that it could create a real change.

  164. @John Not sure if youve noticed, but this impeachment inquiry is moving closer and closer to the Bidens. Public hearings will display on national TV how the son of the Vice President of the US was engaged in very blatant pay for play corruption or pay for access. Reuters did their own investigation, released Oct 18th. Look it up. Hunter was appointed to Burisma's board just weeks after being discharged from the Navy for cocaine use. He was making 83k per month, not 50k. He never stepped foot in Ukraine, attending only 2 board meetings per year outside of Ukraine. He was hired as a "ceremonial" figure to ward off investigations. The owner of Burisma was under multiple investigations, giving Joe Biden ample motive for getting him fired - incredulously by holding back 1 billion in aid. So Biden held back 1 billion in US aid to benefit his family. Sound a little like quid pro quo? These hearings will knock out Biden and exonerate Trump in one fell swoop. Then youll be left with Warren or Bloomberg. Still think Biden will most likely win in 2020?

  165. I live in a solidly blue county, there's no one here to convince that isn't already there. I would only be preaching to the choir if I went door to door and I'm not much good at that anyway. If I had the time I might go our to the country where ignorance and prejudice prevail but I have kids and work all the time so it's just not feasible. I'll donate more but that's about all I can do. Still, the kind of success we witnessed in Virginia gives me hope and I would so love to see that movement come a few miles south and reproduce those results here. NC is the next VA.

  166. @CR Hare Gosh I hope that NC is the next VA. NC has to decide if it is part of the modern, thoughtful and prosperous coalition or part of the backward looking, intolerant and scarcity-oriented coalition. My family is from there, and I still have relatives in NC, It is a little painful to watch.

  167. @Cousy, as you are no doubt aware the NC cities are solidly Democratic while the rural counties tend to vote solidly Republican. State politicians have gerrymandered the state to elect maximum conservatives to Congress and they try to drive wedges and feed red meat to their followers by supporting religious groups, being anti-Gay, and preaching that "liberals" are all socialists. Many rural counties, particularly in the western part of the state have trouble locating Democratic voters. We can hope, but I am less than hopeful given the current demographics and the ilk of the elected conservative politicians to hold on to power through hook or crook!

  168. What is concerning people is the electoral college. We are all supremely confident that the Democratic nominee will win the popular vote, perhaps by as much as 5 million votes. But until we abolish the electoral college democracy is always at risk.

  169. Thank you Michelle, for this reasoned, informed opinion. We all need to do our part, be vigilant, and active. Democracy doesn’t just happen, it’s made.

  170. Yes, I am afraid of a second Trump term. To me, donating money to the Dems is throwing it away. So I am targeting other groups, especially ones that will register voters, especially young voters and women voters. I am not sure if this is the best thing, but I have to do something, and the Dem party is hapless. I hope the NYT keeps mentioning these smaller groups, as I have no idea how to find them otherwise.

  171. “Democrats are particularly prone to toggling between overconfident jubilance and terrified paralysis...” We can't help emotions that bubble up, but we can let them settle with a little deep breathing & mindfulness, and then do something rational, as well as be aware of a few hard facts. It's good to remember: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania account for 46 electoral votes. If Clinton had won these states, she would have won with 274 total electoral votes. Trump's win was effectively decided by ~107,000 people in those three states. Trump won the popular vote there by that combined amount. That amounts to 0.09% of all votes cast. So yes, it may well be close again even though he won't win the nation by a majority. It's worth remembering also that those 3 key states, along with Florida, which trump won in 2016 ... all 4 went for Obama in 2012 (he squeaked out Florida by less than 1% that election, and in 2016 trump won Florida by less than 2%). We should encourage people everywhere to get out and vote, but those are still the battleground states. And whoever is on the presidential ticket has to appeal to many of these relatively conservative to centrist voters, to get enough out & back to voting blue. The goal should be to win based on a balance between what is emotionally appealing & what is rational, & doable. Those to the far left that care only about purity & conformity to their every view, may well cause the unthinkable to happen. Vote no matter what.

  172. “Part of the problem is that it’s not clear exactly what Democrats who abhor Trump should be doing right now.“ It’s easy. Nominate someone who can beat him, and get behind that person. Don’t sulk/sit home/vote third party if the nominee doesn’t check all the boxes on your wish list.

  173. @NA I couldn't agree more and we need to focus on three states: PA, WI, and MI. The blue states that Clinton won should be defendable (but some cannot be taken for granted). But if we don't win ALL three of these midwestern states (assuming we don't take Florida), then Trump wins again. So who will win in those states? Is it a progressive with a $20 to $30 TRILLION price tag on policies (which includes big defense budget cuts). This isn't about what the progressive wish lists, this is about ELECTABILITY. The recent swing state polls should be very concerning and a wake up calls to the Bernie and Liz supporters. Change can happen. But first, we need to get Trump out of office and it has to be in a convincing manner.

  174. @NA I really hope that people currently pushing "vote blue no matter who" are just as willing to vote for Sanders or Warren if one of them is nominated.

  175. @Laurabat Of course they will be. Moderate liberals aren't extremists. They know what's at stake, and they have commonsense.

  176. What is the operating definition of "progressive"? I wholeheartedly support addressing gun violence and global warming, have always been supportive of civil rights for all, am appalled by some (not all) pharmaceutical companies' gouging, and believe universal health care is a human right in the biggest, richest economy in the world. But I'm not for Senator Warren's Medicare For All. The fiscal conservative in me wants to know how she plans to pay for it (which she hasn't really answered), what the impact would be on hospitals, especially regional hospitals, how demonizing the entirety of the insurance industry could backfire, and what such an enormous restructuring of our economy would mean. So far, I'm not convinced. But I bridle at the suggestion that this makes me a Republican.

  177. I wonder how every first world nation on earth has managed to provide free health care for all for decades. Every doctor I know supports Medicare for All. Why do Americans have to deplete their savings (happened to me), go bankrupt, or start a GoFundMe and beg to pay for expensive for profit health care? Why is this acceptable? Why do Americans pay four times as much for drugs as our neighbors in Canada. Like many seniors I wouldn’t be able to afford my prescriptions except that I get them from Canada. Why is this ok?

  178. @Zejee It's not OK, and if we were starting from scratch, Medicare for All would be the most practical model. But we're not starting from scratch, and taking a sledge hammer to such a huge sector of our economy carries enormous risks.

  179. @JKF in NYC Those 'risks " are nothing compared to he very real risks underinsured and uninsured citizens face all day every day. you could have said the same thing just before Medicare itself was enacted

  180. One mildly comforting thought: If Trump is elected again, he can be impeached again if Dems maintain their majority in the House. And if he is impeached again, he can be convicted and removed by the Senate if the Dems take the Senate; and to do that, they would need only to flip four Senate seats if they can keep the others.

  181. It seems to me that there are two ways (but then, there are always at least three) for the Dems to go about this. There is the Anthony Burgess method, encapsulated in his quote "Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities." And there is the Kenneth Rexroth method: "The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, takes responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and avoids it. Without the hidden conspiracy of goodwill, society would not endure an hour.”

  182. I wouldn't care what your political position is, you get a recommend for quoting Rexroth.

  183. Thank You Michelle Goldberg, as usual the voice of reason. The only thing Democrats have to fear is fear itself. We seem to be in a perpetual state of nervousness worrying about what the if's . Democrats do need to organize and send money to either the DNC or a candidate of their choice . They do need to join an organization like 'Move On ',where people will schedule them to call their fellow rural Democrats , urging them to get involved locally and most importantly to vote, taking nothing for granted. In 2016 Clinton lost in Pa mostly because Democrats in Philadelphia did not show up for her on polling day . Lastly Democrats can sign up with Act Blue and donate, big or small amounts that can be debited from their bank account weekly or monthly. It is so important that campaigns have an idea as to where their money is coming from and how much' as Michelle wrote do this now,not in October 2020. Finally despite what we read in the media even in the Times, remember that we Democrats are the majority. There are more of us than there are Trumpers. So when Republicans talk about the American people and what they want, they really mean Trump supporting Republicans not the majority of Americans. So I say Be Afraid Republicans Be Very Afraid. We have now had two elections a mid term and an off year, where Trump and his brand 'that is Republicans in Congress' were trounced . In 2020 this will happen again as Americans want to be rid of Trump and all he represents .

  184. As is the case with other longtime Democrats, I have tended in recent years to send checks to individual candidates, rather than to the state Democratic Party. That was partly because I was afraid the state party would waste the money on fancy local offices with more laptops and conference rooms than they needed. I also was extremely disappointed in the field selected by Ohio Democratic Party in 2016. I have re-thought that decision, not only for Ohio but for other swing states or soon-to-be swing states, for the same reasons urged by Michelle Goldberg today and because I realize that I have been too fixated on the House impeachment drama. I’m getting out my checkbook this afternoon and hope others are doing the same to the extent that they are able. Having volunteers knocking on doors and finding out what can be done about registration in states where Republican voter suppression is a blood sport is even more effective than writing a check.

  185. @sdw Yes, support your State, county and local dems. I know of none who waste money on anything "fancy" but organize and scramble with hard work to canvas strategically and get out the vote Also support state senate campaign committees through fundraisings and donations. Giving regularly through ACT Blue is a great way to give support. We were successful here in Maine in electing a great Gov, Janet T Mills and now Dems control the State Senate as well as the house. Check out the fantastic backlog of good legislation that has been passed in just the first session. All that good organizing is in place and the hard work is continuing heading in to 2020. And electing a great Senator to replace Susan Collins is a top priority here, along with keeping our Congressional Seats and contributing our few electoral votes to the Dems. Impressive turnouts for even local party gatherings and candidates town hall meetings. Onward.

  186. @sdw. I'm focusing my contributions not only on the state Democratic campaigns but on two national efforts--the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, since taking the Senate is critical regardless who takes the presidency, and FairFight, Stacy Abrams' battle against voter suppression. I'm also writing letters to Republican representatives and senators and encouraging everyone I know to do the same. The GOP needs to hear from somebody other than the folks revved up on the "alternative facts" of Fox TV.

  187. @sdw Thank you for your comment. I will do the same. I can and will google for these organizations, but a link included in your comment would help make it easier.

  188. The title of the piece identifies the problem. Too many Democrats are building blue walls of exclusion rather than blue bridges of outreach. Inclusiveness is not a one-way street.

  189. @Bruce Williams Perhaps I might be concerned if the GOP was not so busy burning any bridges the Dems side might build.

  190. @Bruce Williams you're right, inclusiveness is two 1-way streets

  191. @Bruce Williams Bruce, I’m all about inclusion, as I’ve written for decades: “Fighter pilots have a saying that, "speed is life". But, for all the rest of us, "inclusiveness is life" --- and tribalism is death by the oldest lie of empire. Racism is another deadly old lie of empire, as is aggressively fundamentalist religion. Nationalism is a somewhat newer lie of empire, proving particularly deadly in the 20th century. While, economic ideology is the newest, and current, lie of empire (which is causing our economic and environmental collapse). But all the lies and deceptions of "empire-thinking" lead ineluctably to the very same grave --- so choose your empire poison, stupidly. Or choose your inclusiveness, wisely.” However, there is no compromising with Empire, or Emperors — like Emperor Trump!

  192. As someone who lives in Wisconsin, canvassed last week, and canvassed in Seymour this past summer, I can tell you we have lots of people working hard to win in 2020 though we could always use more. One thing I've found in canvassing here is that people who traditionally vote R are often more swayed by a local candidate running as a local representative than by national politics. If you can get them flipping D for a state assembly person or congressperson then it's not so hard for them to do so higher up. As such, much of my energy is focused on getting Amanda Stuck (a terrific candidate) to replace Mike Gallagher for the Wisconsin 8th. I firmly believe that a large percentage of people we could convince to vote for Amanda would also end up voting straight D. So, if you're stuck in a deep blue state, well, here's an opportunity to help. Full disclosure - Amanda is not (yet) the official Democratic nominee but AFAIK there is no primary opponent.

  193. Smart post. Mr. Kodat.

  194. @Alex Kodat All great points! Thank you.

  195. @Alex Kodat Appleton is the seat of Outagamie County. In the 2016 election, Outagamie County voters supported Donald Trump with 51,579 votes. Hillary Clinton received 38,117 votes. Swing states hold the key to the 2020 election. Should a progressive candidate such as Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders win the nomination, how will Outagamie County voters react to Medicare for All or single-payer health? Would health care, "liberal" immigration policies, trade issues and right-wing propaganda drive Wisconsin voters to Trump? Many voters equate single-payer health with Communism. Should a progressive win the nomination, how would canvassers address their fears?

  196. My wife and I know precisely what to do to prevent another Trump term. Drawing upon my experience in business and finance, I write editorials for every publication that will print them. In simple terms, I explain Trump's policy failures (especially tariffs) and the impact they are having globally. My wife focuses on elections, working tirelessly to register voters, especially younger voters who haven't participated. In addition, she attends local meetings and rallies designed to galvanize opposition to the worst president in 243 years. We consider it our patriotic duty to a country that has given us so much. As a former marine, I took the same oath as Trump, the difference being, I meant it. Find your niche and participate. Democracy is worth fighting for and so is decency, honesty and loyalty. Drive the wretched looter and his crooked cabal out of office and hopefully, into jail. Let prison serve as an example to other wannabee thieves that America is not for sale, Climate Change is real, and we need to begin the mitigation. If you live in Kentucky, focus on removing Moscow Mitch from office so the impeachment trial properly adjudicates Trump's many crimes. Uncle Sam needs you!

  197. @bond trader I salute you. And your wife, too.

  198. @bond trader I was a bond trader but am still a Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi, Marine!

  199. @SurgicalBiologics You are correct in stating a number of the problems you describe. Trump however has done little objectively to solve any of them. He blusters, insults and bullies, sows chaos and then ultimately claims victory for essentially bringing us back to where we started at best, or in the case of Iran, probably a worse place. Inequality continues to grow, N. Korea continues to nuclearize, climate continues to deteriorate, Syria and the Kurds abandoned. Unemployment is down but the quality of jobs and growth of the gig economy does not necessarily translate into a better life for middle class Americans. The stock market which he so blithely likes to tout in fact saw its largest year over year rise of the last ten years in 2013, with 6 of 8 positive years during Obama's presidency. His contempt for rule of law and the institutions that truly make our country great is breathtaking. None of the present Democratic candidates are truly socialists, even though Bernie likes to tout himself that way. None of the ardent "anti" socialists seem to be ready to give up their Medicare, Social Security, Veterans benefits, massive corporate subsidies and tax loopholes, wall street bailouts, etc. all of which are nothing but socialism in everything but name. There is much to dislike about many of the Democratic candidates. Bloomberg may finally be a more practical Democrat who can go toe-to-toe with Trump. But if not Bloomberg I'll take any of them every time over Trump

  200. Sending a panic donation to Wisconsin ASAP. Thanks, Michelle. Let's get that blue wall built!

  201. Scared? Seriously? Come on. There's no time for fear! This is a ridiculous column. I suppose it's because the columnist ran out of ideas. What good is it to go on about fear? Organize, participate in a rally, call a campaign office, write a letter to the editor, etc. No one is going to be inspired hearing how scared people are. We'll be inspired by people take ACTION. You don't have to wait until election day. You can start now! Give up on fear. Start doing.

  202. Why does the author not address those of us who are terrified of a Warren presidency, and understand the horror it would inflict on America?

  203. @DRS Frankly, I am tired of all the scaremongering regarding Warren. Plenty of other authors are already addressing the concerns of those who confuse mediocrity, lack of critical thinking and timidness for wisdom and leadership. I get it, it's less scary if we just continue fiddling and tweaking with the problems that confront America, but I'd rather that we actually address them and fix them.

  204. @DRS. What scares me is not so much a Warren presidency as a Warren nomination. From the recent polls and reporting, of three leading candidates she's the one who would lose to Trump in every one of the six states that will determine the 2020 election. That's what makes her terrifying.

  205. @DRS 1) If Warren is the Democratic nominee, I'm afraid she will lose the Electoral College and thus the election. 2) Even if Warren is elected president, without the support of the Senate, she will not be able to pass any of her extreme bills. If Warren is the nominee, I will absolutely vote for her over what is currently in the White House. In my book, anyone who still supports Trump needs to have their head/heart/conscience/morality/ethics examined.

  206. Focus on Congress and the Senate. Donate. Volunteer. Phone bank. Knock on doors. Vote. Do the same FOR WHOEVER THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE IS.

  207. Who are the Democrats? The 30% of voters identifying with the party? The "Democrat-leaning voters?" Biden-Clinton supporters? Sanders-Warren supporters? All of the above? None of the above? Our two "official" parties in a binary political system represent roughly 50% of all qualified voters. A plurality of voters registers as independents or non-aligned. How can a system work when most reject Choice A over Choice B? The Democratic Party should be terrified. Their candidates paint a picture of dysfunction and disarray as they fail to coalesce on critical policy agendas (other than displacing Trump) and its most enthusiastic support is directed toward two candidates whose unbending "progressivism" spells doom for the 2020 election if nominated. The fact that the Party regulars (major corporate donors for the most part) are mounting shadow campaigns for the likes of Clinton redux or a Bloomberg putsch is indeed frightening. Or it should be for those aligned with a party whose name begins with D. Losing once to Trump can be written off as a perfect storm of an unpopular candidate facing a populist riding a wave of resentment and despair. Losing a second time, after 4 years of governance by insanity, spells doom for a party that simply became irrelevant to a vast majority of voters with no other viable choice.

  208. Why are so many Democrats only focused on beating Trump? Do they not remember that he ran for President before 2016 only to be the joke of town, and he’d never been anything but an annoying clown in any political discourse? Something drastically changed between those days and 2016. If that cause is not addressed, he will be elected again or worse, someone smarter and more nefarious could come up on the horizon. It is mildly encouraging that we do have candidates like Sanders, Warren, and Yang who are addressing this problem, but it should be the primary focus of the party from local to national levels.

  209. There is no credible path in sight for "rebuilding" the Democratic Party. It stands bankrupt now beside a legacy of long uncured spinelessness that will haunt it and America for generations to come. At a great turning point period of economic development and global challenge, the Democratic establishment of 2000-2019 postured, whined and caved, over and over. It rubberstamped the disastrously bungled and deceit-based invasion of Iraq, it stood by while the economy was ravaged by rampantly irresponsible financial practice, and while its children were systematically addicted to attention-sapping exploitative social media technology. It miserably failed to halt the rise of the worst US president ever, and until six weeks ago has done almost nothing to tangibly rectify that catastrophic disgrace. Today’s Republican Party is worse. Far worse. But the two parties, dysfunctional at almost anything positive now, nonetheless fit together into a wrecking ball unprecedented in US history. The GOP wants to win, and let all principles, morals, consistent policy or rationality go hang. It is a perfect strategy for succeeding against a Democratic Party incurably addicted to token posturing, politically correct sound-bites, and feeling good about "resisting" while doing almost nothing to seriously fight back. It is overdue for America to finally heed the warnings of its Constitution's framers against the perfidious dangers of political parties. Time to put the Constitution first.

  210. Michelle Goldberg identifies the raw fear we feel at the prospect of this unfit tyrant getting another term. The thought alone raises hackles on my neck and back, given the damage he's already done to our democratic institutions. I agree feeling powerless, helpless, is hardly the antidote to fear. For all my bewilderment how Republicans can cower before Trump, aren't we sort of caught up in the same trap? So yes, early action is waranted. I'd never thought of donating to specific state voter organizing efforts instead of individual candidates, but it makes sense. Without a solid voting infrastructure in place, you can have the most charismatic candidate possible, but if Dems don't show up at the polls, charisma means nothing.

  211. Creating debilitating despair is a Republican campaign strategy! They mock hope. Register to vote. Make sure your friends and family are registered. Avoid funding the primary races which wastes resources and underwrites intramural Democratic attacks. Do fund voter registration drives in swing states RIGHT NOW. Don't despair! And VOTE.

  212. Wisconsin’s ID requirement to vote suppressed 41,000 votes mainly in black neighborhoods in Milwaukee in ’16, while Trump beat Clinton by 23,000. Republican state legislatures and voting commissions have since escalated voter suppression in battleground states North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona. Michigan’s Prop 3 same day registration law reversed voter suppression in 2018. Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum fight voter suppression not only because they were cheated out of governorships, but because as African-Americans in the South they understand voter rights is about power and race. The Republican Party is openly anti-democracy, bringing Jim Crow to the Rust Belt and re-instating it in the South. Trump’s base now is smaller than his 46% vote in ’16, but he can win the same states by cheating. Demand the National Democratic Committee and leaders Pelosi and Schumer prioritize fighting voter suppression at the federal and state levels.

  213. The Democratic Party has lost its way. It used to represent working class citizens- now they care only about illegal immigrants and Syrians. Now they are going to raise taxes to provide healthcare to illegal immigrants. I have no problem with helping foreigners- in their home country. We are destroying out future by becoming another over-populated third world country where life is cheap and resources are scarce. The hate directed at white people is disconcerting. Most white men are not racists who built their lives on the exploitation of minorities and women. Most of us are struggling just like everyone else and paying taxes to help our community. I want to help my community- not the world.

  214. While I agree that we need to do everything we can to get out the vote, illegal immigration is the elephant in the room. Read the comments in response to any op-ed on immigration, most recently yesterday's column by David Brooks. And these are comments from committed Democrats! Go back and read Peter Beinart's 2017 article in The Atlantic. Until the Democrats propose a coherent immigration policy which doesn't sound like open borders, they will be vulnerable.

  215. @Kathy I googled Peter Beinart immigration... a couple of articles a quote "Exposure to difference, talking about difference, and applauding difference—the hallmarks of liberal democracy—are the surest ways to aggravate those who are innately intolerant, and to guarantee the increased expression of their predispositions in manifestly intolerant attitudes and behaviors. Paradoxically, then, it would seem that we can best limit intolerance of difference by parading, talking about, and applauding our sameness." Beinart suggests whoever is the Democratic nominee, commit those words to memory.

  216. @Kathy The cat's out of the bag. Regardless of what policies Democrats officially endorse, they've made their heartfelt desires clear to other Americans. They are so disgusted and disillusioned with the country as it is that they will do anything to change it. What better strategy than repopulation, especially with people from leftist cultures?

  217. @Kathy It's clear that any immigration policy put forward by Democrats will be cast as wanting open borders, even though none of the candidates have proposed that. When you have the sort of system currently in place, any more humanitarian direction seems "leftish." The image of brutish immigrants swarming our borders and overwhelming our social services, bringing crime and disease, seems firmly planted in the minds of many Americans. That this is untrue is not a concern. It's the image that prevails. It may be unrealistic to expect that most minds will change, but it would be helpful if we didn't base our decisions on how we think other people will vote.

  218. I like what those in attendance at the Washington Nationals/Houston Astros said to trump: "Lock him up!" Nothing could be finer that what goes around comes around for this excuse of a human being.

  219. As others have mentioned here: Respectful outreach. Shoe leather. (Or rubber. Or canvas.) Phone banks. Text chains. Carpools! And, DNC--get those attorneys ready, because you know there will be all sorts of voter suppression tactics that need to be challenged. There are more reasonable people than there are reactionary fascists. We have to make sure we find them, make sure they are registered, make sure they vote.

  220. The president of UNITED states of America, J. F. Kennedy, on September 12, 1962, in Houston, had announced that “ We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” Elisabeth Warren plan on health care matches that paramount challenge. Now, a woman cares about her family – in this case her citizens – and, as a womanly psychology dictates she has prepared a detailed plan for everything. True too is the fact that in this quickly changing Global Warming World, changes are so rapidly appearing that plans will have to be constantly updated. When a journalist asked Bernie the details of his plan on health care he answered that he could not, at that stage, give exact data. That is: a man psychology is better apt to a sudden readjustment. That’s why Elisabeth Warren should choose as vice-president a non-vitreous, diaphanous man to englobe in her team for her future politics. A divided US into opposing and equivalent forces - see the vote in Congress on impeachment - will further erode its international prestige - if any left - possibly giving way in the future to an attempt of request of independence - see Scotland - of some States of the Union.

  221. If Democrats just commit to vote Trump out, no matter who wins the Dem primary, Trump will be gone. If Dems sabotage each other or “protest” vote for a 3rd party candidate, Trump will return. Do it so RBG’s replacement isn’t a Trump pick. She deserves that.

  222. We are going to need someone who can handle Trump's dirty tricks and lies, especially in the debates. That person is not Joe Biden. He will be the quarterback who fumbles. Trump has already neutralized him. My money and heart is with Elizabeth. (Midwestern white guy here). Stop trying to handicap the horse race before it's started and get behind what's right. She has discipline, she comes across as youthful and energetic. She is genuine. Trump will have a harder time against a woman than he will against any man.

  223. The real 'terror' is climatic catastrophe and grotesque inequality of condition, wealth, income, property and power. Ah, yes, the 'terror' was made by us, in these shambles of a democratic state. We can and must do better for both the planet and humanity. Yes, Democrats are our best hope, for their policies face these great and terrible challenges. The Republicans are worthless in their devotion to the rich and only the rich. The carnage is all around us. Time for 'the People' to retrieve our backbone and moral center. Love not greed.

  224. The only cure for worrying is to choose words wisely--This article mentions and "terror" and "choked with panic" and a blue wall. We don't need to cattle prod--that's for Trump's Base............

  225. Play the video clip over and over of Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) saying what he thinks of Speaker Pelosi this week at Trump's rally. Challenge every Republican Senator to condemn Kennedy's statement at every opportunity. Play the video clip over and over of Trump calling Jeff Sessions a "dumb Southerner." And challenge every Republican Senator and Congresscritter to defend Trump or defend Sessions.

  226. "A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump.” The one thing that for all their alleged intelligence and education the well-off white 'progressives' do not understand and accept is that Trump's victory was a major triumph of democracy. He won as an outsider and a bit of a left-field character against the vicious and uniform hostility of the left media that entirely dominate the US media space, and against the Dems aristocracy epitomized in a Clinton. Therefore, the democracy is in USA is well and healthy, thank you very much, no worries there, just go on with your 'journalism' and unconditional support for all things never-Trump and see where that gets you. Do not mix the well-being of democracy with your white-heat rage assaults on Trump.

  227. Step one get an electable presidential candidate,no such luck yet.

  228. Goldberg takes on the pundit class notion that Democrats are scared, silly little geese who don't understand the harsh realities of big-boy Republican politics. I find that argument be condescending, especially to women and progressives. And fishy--I've also "yet to meet" the legendary fools who think beating Trump will be easy. Let's focus loudly on what Dems are doing right, and give credit to why. For example, Goldberg writes, "Immediately after the 2016 election, there was the Women’s March, then the airport protests, then the health care town halls." "There was"??? These triumphs of, for, and by ordinary citizens didn't just happen, despite her passive tense. Women organized the Women's March. Progressives organized the airport protests. Women, women, and more women saved Obamacare from those big-boy Republicans we're supposed to be afraid of. They also put family separations and gun violence on the map. Teachers--also overwhelmingly women--put unfair wages on the map. So when you read, "Democrats mobilized for a series of special elections and then for the 2018 midterms. That mobilization is still happening — it’s why Democrats just won big victories in Virginia and, it appears, Kentucky," notice that mobilization doesn't just happen. Rather, women and progressives do it. And they can do it because they're not afraid. They are smart, competent, realistic, and persistent. Fear is for a corrupt Republican party.

  229. "Hope is more the consequence of action than its cause. As the experience of the spectator favors fatalism, so the experience of the agent produces hope." Cornell West and Roberto Unger

  230. After perusing the comments here, I detect a hint of desperation. Voters vote with their pocket books. "Its the economy, stupid", rings true every election season. This is no different. The economy isnt working for everybody meme is a bad way to try and win elections. Its dishonest and deceptive. When has any economy worked for every single person? So the progressive idea is enact wide sweeping programs to redistribute so everyone is equal. The problem with that is, the govt cant give to one person without taking from another. It harkens right back to the very accurate description of socialism. "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." That way of governance is the exact polar opposite of what we have today, and precisely why we are now enjoying a booming economy. Trump has lowered taxes, slashed regulations, making it easier to invest and expand. Socialistic programs will accomplish the exact opposite. And btw - the latest headline from Bloomberg - "Trump’s Economy Is Working for Minorities" - "the unemployment gaps between both blacks and whites as well as Hispanics and whites have reached all-time lows. It’s not just that the job market has been good: For minorities, it has been historically good." That doesnt bode well for Democrats.

  231. @SurgicalBiologics A lot of Red State voters do not vote their pocket books. They vote based on race.

  232. I don't think people should be terrified. A solid majority of the voting public is dead set against a Trump presidency. Get that majority to the polls in 2020 and Trump will lose. If you are "scared" think about what others around the world are dealing with. Would you be scared living in Russia under the brutal Russian Kleptocrats? How about China, the new totalitarian surveillance state? Would you like those digs? How about Mexico with its deadly drug wars, or the Northern Triangle, or Venezuela and its environs? We don't have discuss in detail the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia or Africa broadly conceived. Things are much worse. Like those 1000 picogram particulate ratings in Mumbai? Twenty million people being poisoned by the air they breathe. The world is a challenging place. Perhaps it has always been that way. In world historical terms, Trump is an ugly blimp on the American radar. That is all he is. An active citizenry can deal with him.

  233. The current Democratic debates are useless those on the stage are fighting each other in public SHAME

  234. Like millions of other Progressives, I'm dancing as fast as I can. This is the only way.

  235. Sorry to confirm what your friend-of-a-friend said, Ms. Goldberg, but Trump is likely to win again. Why? Step back for a minute and look at your Party's proposals. They are irresponsible, overwhelmingly costly, and unworkable. To say nothing of making the role of government all-encompassing. While some of the people -- the 20% or so who call themselves progressives -- like what your Party is selling, and while some others -- I'd say another 20% -- hate Trump with a passion, the majority, when faced with the choice of a badly flawed and obnoxious Trump versus the madness that is Democratic Party policies, will hold their noses and choose Trump.

  236. @Ulysses Odd that your view of the Dem party comes from an area that has one of the biggest progressive successes. I am less interested in proposals than results, and judging by results, the conservatives do not have a lot to be proud of. Instead of writing what terrible stuff the Dems do, why not promote the successes of Conservative policies, say, in any of the old Confederate states?

  237. @gratis Your comment is not at all responsive to my comment or, for that matter, responsive to Ms. Goldberg’s expressed concern. Instead, you fall back onto cliches about how deplorable those who think differently from you are.

  238. To your list of people who should drop out now, I would add Bernie Sanders. He is an aging, blowhard, raging one-issue candidate who had just had a heart attack. If he is a true Democrat, and a true American, he should realize NOW that he has no chance, none at all, of wining the general election, no matter how mad his supporters are. And Elizabeth Warren, the apparent front runner. And good old Uncle Joe Biden, who will be savaged in the debates. He blusters, he loses his train of thought, and his idea that running on Obama's coattails is misguided and foolish. Sadly, Kamal Harris, perhaps the most overlooked candidate, would then have room to move to the front. I would love to see her debate DJT. I support her strongly, and, if the moderators would ever let her speak, he ideas are firm, inclusive and brilliant.

  239. Find 10 people to register to vote and then give them a call before the primaries and the general and evil will be defeated.

  240. I ran for office and got elected. I will run GOTV field offices in 2020. Do something to burn your despair and anxiety, and push yourself, even a bit, out of your comfort zone. ANY of our front runner Presidential nominees are better than Trump. Its not 2016 and Trump is damaged goods. I don’t waste my time worrying about it. And remember the media doesn’t make a big deal about you like Trump voters, nope, they dissect you and criticize you, even though you Pelosi-clap back at every election and every hearing. Find your local Dems or Indivisible and let’s do this!

  241. This impeachment inquiry is moving closer and closer to the Bidens. Public hearings will display on national TV how the son of the Vice President of the US was engaged in very blatant pay for play corruption or pay for access. Reuters did their own investigation, released Oct 18th. Look it up. Hunter was appointed to Burisma's board just weeks after being discharged from the Navy for cocaine use. He was making 83k per month, not 50k. He never stepped foot in Ukraine, attending only 2 board meetings per year outside of Ukraine. He was hired as a "ceremonial" figure to ward off investigations. The owner of Burisma was under multiple investigations, giving Joe Biden ample motive for getting him fired - incredulously by holding back 1 billion in aid. So Biden held back 1 billion in US aid to benefit his family. Sound a little like quid pro quo? These hearings will knock out Biden and exonerate Trump in one fell swoop. Then youll be left with Warren or Bloomberg. Will either of them invigorate the masses to the polls? This is very worrisome.

  242. @SurgicalBiologics Your comment has nothing to do with the column. Plus, no matter how hard you strain, there is nothing that indicates that Biden's actions in the Ukraine had anything to do with his son, NOR did the actions he took in any way benefit his son or Burisma.

  243. Remember if those who voted for Obama stand up they will defeat Trump , if not they will deserve the alternative.