Your Wonky Week – Dec. 12, 2019

This week in wonky news!

We’re complete policy wonks, and we own that.

We talk about politics and polls and studies and data all the time (some say too much). But maybe you’re wonky too. If that’s the case (nerds unite!), here’s a blissfully SHORT newsletter highlighting some things we think are interesting right now:

Something Interesting to Read:

Not to be downers or anything, but we’re getting our butts kicked when it comes to ad spending on impeachment.

This article in the Washington Post explains that the GOP has launched $10 MILLION in ads targeting Democrats in districts Trump won in 2016 – and they haven’t stopped. 

Meanwhile, Democrats countered with a two-week $1.5 million t.v. campaign defending some of the House Dems the GOP is singling out.  

While Dems focused on t.v., the GOP continues to spend gobs of money on social media. The posts are intended to boost engagement and build the base, and parrot the talking points echoed on Fox News (more on that below) and by GOP members.

So to recap this sad story: the GOP has outspent us 10:1, and continues to spend money pushing its anti-impeachment narrative, while Dems stopped their impeachment ad campaigns in … October. 

So, are these anti-impeachment ads effective? Or is the GOP just throwing money around like Scrooge McDuck?

Depends on who you ask.

Democratic strategists say that folks have already made up their minds, so these impeachment ads aren’t as effective as you’d think.

On the other hand… a poll of of viewers in districts that saw the anti-impeachment ads “found that constituents were quoting the messages of the ads verbatim”. 

Oh boy.

And, as you’ll see in the Impeachment Numbers for the week, there are indeed some late-breaking folks.

Let’s turn to those real quick…

(Here’s that link to the WaPo article again)

Impeachment Numbers: Week of December 12, 2019: 

An interesting story in the impeachment numbers this week:

December 5: 
47.8% support impeachment 
44.0% oppose impeachment. 

December 12:
47.5% support impeachment (-.3)
45.8% don’t support (+1.8!!!)

December 5:
46.8% support impeachment + removal 
44.5% oppose impeachment + removal 

December 12:
47.3% support impeachment and removal (+.5)
45.9% don’t support (+1.4!!!)

The reason we say this story is interesting – is because the numbers of people who support impeachment are fairly steady or increasing.

BUT the number of people who don’t support impeachment is bouncing up faster

That means that the people who are now making their minds up (and, contrary to what those quoted Democratic strategists said in the article above, those people DO exist) are breaking against impeachment.

That money the GOP is spending on advertising against impeachment might just be working….

Sure seems like having resources to counteract narratives pushed out by the GOP messaging machine is important. More on that below.

What’s Up on Fox News: 

Boy, howdy – when the FBI Inspector General published its report this week, Fox News had a field day (and the GOP breathed a huge sigh of relief). If you’ve not heard, the report criticized the FBI for how it handled FISA warrants, while saying it found no evidence of political bias and there was sufficient evidence to start a counterintelligence investigation.

As you can imagine, Fox pounced on the whole “FISA warrant” issue.

Their taking points include Jim Comey being the “most corrupt FBI director in history,” that the mistakes made by the FBI make Watergate “small potatoes,” and that “people will wind up in handcuffs.”

They’ve also zeroed in on impeachment polling numbers, focusing on the fact that 50% of the American public still doesn’t support impeachment and removal of Trump. 

And they’re hitting hard on their “Democrats are trying to take your vote away” narrative. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and they use every chance to make it so their base can sing along.

In fact, they’re highlighting our quote of the week, from Congressman Jerry Nadler: “We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems, when the president threatens the very integrity of that election.” The GOP says that quote is evidence that Democrats are trying to undo the 2016 election.

We say it’s being realistic that without consequences and action, the integrity of the upcoming election is at stake.

And let’s be honest: 2020 is not going to be a picnic.

Beating Trump isn’t going to be easy – not with the GOP’s messaging machine going full-tilt and backed by the over $300 million he’s got in the bank.

But we have what he doesn’t: the power of people like you, who understand the stakes of this election. And that’s what we need to harness.

If you believe that ANYONE (including a single-cell organism) would be a better president than Trump:

a) we agree, and 
b) you should join Dump Trump.

It’s a monthly subscription program that supports the Democratic nominee – and unlike all the others, we send your support the VERY NIGHT they secure the delegates they need to win the nomination.

Others wait until the convention – which is usually weeks or months later, when party resources kick in.

That’s too late. It means your nominee is a sitting duck waiting for party resources to kick in, while the GOP takes shots at them. 

If that sounds crazy, it’s because it is. So we want to make sure our 2020 Democratic nominee has some funds to fight back with when they need it the most. 

Join thousands of others who understand what’s at stake and are doing something about it – join today at

Stay wonky!