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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Why Is Newsom Campaigning In Red States? [Answer: Obama 2008]

 Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. California Governor Gavin Newsom spent much of 2022 trying to raise his profile outside the state. The effort continues.

Hannah Wiley at LAT:
Saturday’s swing through Idaho didn’t just energize Biden’s much-neglected base in such a conservative corner of the West. It helped build a future one for Newsom.


The visit to Idaho, which kicked off Newsom’s second tour through red states over the past few months, was all about shoring up enthusiasm for Biden’s accomplishments and touting party accomplishments, while showering beleaguered local Democrats with some love, attention and a little campaign cash from his political action committee Campaign for Democracy.

Newsom cut the Idaho Democratic Party a $10,000 check for the event, the maximum allowed; it’s a sliver of the more than $3 million he’s funneled to Biden and Democrats in Republican-run states such as Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi over the last three months. This week, he’ll have private meetings with Democrats in Montana during an annual family Fourth of July vacation, with a stop later in Utah.

The swing through Republican-led states gives Newsom the chance to remind local Democrats how critical they are in fighting back against what he described as a GOP-led “rights regression.”

Why is he campaigning in red states that would never support him in a general election?  The answer:  they send delegates to the Democratic national convention.  In 2008, as we explain in Epic Journey Obama showed that campaigning in otherwise-neglected red states could be a cost-effective way of building up a delegate lead.