Where Things Stand: We’re Hosting A Midterms Event This Week And You Should Come

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If you’ve been following my colleague Josh Marshall’s ed-blog posts the last several months, you’ve likely read a few of his pieces centered on the theory that Democrats should be putting the disastrous Dobbs decision at the forefront of their messaging campaign to voters this midterms cycle. His case has been simple: Democrats need to make the calculus clear to demoralized liberal voters. Yes, they had 50 seats in the Senate for the last two years, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the filibuster to pass Roe-like protections (or to pass any number of other Democratic priorities). Like it or not, there were two Democratic holdouts on the filibuster.

So Democrats, Josh argued, needed to go to voters with a clear promise: Give us two more senators, and help us hold the House, and we promise — we’ll restore the right to an abortion that the conservative Supreme Court took away.

The theory has caught on — very, very gradually. Earlier this month, President Biden gave a midterms speech vowing to sign a bill into law that protects abortion access at a federal level if voters are able to give the party enough senators to pass such a bill in the upper chamber. The House already passed a bill in July protecting abortion rights.

Meanwhile, some progressives, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have argued that a focus on abortion is not enough, that Democrats need to do a better job speaking to voters’ economic concerns and to make that core to their message.

On Thursday at 6:00 p.m. ET, TPM is going to host a live discussion of various theories of how Democrats can and should have messaged over the last few months. Did Democrats do all they could? Or was their messaging around abortion this campaign cycle too little, too late? Did they take Josh’s advice? Bernie’s? Someone else’s? All of the above? None of the above? Yes? No? Maybe?

Josh will break all of this down with two friends of TPM: journalist Steve Clemons and political strategist Adam Jentleson. Clemons is the editor-at-large for Semafor, a one-time blogger for TPM, and an old friend of Josh’s. Jentleson is the editorial director of the Battle Born Collective, an influential voice for filibuster reform, and a former chief of staff for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Register to join us here.

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