The Three-Dimensional Demographic Strategic Assessment
Demographics is Destiny
In November 2022, New Black Nationalists (NBN) completed its post-midterm election analysis. Our circulating concern was developing an assessment of how the midterms positioned Democrats to recapture the White House in 2024.
From NBN's perspective, heavy Democrat turnout in 2020 was a response to Donald Trump's mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and authoritarian dictates. Similarly, Republicans' lethargic 2022 midterm results reflected the blowback to Dobbs revoking women's reproductive rights.
The Republican Red Wave's failure to make landfall allowed Democrats to hold the Senate and provided Joe Biden with a serviceable rationale to seek re-election. Nevertheless, NBN concluded Biden was highly susceptible to attacks concerning his age, investigations of his possession of classified documents, and his family's business practices.
Of greater concern was NBN's consensus view that the Biden-Harris national ticket is enfeebled and bereft of the dynamism needed to animate large-scale turnout in 2024.
We believe Biden's anemic poll numbers since NBN released its November 2022 report lends weight to our analysis. Thus, we were compelled to recommend that Black Democrats identify and support a new national ticket that can win the White House in 2024.
To that end, NBN designed a Three-Dimensional Demographic Stategic Assessment (3-DSA) to evaluate and match potential Democrat presidential and vice-presidential nominees' demographic strengths to their core electorate and independent voters' demographic and voting patterns.
The 3-DSA model can be described as a 'demographics is destiny' optimization strategy to win seven (7) out of eight (8) states NBN identified as critical to recapturing the Oval Office in 2024. The seven Tier 1 and Tier 2 swing states are as follows.
Seven Swing States and a Perfect Storm
1st Tier Swing States (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania)
2nd Tier Swing States (Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Virginia)
3rd Tier Perfect Storm / Nuclear Option State (Texas)
In May, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez issued a State-of-the-Race memo. In addition to targeting Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as tier-one swing states, the Biden campaign is spending and possibly targeting North Carolina and Florida as tier-2 states. From NBN's perspective Democrats cannot win Florida at the presidential level or Rick Scott's Senate seat. Similarly, while North Carolina will be a closer race, we see the state leaning Republican.
Demographics is Destiny
NBN's Three-Dimensional Demographics Strategy centers on geography, gender, race, and youth as the locus of the 2024 presidential campaign. It is not a minimalist strategy that appeals to the least common denominator of identity politics. Quite the opposite, Democrats' strength is their strategic depth featuring a deep bench of talented women, men, and LGBTQI candidates. They are Jewish, Hispanic, White, Asian American, Indigenous, and Black located in all regions of the country, especially in the seven critical states. The 3-DSA design leverages Dem's strategic advantage.
--- Winning Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in the Great Lakes Triangle of Tier 1 swing states, is the most important strategic benchmark to win the requisite 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the Oval Office.
--- Selecting the strongest presidential candidate from the Midwest region is the most important factor in carrying the Great Lakes Triangle.
--- The Democrat national ticket must include a woman as either the presidential or vice-presidential nominee, and remain gender balanced between male and female candidates.
--- Women voters are trending Democrat as the battle for reproductive rights and gun safety issues continues to intensity. Should Democrats nominate a charismatic woman presidential nominee, it could potentially create a wave election.
--- Vice-Presidential nominees rarely impact a presidential race, and then only at the farthest margins. Not so in 2024. If Democrats nominate a Hispanic vice president, the effect could be enormous.
--- In the four second-tier swing states of Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Virginia a Hispanic Democrat vice-presidential nominee could significantly juice Democrat turnout in ways not seen before.
--- Hispanic voters can both consolidate Democrat presidential victories won in 2020, and possibly decide key Senate races to elect Ruben Gallegos in Arizona, Jackie Rosen in Nevada, and Colin Allred in Texas who could take down Ted Cruz.
--- In the 2022 midterm elections Michigan had the highest youth turnout in the country (37%) which contributed significantly to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's re-election.
--- Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Arkansas were the only states to have a higher youth turnout in 2022 than in 2018. In those first three states, Democrats won competitive statewide races for governor and/or U.S. Senate.
--- The youth vote has been surging in support of reproductive rights and anti-gun violence. Led by an energetic presidential candidate with street-cred on both issues, the youth vote could redound heavily in the Democrats' favor.
New Black Nationalist's Recommendations for President and Vice-President
Consonant with the strategic advantages Democrats enjoy among youth, women, and in the strategic Midwest Great Lakes Triangle, the addition of a Hispanic vice-president was an important element of NBN's strategic calculation. On November, 11, 2022, NBN issued the first of its two sets of recommendations for a national ticket.
NBN's first recommendation sought to encourage an early entry in the race was hard-hitting Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan. While running for Ohio's Senate seat against J.D. Vance, Ryan was one of a few Democrats calling on Biden to step aside in 2024. Ryan lost his Senate race, retired from Congress in January 2023, and decided not to run for President a second time.
As Ryan's running mate, NBN recommended a quiet rising star on the national Hispanic scene, California Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan. In January 2023, Barragan was elected Chair of the Legislative Hispanic Caucus.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for President and Xavier Becerra, for Vice-President in 2024
On May 20, 2023, New Black Nationalists recommended Black Democrats initiate a national draft movement in support of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as the Democrat Party's presidential nominee. The recommendation argued Whitmer is one of the most powerful and popular governors in the United States, and foremost champion of gun safety and abortion rights legislation. Moreover, Whitmer is positioned to exploit Democrat's demographic strategic advantage outlined above more so than any other Democrat.
As NBN fully outlined its full argument for Whitmer, in the aforementioned recommendation, we would like to focus on our vice-presidential recommendation for Xavier Becerra.
Becerra is well-schooled in the ways of Congress as a U.S. Representative for 12 terms. A first-rate legal mind that served as California's Attorney General, and the current cabinet Secretary of the Dept. of Health and Human and Social Services, Xavier Becerra is the perfect fit as vice president for Gretchen Whitmer.
Photogenic with a disarming smile, unflappable, and a smooth communicator, Becerra is disliked and feared by the hard right because he knows how to play hardball and win. For Gretchen Whitmer who isn't a creature of Washington, Becerra can be an invaluable resource to work Capitol Hill and guide her through D.C.'s political minefields.
Becerra would open doors to the Hispanic Legislative Caucus for Whitmer. More importantly, he knows the rough-and-tumble of politics on the Southern border with Mexico. The border is more than just an issue for Becerra, it is his family's life story as the son Mexican immigrants.
In the wake of the 2022 elections, there remains a debate of sorts as to whether Democrats are gaining or bleeding support among Hispanics. NBN has said it before, and we will say it again: Hispanics as the second largest demographic group in the country are in a mood to flex their political muscle. They want in at the highest echelons of government, and they are getting impatient.
In politics timing is everything. Democrats have a problem connecting with Hispanics on an emotional and cultural plane. By elevating Becerra to vice-president Democrats can decisively tilt the field. They would force Republicans to try to increase their share of the Hispanic vote while attacking the first Hispanic candidate who could hold national office. Becerra also puts Texas in play for the perfect storm. If Whitmer-Becerra carried Texas, cable new stations would be calling the election by 9:00 p.m. E.S.T. on November 5, 2024.
On the other hand, Democrats don't remotely consider the possibility that Donald Trump or Ron Savonarola DeSantis would ever choose a Hispanic as their vice-presidential candidate. The MAGA-Verse has its own version of Affirmative Action that welcomes Hispanics from Yale lawyers like Ted Cruz to Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio. Democrats had better think again. A Republican Hispanic vice-presidential nominee would scramble the electoral math and political calculations.
The Downside of the 3-DSA Strategy?
Imagine for a moment the implications of Black Democrats leading a successful draft effort to nominate Gretchen Whitmer in the August 2024 convention in Chicago. Would the Black Commons turn out in muscular numbers in November 2024 to support a national ticket without a Black president or vice president?
Put differently, could Black Democrats be satisfied with effectively controlling the party agenda without having to be its public face? In one sense it's a moot question. If Black Democrats want VP Kamala Harris on the national ticket, they can continue to support the Biden-Harris team.
For the sake of argument, however, what if Biden had to withdraw from the race because of a serious illness? Would the majority of Black Democrats throw their support behind VP Kamala Harris, even if national polls showed she was a weak national candidate?
At once we would find ourselves back at the starting gate with the same dilemma. The cardinal issue is if Black Democrats and Black Commons are alert to the danger that losing the Oval Office will lead to a form of white nationalist minority rule tantamount to American Apartheid. If so, are the Black Commons prepared to do what it takes to defeat the existential threat before us?
New Black Nationalists have proffered a national ticket and a strategy for the Black Commons and Black Democrats' consideration. Whether you agree or disagree with the Draft Gretchen Whitmer for President initiative is not so much the question of the moment. NBN welcomes alternative proposals and suggestions for different candidates. It is inaction, deferring to the status quo, and the failure of imagination that are the real enemies we must confront.
Xavier Becerra is the 25th Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the first Latino to hold the office in the history of the United States.
Throughout his career, the Secretary has made it his priority to ensure that Americans have access to the affordable healthcare they need to survive and thrive - from his early days as a legal advocate representing individuals with mental illness, to his role as the Attorney General of the state of California.
Secretary Becerra served 12 terms in Congress as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. During his tenure, he was the first Latino to serve as a member of the powerful Committee on Ways and Means, he served as Chairman of his party's caucus, and as the Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health.
For over two decades in Congress, Secretary Becerra worked so that every family had the assurance of care that his own family had when he was growing up. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Secretary Becerra introduced legislation -- the Medicare Savings Programs Improvement Act of 2007 -- that expanded cost-sharing subsidies for low-income seniors who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits by increasing the amount of resources they could receive. He championed provisions of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 that required physicians who perform imaging to be accredited and trained to ensure patient safety. And he was one of the original cosponsors of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) which strengthened Medicare and lowered costs for seniors.
As Attorney General of the state of California, Secretary Becerra helped to promote competition by taking on a number of pharmaceutical companies that restricted competition through "pay-for-delay" schemes, held several companies accountable for legal violations for not protecting patients' health information, and took action early in the pandemic to keep Californians safe by using his authority to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19, secure key safeguards for frontline health care workers' rights, and take on fraudsters trying to take advantage of people during the pandemic. In addition, he cracked down on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, acted to combat the opioid crisis, including holding drug makers accountable, won an unprecedented $575 million antitrust settlement against one of the largest health systems in California, and he led the three-year federal court fight to save the ACA and with it, the protections of the 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions.
Born in Sacramento Secretary Becerra is the son of working-class parents. He was the first in his family to receive a four-year degree, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School. His mother was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States after marrying his father, a day laborer turned construction worker. He is married to Dr. Carolina Reyes, and he is proud of his three daughters: Clarisa, Olivia, and Natalia, and son-in-law Ivan.