We Really Can Have Nice Things: What We’re Fighting *For* In the 2024 Elections
This is a fake headline, but it could be what we see the morning after the November election, if we play our cards right.
Adapted from Bat Signal 2: The Biggest Investment Ever
We know what it will cost us if we lose the 2024 Elections. But what could we gain if we win? We want to say a little more now about the incredible, beautiful, hopeful vision of what is possible if we meet this moment.
In our September 2023 Bat Signal memo, we called this vision The Amazing Scenario. In short: If we course correct quickly — and make the biggest investments we have ever made — we can:
- Win the Presidency and both chambers of Congress.
- Gain the single additional progressive U.S. Senate vote we need, by replacing Kyrsten Sinema with Ruben Gallego in Arizona.
- Pass some of the most progressive legislation of our lifetimes in 2025.
- Appoint hundreds of judges, and have a chance to replace one of the right-wing Justices on the Supreme Court.
- Harness the tailwinds of demographic change and structural democracy reforms to usher in the beginnings of a twenty-first-century Progressive Era.
2025: The Most Progress In Decades
After having our policy hopes dashed so often, many of us have learned to expect the mediocre. But if we can win a Democratic governing majority with an additional reliably progressive vote in the Senate, we will actually have the votes we need to have an even better legislative session than we had in 2021-2022, and secure some major new historic policy wins.
The Power of a Democratic Governing Majority
In 2021-2022, we were just one Senate vote short. With one more vote, we could have passed a bill close to the original Build Back Better Act vs. the $433 billion Inflation Reduction Act, which—while still full of impressive progressive legislation—was watered down to meet the demands of Manchin and Sinema. This means with a federal trifecta in 2025, we easily pass:
- Far more ambitious climate provisions,
- A permanent expanded child tax credit (the temporary version of which cut child poverty in half in 2021),
- Significant healthcare and Medicare expansion,
- Funding for universal pre-K and childcare,
- National paid family leave, and
- A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Structural Reform: Unleashing a Progressive Era
And, with the additional reliable Senate vote, we would be in reach of reforming the filibuster in order to secure national abortion rights, pass federal voting rights legislation, curb the influence of dark money, and end partisan gerrymandering, which would be utterly game-changing for the future of state and federal politics in this country.
Specifically, if we can pass fair redistricting, we could have:
- The greatest expansion of democracy and voting rights in decades.
- The beginning of an era of increasingly durable Democratic majorities at the federal level and in a growing number of states.
In 2022, Democrats lost the U.S. House (and their full governing trifecta) by just 6,675 votes across five districts (0.006 percent of all House votes cast). With fair U.S House maps nationwide, Democrats could have gained six additional seats.
At the state level, Democrats now have trifectas (i.e. control of the executive and legislative branches) in 17 states representing a plurality of Americans — including Michigan, where newly-drawn legislative maps led to the first Democratic trifecta in forty years in 2022. Fair maps nationwide could help clear the way for progressive governance in the next decade, in some of the worst gerrymandered states like Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.
And if we succeed in winning that level of structural reform, the sky’s the limit on what we can do over the next decade to advance every other policy we care about. We can make the 2024 elections a true turning point in American history and chart a course to transform the 2020s and 2030s into a new Progressive Era.