Incredibly, the Democrats are Still Looking for a Message
Author: Greg Valliere
October 26, 2022
THE DEMOCRATS’ PROSPECTS WEREN’T HELPED last night by the cringe-inducing debate between John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Fetterman may eventually fully recover from a stroke, but it appears that he hasn’t yet.
THE BIGGER STORY IS A SHIFT IN PUBLIC OPINION on issues such as urban crime and, of course, the economy. But the New York Times reported yesterday that, incredibly, the Democrats are just now debating over a theme. They had thought that Roe v Wade and tying Republicans to Donald Trump would make a huge difference, but that was “wishful thinking,” the Times said.
NOW THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SETTLED ON A NEW THEME — that they have empathy for those who have been hurt by inflation, and that the party can best handle the economy. The Republicans, they say, will make things worse. This is the best that Democrats can offer?
ONE VERY ANGRY DEMOCRAT IS Sen. Bernie Sanders, who says it’s “political malpractice” to not offer a clear economic agenda; most voters aren’t even aware that Biden has won the right to begin negotiating on Medicare drug prices, for example.
BIDEN GETS MUCH OF THE BLAME in private for his seeming passivity and unwillingness to brag about economic policies that have been enacted. But that narrative has a flip side — a firm belief by the public that his policies have exacerbated inflation.
BIDEN WILL STEP UP CAMPAIGNING, but he inexplicably failed to visit Arizona and Nevada when he was on the West Coast last week. Those two states have exceptionally close Senate races; the Democrats’ incumbent in Nevada has faltered in recent weeks in a race that could very well decide who controls the Senate.
WITH LESS THAN TWO WEEKS LEFT, it’s unclear whether any message from the Democrats can prevail; the new catch-phrase is “persuadables,” and it appears that there aren’t many voters left who haven’t already been persuaded.
SANDERS, FOR ONE, ISN’T GOING DOWN without a fight. The angry 81-year old will continue to contend that Republicans will seek more tax cuts while attempting to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. Why the Democrats didn’t make that case in the summer will be an enduring mystery.
THERE WAS A MESSAGE TO BE MADE, especially an argument that the Federal Reserve was dramatically behind the curve on inflation and then was too harsh in combatting it.
SCAPEGOATS OFTEN WORK (see: Donald Trump) but the Fed has largely been ignored by the Democrats, who will get one more indignity on Nov. 2: still another 75 basis point rate hike, imposed less than a week before the election. The Democrats, fittingly, are unlikely to object.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2022 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.