Democrats see policy running better than politics: The Note

This is a critical phase for salesmanship.

November 12, 2021, 6:01 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

Implicit in the pleas for Democrats to deliver on President Joe Biden's agenda is an adage that members of both parties know well: Good policy makes for good politics.

Democrats might have a hard time buying that during a critical phase for salesmanship and still more legislating.

There are growing signs that even while Democrats are trying to do things that are popular, voters aren't inclined to give them much credit for it. A Monmouth University poll out this week found support for the infrastructure bill and the Biden social-spending agenda well into the 60s -- with Biden's approval stuck in the low 40s.

With climate goals central to the bills and the Glasgow conference ending on Friday, new numbers from an ABC News/Washington Post poll get to another level of that story. Despite the focus of Biden and other world leaders on urgent action now, a 49-45 plurality of Americans view climate change as "a longer-term problem that requires more study" as opposed to something that requires the immediate action of government entities.

Democrats' efforts to sell their plans will continue through at least next week -- the same time frame in which they hope to get the "Build Back Better" plan through the House. But economic concerns threaten to overwhelm all of those plans, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., reminding his colleagues that he's been worried about inflation all along.

Already in November, Democrats have both suffered a disastrous election and chalked up a giant win for Biden. As attention turns to next November, their fears begin to center on more of the same.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

A group of House Democrats will introduce a resolution Friday to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., after he shared a violent animated video depicting him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and brandishing swords at Biden.

Reps. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., Nikema Williams, D-Ga., and Ayanna Pressley D-Mass., drafted the resolution.

PHOTO: Rep. Paul Gosar conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, June 15, 2021.
Rep. Paul Gosar conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, June 15, 2021.
CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images, FILR

"As the events of January 6th have shown, such vicious and vulgar messaging can and does foment actual violence," wrote the group of Democratic lawmakers. "Violence against women in politics is a global phenomenon meant to silence women and discourage them from seeking positions of authority and participating in public life, with women of color disproportionately impacted. Minority Leader McCarthy's silence is tacit approval and just as dangerous."

Gosar deleted the tweet Tuesday and said in a statement that the video was about "the fight taking place next week on the House floor" over Biden's agenda.

Amid bitter partisan division in Congress, it remains to be seen if censure from Democrats, including members of the so-called "squad" of progressive female members of color, will be much more than a badge of honor for the far-right Gosar without a demand for accountability from Republicans.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been quiet on the matter, and his silence is deafening.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

Nearly two weeks after election night, the Democratic primary in the race to fill the seat of late Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings is coming to a close.

On Friday, election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties are expected to certify the final results of the contest in the deep blue, South Florida seat. The top two Democratic candidates -- health care executive Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness -- were separated by just a handful of votes after two recounts.

PHOTO: Broward County Canvassing board chairman Judge Deborah Carpenter-Toye, Joe Scott, right, Broward Supervisor of Elections and Michael Udine, Broward County Vice-Mayor, inspect a ballot in Lauderhill, Fla., Nov. 5, 2021
Broward County Canvassing board chairman Judge Deborah Carpenter-Toye, Joe Scott, right, Broward Supervisor of Elections and Michael Udine, Broward County Vice-Mayor, inspect a ballot in Lauderhill, Fla., Nov. 5, 2021. A recount was underway in a tight Democratic primary race for the South Florida U.S. House seat held by the late Alcee Hastings.
Marta Lavandier/AP

The recounts were automatically triggered under Florida law because the margin separating Cherfilus-McCormick and Holness was below 0.25%. The race is now likely to be determined by incoming provisional and military ballots, which can be counted if they were post-marked by Nov. 2.

The closeness of the primary is largely attributed to low turnout during an off-cycle election year, which will also likely be a factor heading into the January special election. Although whoever is declared the winner tomorrow is heavily favored to beat Republican Jason Mariner, the stakes are high for Democrats in terms of the optics as they aim to show a solid blue win against the backdrop of election results in Virginia and New Jersey.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. On Friday morning: ABC's Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl breaks down the importance of Trump's January 6th documents. Then, ABC's White House Correspondent MaryAlice Parks reports on new Russian aggression in Ukraine. And, ABC's Kaylee Hartung tells us how soon Britney Spears may be free from her conservatorship constraints.


  • At 8:30 a.m., President Joe Biden participates in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ meeting, where participants will discuss ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting the global economic recovery. The president then holds a Cabinet meeting at 2:30 p.m. to discuss implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing at 1 p.m.
  • In the morning, Vice President Kamala Harris attends the Paris Conference on Libya in France.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani hold a signing ceremony at 9:15 a.m. and press availability at 10:15 a.m.
  • Sunday on ABC’s “This Week”: Anchor George Stephanopoulos goes one-on-one exclusively with Sen John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Plus, the Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week’s politics with former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former DNC Chair and ABC News Contributor Donna Brazile, host of the New York Times podcast, “The Argument” and ABC News Contributor Jane Coaston and former North Dakota Senator and ABC News Contributor Heidi Heitkamp.

    The show celebrates its 40th anniversary featuring some special guests and favorite moments. Plus, new findings from the latest ABC News/Washington Post Poll. And ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl discusses his new book “Betrayal,” with a brand new excerpt, audio of Trump discussing his final days and real thoughts of Mike Pence.

    Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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