World The Biden effect: GOP starts linking down-ballot Democrats to an increasingly unpopular president
Four takeaways after California governor handily defeats recall
Newsom wins on strength of response to COVID-19 as voters reject Republican claims in heavily Democratic state.The California recall election was the first significant US political contest of Joe Biden’s presidency and served as a stress test for both parties before next year’s midterms that will determine whether Biden’s Democratic Party can retain control of Congress.
A new TV ad by a pro-GOP group that backs party candidates running in state legislativeis going where have been hesitant to go until recent weeks.
The spot ties an incumbentstate delegate who’s running for reelection this November to , whose approval ratings have taken a major hit over the past month and a half.
The commercial, by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), uses a recording of Virginia state lawmaker Alex Askew saying that he and other Democrats in the commonwealth can "run on the record that President Biden and our folks and partners in Washington, D.C., are doing."
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“I can’t believe the Republicans will let the nation default” by not raising the debt limit, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently asserted at a news conference, accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Schumer’s rhetoric is pure partisan gaslighting. After all, Democrats control the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives. They could have raised the debt limit by themselves without needing a single Republican vote. AllSchumer’s rhetoric is pure partisan gaslighting. After all, Democrats control the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives. They could have raised the debt limit by themselves without needing a single Republican vote.
The spot targeting Askew is part of a six-figure ad buy launched last month by the RSLC in the Virginia contests, which are being seen by many pundits as a bellwether ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
Up until now, Republican ads targeting Democratic members of Congress and state lawmakers who face challenging reelections this year and next year have often tied them to such Democratic leaders as House Speaker, Senate Majority Leader , progressive champion Sen. , liberal firebrand Rep. and other members of the so-called " ."
Biden, who until early last month enjoyed healthy poll numbers, was not to be seen. But the president’s standing among Americans is flagging in the wake of Biden's much criticized handling of the turbulent, and amid a surge in cases this summer among mainly unvaccinated people due to the spread of the highly infectious delta variant.
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The Covid-19 resurgence and chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal have fueled a 10-point drop in his approval rating.A Morning Consult survey conducted September 10-12 among more than 15,000 registered voters pegged Biden’s approval rating at 47 percent, compared to 49 percent disapproval. That’s down about 10 points from a peak in February and March. (The pollster adjusted its weighting of results in June.
And that appears to be changing the way Republican operatives and strategists view the president.
"This is the most directly we’ve linked a Virginia House Democrat to President Biden so far this cycle. Given the president is under water in this district and in other targets of ours, stay tuned for more of us holding Virginia Democrats accountable for standing by the failures of Biden and his radical liberal allies in Washington," an official with the RSLC told Fox News.
And it’s not just the RSLC.
Michael McAdams, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the reelection arm of the House GOP, told Fox News that "Joe Biden’s failed policies will be weaponized in races around the country and serve as an anchor around the neck of every vulnerable House Democrat."
Meanwhile, Biden also co-stars in a recent spot by the America’s Job Creators for a Strong Recovery, a coalition of more than 30 business and industry groups. Last month they launched the first in a series of planned ads taking aim at the $3.5 trillion spending package being pushed by the president and congressional Democrats.
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"Biden, Pelosi, and Bernie are pushing a job-killing agenda that will hammer Main Street businesses and working families," charges the narrator in the digital spot, which targets moderate Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, who could face a challenging reelection next year.
Democrats are defending the governor’s office and their control of both houses of state legislature in Virginia this November. And nationally, Democrats are defending their razor-thin majorities in theand in the 2022 midterm elections.
When the president’s party controls both chambers of Congress, the midterms are usually a referendum on that president’s record and performance in office. And the presidential approval rating is a key barometer heading into midterms elections.
Fromin the 2010 midterms to in the 2018 elections, there’s a history of the minority party and their allies targeting a first-term president their ads.
Biden scrambles between multiple political fires
President Joe Biden cut a beleaguered figure Thursday as he raced to extinguish political fires on the left and right, at home and abroad, in an attempt to save his hopes of transforming the United States. Whether it's war, diplomatic incidents, economic shocks or an obstructionist Congress, all presidents feel the heat sooner or later. Biden's feeling all those flames at once. To the south, there is the human and national security drama of thousands of Haitian migrants abruptly appearing across the border from Mexico and camping under a Texas bridge.
"There’s still a long way to go until next year’s midterms but the growing political parallels for the Democrats between President Obama’s and President Biden’s first terms are hard to ignore," longtime GOP consultant Brian Walsh argued. "In both instances, they campaigned as a moderate but then pursued a very partisan and liberal political agenda once in office that ultimately backfired for their party in the midterms."
Walsh, a former top strategist for GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas who also served as National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director during the 2010 and 2012 cycles, forecast that "there’s no question that House and Senate Democrats running in battleground races are going to be much more hesitant to hitch themselves to President Biden in the way that they might have nine months ago."
But Democratic operative and strategist Chris Moyer argued that "the thought that tying vulnerable candidates to President Biden is going to work in the long term seems like a little bit of a risky bet. I think there’s a sense that it may have been a rough few weeks for President Biden. But I think folks have known who Joe Biden is for a long time and he’s going to have a chance to right the ship and he’s taking a lot of actions to do that already."
Moyer, a veteran of the 2016presidential campaign and Sen. Cory Booker’s bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, predicted that "the decision to try to tie candidates to the president may not look so good in hindsight, a few months down the road."
Deroy Murdock: Biden's $3.5T spending spree uses math from president's elementary school days .
Deroy Murdock: Biden's $3.5T spending spree uses math from president's elementary school daysOne can imagine a second-grader named Joey Biden showing off his new train set and telling his playmates, "My daddy bought it for me at Woolworth’s. So, it didn’t cost anything.