President Joe Biden In trouble.
He has no choice but to talk about the economy in the inner region of the midterm elections – it’s the problem, given 40 years of high inflation and high gas prices, Voters worry more.
But in doing so, he is calling attention to the greatest responsibility that lies with him and the Democrats – their failure to actually fix things and the accusations that they made it worse.
There is no region that Republicans would prefer to fight over as they hold a Biden presidency and try to inflict the traditional curse on the new White House by taking back the House and possibly the Senate.
Democrats had hoped that issues such as the Supreme Court’s nationwide overthrow of the right to abortion and former President Donald Trump’s perpetual threat to democracy would weaken the Republican Party’s advantage over the economy by November. But the latest polls indicate that while these issues concern millions of voters, their power as vote-motivators pales in comparison to the cost of living.
Biden is answering this challenge by seeking to change perceptions among Americans about the state of the economy. He highlights undeniable areas of economic progress and strength, and makes a broader argument that his policies on energy, drugs, and infrastructure will over time lift working Americans.
And he’s critical of Republicans’ record on the economy — a fair point since the last two Republican presidents presided over economic meltdowns, leaving their Democratic successors to pick up the pieces.
“Democrats are building a better America for everyone with an economy that grows from the bottom up and in the middle, where everyone does well,” Biden said in a speech Monday.
“Republicans are doubling down on their massive MAGA effort, a tiered economy that benefits the very wealthy, and they’ve failed the country before and will fail it again if they win. Democrats are working to cut your daily costs like prescription drugs, health care premiums, energy bills, and gas prices.”
Biden’s speech was notable not only in terms of its content, but also in terms of its stature. He was holding out at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington rather than rallying some vulnerable Democrats in a critical suburban area that could decide elections. His relatively thin campaign travel schedule reflects the commitments the president faces Underwater approval rates In difficult economic times.
back in january, Laura Goodenz told CNN anchor Maeve Reston In Reno, Nevada, when she moved groceries into a truck that cost $145 for fuel, she felt that she was way better off financially under former President Donald Trump.
Nine months of turbulent politics and unexpected world events after that, her words may still define the election. The perennial question about whether voters are better off now than they were when the other side was in power is that Biden is trying hard to answer it by pushing it forward, as he seeks to build a more equitable economy.
But two new CNN/SSRS polls were published on Monday Close Senate races In swing states, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin encapsulated the president’s challenge and explained the dynamics of the midterm contest exactly two weeks after Election Day.
Polls show that the economy is by far the most important issue for voters. In Wisconsin, 47% said the economy and inflation were their top priorities when they thought about their vote. In Pennsylvania, the equivalent figure was 44%. This is more than twice the share of voters (19%) who said abortion was their critical concern in every state. Polls also indicate that Biden is an imperfect economic messenger. His popularity rating is only 43% in Wisconsin and 45% in Keystone, below levels at which he would be a true electoral asset.
There are also signs that the economy may be hurting individual Democratic candidates. Voters who say the economy is their top issue in Wisconsin support Republican Senator Ron Johnson by 78% to 21% over his Democratic rival, ruling Mandela Barnes. In Pennsylvania, Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz is doubling the support of Democratic Governor John Fetterman in a similar group by 64% to 32%.
Still, the fact that these races represent Democrats’ best chance To bolster their majority in the Senate, staying close shows that there may be other factors at play. Even if the economy is a major concern to voters, issues around the quality of a candidate or the fact that the United States is a country divided politically in the middle can also affect the outcome of the election. The president should at least give hope.
But Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who lost to Biden in the latest Democratic presidential primary, warned Sunday that Democrats need to launch an attack on the economy.
“I think what we have to do is compare the strong pro-labor Democratic stance, with the corporate agenda of the Republicans,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“It’s important to pass the attack on to the Republicans. What do they want to do other than complain?” he said.
Sanders was right. The Republican message was more about highlighting ordinary Americans’ economic struggles and Biden’s mistakes than offering a rich policy alternative. But this is also the luxury of being in opposition. Biden has been hitting the kind of notes Sanders wants to hear in recent weeks. His vision of an economy that benefits affluent Americans was the core of his 2020 campaign.
Two years on, his economic closing argument may not change the direction of the campaign in recent days, but it could, if it continues, slow at least some of the Republican momentum in recent polls.
However, Biden faces a daunting task because he is forced to defend his own record, without Trump being a foil on the ballot, even if many of his GOP candidates are.
While voters tend to place a lot of the blame on presidents for economic damage and a lot of credit for booms, Biden is the one in the Oval Office, so the onus is on him.
And when voters see the price of staples like eggs, meat and milk soar over the past year and have spent months drying their wallets to fill their cars, it’s hard to draw their attention to a more theoretical economic argument.
The president may be right that his legislative successes in Congress in lowering the prices of some prescription drugs for older adults, building a clean energy economy, and creating more manufacturing jobs will create more prosperity in the long run. But such long-term benefits are not felt as immediately as the sticky shock at the grocery store. Anytime the president gets into an argument about economics that involves painting a more optimistic picture than people imagine in their lives, they’re in trouble. And although Biden frequently highlights the historically low unemployment rate, inflation outstrips Americans’ sense of security about the labor market. It offsets the effect of any slight wage growth.
Biden also faces a credibility gap. For months, the White House has told Americans that inflation is a temporary phenomenon and a “temporary” effect of the pandemic. Now, voters have a right to question why the White House and the Federal Reserve are so dismissive of the threat. The outcome of the post-pandemic recovery will examine whether Biden’s social plans, massive infrastructure and Federal Reserve policies created a situation where too much money in the economy was chasing too few commodities at a time of supply chain crisis and exacerbated or exacerbated the crisis. Inflation crisis.
The claims of Biden and Democrats that the entire developed world is battling rising inflation and that the United States has it better than others may be true. But that’s not much consolation for an American driver struggling to fill his own fuel tank.
The same dynamic emerged when the president criticized rising gasoline costs as “Putin’s price hike”. Pointing out that the war in Ukraine was the cause of high oil prices or criticizing Middle Eastern producers for not pumping more crude allows the president to vent about a problem over which he has little control. But it does not significantly reduce the burden on consumers.
Some strategists are also questioning whether the president got it wrong by making so much of a summer dip in gasoline prices that, combined with the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion and a good run in Congress, increased Democrats’ fortunes for a few months. When prices rose again, the president was put on the defensive, even if a gallon nationally was about 10 cents cheaper than it was a week ago.
The president is also resorting to scare tactics, warning that a new Republican Congress will demand deep cuts in social programs in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling in a fiscal standoff likely to occur in the new Congress’s first year.
“Republicans are determined to hold the economy hostage,” Biden said Monday. “Either they accede to their demands for Social Security and Medicare, on which millions of Americans depend, earn, and pay…or Republicans will undermine the economy.”
The president also compared his record of cutting the deficit to Trump’s and criticized the former president’s $2 trillion tax cut, which mostly benefited the wealthy and corporations.
Again, these arguments often make sense and are rooted in reality. And it may be more resonant in a better economic environment. But high gasoline and groceries prices are so profound that they are creating an emotional response among voters struggling to make ends meet. If Republicans win the House and Senate next month, that will likely be the reason.