Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Vulnerable down-ballot Democrats stay quiet after Biden’s debate

By 37ci3 Jun29,2024

Democrats, who are running in competitive down-ballot races this year, dodged or remained silent on questions about Friday’s first presidential debate as a party. fights collapse From President Joe Biden’s shaky performance.

Several Democratic Senate candidates in key states have taken to social media to share footage from recent campaign events or highlight other policies, rather than to comment on the debate. Staffers with several of those campaigns did not respond to requests for comment on the debate. And several candidates did not directly respond to questions about whether Biden should continue as the party’s presidential nominee.

“I focus on my race. I’m not an expert,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, This was reported by News5 Cleveland when asked whether party leaders, including himself, should ask Biden to step aside. “I never told my colleagues what to do in their free time and what to do with other politicians.”

“Everything in my district is flooded and I’m going home to work on it,” he said. Biden should step aside.

“Let the other experts do the specializing,” Craig added.

Like some Democrats worried privately After discussions about the party’s chances in the November elections on Thursday night, operatives working in competitive congressional races did not panic.

“I think everybody agrees that this wasn’t the president’s best performance last night. He had a very off night,” said Democratic strategist Chuck Rocha. “And I don’t think, because it’s too early … any impact on the House or Senate races.

Rocha and other Democratic strategists noted that voters long concerned about Biden’s age, distinguishing the president from down-ballot candidates, public and private polling showing Democrats ahead of him in key races.

“As we’ve always said, Senate campaigns are candidate vs. candidate, and the Republicans have a seriously flawed hiring list — we’re going to win because we have better candidates,” David Bergstein, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told NBC News.

Democrats have little room for error in the race for Congress this year. Republicans need just two seats to take control of the Senate, or one seat if former President Donald Trump wins the White House, as the vice president cuts ties with the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, Democrats are trying to pick up just four seats to flip the chamber.

A Democratic strategist who works on House races said Friday that internal polling showed Biden struggling in districts he won in 2020, but stressed that the party’s congressional candidates were overperforming Biden. The strategist said voters are “clearly” separating the races, but worries “that may not last; there could be a ripple effect.”.

But others were skeptical that the controversy could affect the races after the ballot, with many voters already making up their minds about Biden and Trump.

“Joe Biden has turned in a poor debate performance. There’s no beating around the bush,” said one Democratic strategist who works on House and Senate races. “But that doesn’t change the fact that voters expect Joe Biden to be old and Donald Trump to be really crazy.”

Optimism again for the GOP

The debate was filled with optimism that Republicans will win not only the presidency, but also both houses of Congress this fall.

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, a potential vice presidential candidate, said any boost to Trump would help GOP Senate candidates, noting that many of them have underperformed him, including in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Montana.

“He’s helping Donald Trump tonight. And because it helps Donald Trump, it probably helps Senate Republicans,” Vance said Thursday night after the debate. “The basic structure of the land is this: every race, Republicans are running behind Donald Trump.”

GOP strategist Brad Todd said the debate puts Republicans in a good position to take the House and poised to win more than 54 seats in the Senate.

“I think Hakeem Jeffries is probably taking a lot of Tums tonight — antacid medicine for an ulcer that he took between 9 and 10:30 p.m.,” Todd said of the House minority leader. “Where the climate is, and if the climate helps tonight, Republican control of the House is going to be in pretty good shape. I think Republican donors need to take seriously the idea that maybe they’re not paying attention to a broad enough Senate map.

Aside from trying to flip West Virginia, Montana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, he said, “I think now you have to start looking outside, expanding the map. Nevada, Virginia, New Mexico—states we didn’t talk about before should be in the conversation now.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has set its sights on a primary target: Montana Sen. John Tester, who ran in a state Trump carried by double digits four years ago.

“Senate Democrats are telling Americans that Joe Biden is still sharp. Jon Tester even went so far as to say that Biden was “absolutely 100% with him.” It’s clear they lied, and voters will remember that in November,” NRSC spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement. pointed out an advertisement the party is running on Tester, who praises Biden’s abilities.

A spokesman for the House GOP’s campaign arm said he expects more attacks that tie Biden to Democrats.

“House Democrats know the president isn’t up to the job, but they let him run in the Oval Office while the border descended into chaos. Prices soared, communities suffered violence and wars abroad proliferated,” said Jack Pandol, a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Pandol added, “They will be held accountable for their stupidity with an ad attack linking them to our declining commander.”

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