Democrats Worry About Campaigning Against Trump in 2022 Midterms

CONROE, TX - JANUARY 29: Former President Donald Trump speaks during the 'Save America' rally at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on January 29, 2022 in Conroe, Texas. Trump's visit was his first Texas MAGA rally since 2019.
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Some Democrats are worried about campaigning against former President Donald Trump in the November midterms without him on the ballot.

Democrats campaigned against Trump in Terry McAuliffe’s huge loss in the Virginia governor’s race. Mounting Trump as the state’s boogieman proved to be a failing tactic. Now some Democrats are considering that attempting the same strategy in the 2022 midterms will not work.

“It would be a mistake to run against Trump in the 2022 elections,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) told Axios.

With President Joe Biden’s failed policies and polling numbers dragging down the party, Democrats are struggling to find a way to galvanize voters. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told Axios that Trump may not be the best solution.

“I wish that we could just find one face that we could point to, such as with Donald Trump… maybe a composite,” Hirono said. “I’d like us to do a much more effective job of really drawing the contrast between Republicans and Democrats.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D), who represents Virginia’s neighbor Maryland, told Axios that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may make a good substitute for Trump but fears he is too closely aligned with Democrats. “Mitch McConnell is well known… He is, for sure, no Donald Trump, I want to make that 100% clear… but he is a figure that does represent a sharp difference from the Biden agenda.”

Democrat strategist Celinda Lake admitted to Axios that running on Biden’s track record of poor governance may be difficult. “One of the problems is our messaging has been driven by governing, not by campaigning, and we need to move into campaign mode,” she said.

“If you’re trying to win the November 2022 elections, you must draw a contrast,” she added.

But with Trump as the leader of the Republican Party, Democrats fear they may not find another Republican as powerful to contrast to their party. Besides McConnell, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are reportedly second options, though they have drawbacks.

“Biden confidants worry that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is too unknown, that Biden won’t demonize Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell because of their longstanding and collegial relationship and that elevating Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could backfire,” Axios reported.

Republicans have the momentum heading into the November elections. Thirty House Democrats have announced their retirement from office. Generic ballot polling has revealed Democrats trail Republicans by a significant margin. And President Biden’s average approval rating remains in the 30s, hurting Democrats’ enthusiasm.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø

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