Vulnerable Senate Democrats in tough reelection bids continue to get dragged down with President Joe Biden as his unpopularity continues.
Democrats looking to save their slight majority in the Senate comes down to defending a handful of states, with members that need to tread lightly when it comes to the president.
As Politico noted, “The president’s popularity is dangerously low in the four states where Democratic incumbents are most endangered… And in all of them, President Joe Biden is underwater in the polls.”
Biden dragging down the four most endangered Democratic incumbents — Sens. Mark Kelly (AZ), Raphael Warnock (GA), Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), and Maggie Hassan (NH) — has become one major factor in the campaign for Republicans looking to unseat them. As Politico added, a loss of just one seat will cost the Democrats their majority, which has caused some of the members to take steps to distance themselves from the party as Republican challengers and Republicans-aligned groups are using the president’s unpopularity to their advantage.
Less than two years ago, when Biden carried the four states to win his election against former President Donald Trump, his poll numbers have dropped to dangerously low levels from a president who has yet to be in office for half a term. The most recent pushback of policy disputes from the vulnerable Democrats is Biden lifting Title 42, a Trump-era border restriction. The Democrats are looking to distance themselves.
Politico also pointed out the vulnerable Democrats’ use of social media, which has shied away from praising the president and his administration and has instead focused on their efforts to urge the White House to take action. But, all have voted in wide support of the majority of Biden-backed agenda ideas. Kelly and Hassan have voted on Biden-backed legislation 97.7 percent of the time, while Warnock and Cortez Masto has 95.5 percent of the time.
“In these four states, these are senators just doing the work, keeping their head down, getting things done for their states while the Republicans are obviously tearing each other apart in these primaries,” Martha McKenna, a former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) employee, who now makes ads, told Politico. “They are not people who go looking for conflict, they’re not grandstanders….”
In the past, Warnock and Kelly declined to answer whether they would appear with Biden during a campaign event or even tough Democrat policies. In fact, Politico reported that outside groups buying ad spots on TV have yet to tie anything to Biden. And a recent ad in Nevada touting Biden policies from a Democrat super PAC, American Bridge, has no mention of Cortez Masto.
But, when Hassan was asked about campaigning with Biden, she claimed to be willing to welcome him and did on Tuesday while touting the infrastructure bill passage. But, she also recently visited Texas and Arizona, and in contrast to the administration, she filmed a video in front of the border wall calling for the administration to give more resources to the Border Patrol and improve to have “physical barriers,” a policy that Trump backed.
Hassan and the other battleground Democratic incumbents have significant fundraising advantages over their Republican challengers. Warnock and Kelly have $25.6 million and $23.3 million in cash on hand, respectively, while Cortez Masto and Hassan have amassed $11 million and $7.6 million, as of the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Hassan has already reserved $14.8 million in television advertisements, getting ahead of what will become a competitive media market in Boston as Massachusetts has races on the ballot this fall for governor, attorney general and a rideshare referendum. Both the Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC and Republicans’ Senate Leadership Fund have so far declined to reserve ads in the New Hampshire race, despite doing so in recent weeks in other competitive states.
Democratic operatives involved in the four Senate races say internal polling shows their candidates are faring just fine — and are taking the right approach by distancing themselves from some Biden policies, even if it’s at the expense of alienating some progressives.
Senate Majority PAC president J.B. Poersch said, “The path to a Senate majority in 2022 runs through a core set of highly competitive races in states where Democrats have been successful in the past.” He also noted that “this group of strong, battle-tested incumbents whose North Star is fighting for their constituents’ best interests.”
In contrast, the Republicans believe they have a good chance of winning the seats and winning the seat.
“Her going to the Texas border, standing in front of Donald Trump’s wall, and calling for more border infrastructure is a lot more than just concern for Title 42. It shows the serious issues that she has with voters,” Dave Carney, a Republican strategist in New Hampshire and is working for Republican Chuck Morse’s Senate campaign, told Politico.
“It’s not that I think she’s in trouble or Republicans think she’s in trouble, she knows she’s in trouble,” Carney added.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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