It Turns Out Most Democrats Don't Want Joe Biden Anywhere Near Their Campaigns

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

This probably shouldn’t shock you. It didn’t shock me. But it is interesting that an outlet like the Washington Post would so brazenly set out to prove it.


In a piece titled “As Biden turns toward midterms, he may not be the top surrogate,” the Post surveyed dozens of Democrats, scoured their ads, social media, and websites, and realized that Joe Biden seems to be deeply unpopular this midterm cycle. Of the 60 or so Democrats they asked, very few said they wanted Biden (or anyone from his administration, actually) to come campaign with them.

He’s being attacked more often in televised ads than Obama was at this point in 2010, or Trump was in 2018. He goes largely unnamed on Democratic campaign websites and Twitter accounts. And candidates in key races in battleground states are either not asking him to come — or actively avoiding him when he does, according to a Washington Post survey of more than 60 candidates in the most competitive gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and congressional campaigns in the country.

Few candidates said they wanted Biden to campaign for them in their state or district, with many not responding to the question at all. The Post also asked if candidates wanted Vice President Harris as a surrogate campaigner for the Biden administration and got the same set of unenthusiastic responses.

This story comes out the very week Biden is planning to hit the road and tout his accomplishments to the American people.

White House officials are preparing to use the coming weeks to showcase some of Biden’s recent accomplishments, which include a sweeping law that lowers prescription drug prices, addresses climate change, and reduces the deficit.

They point to a message that Biden took on special interests to solve problems that Democrats have sought to address for decades, and they have plans for Biden to travel the country to tout his victories, sell a Democratic agenda, and warn about what Republicans would do if voters give them control. They believe that Biden, who they view as the quarterback of the party’s policies and its political future, will be a sought-after commodity.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

I mentioned this a bit on Friday when pointing out that Ron Klain is really fired up about the idea that this is a “season of substance” that the Democrats can run on. However, very few seem to want to do so. Why is that?

Well, a little while ago, we got to see the latest poll from NBC News, and the generic ballot has Republicans up 2 percent over Democrats (47-45). What that poll also shows is that 74 percent of voters think the country is on the wrong track versus the 21 percent who think we’re on the right track. The poll also has Biden 13 points underwater in his approval rating (42-55).

When your party is the one in power, there is already the assumption that the midterms may not go your way. When the leader of your party, the President of the United States, is that deep underwater and when that many people are upset with the current trajectory of the country, you try to keep the face of all your party’s problems off your stage. And, yes, Biden is the face of all the Democrats’ problems right now.

He’s not the cause, but he’s the one in charge. The buck does indeed stop with him.

So the Democrats have this issue on their hands where Biden got the American Rescue Plan, a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and this new climate change bill through Congress and signed. But none of those victories so far this term have actually gotten Americans into a better position than they were in before he took office. In fact, for many, the conditions there were already hurting in are worse.


So the Democrats can stand on a stage in front of their voters and say what they have done and what they will do, but Biden’s a drag on their poll numbers. They can’t really afford to have him on stage with them, or in their ads, or even mentioned for fear that it will hurt their re-election chances.

And that’s a definite “ouch” for someone who used to be so incredibly popular within his own party.



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