‘Weak’ Biden leaves ‘nerve-racked’ Democrats to worry about Senate seats

Critics blame ‘weaker’ Biden coalition after recent polls suggest the president is struggling in battleground states

James Liddell
Wednesday 15 May 2024 13:58 BST
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Related: Biden imposes new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles and batteries

According to recent polls, Joe Biden’s poor performance in swing states is causing Democrats to increasingly worry about their Senate seats slipping.

The 81-year-old president is falling behind presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, 77, in some key swing states as he appears to struggle to garner the wider support of non-white voters.

The Biden administration may be celebrating small victories as Democrat candidates are doing better than Mr Biden himself in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada.

However, last week’s poll from The New York Times and Siena College showed Mr Trump leads the president in five of the six major swing states that he won in the last presidential election.

The survey of registered voters showed that Mr Trump leads in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada – Mr Biden won all six states in 2020.

John LaBombard, a former top aide to former Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema, and former Missouri senator Claire McCaskill noted the “nerve-racking” prospects of Mr Trump’s return to the White House.

“In these battleground states, the Democrats who are going to succeed are going to be ones who demonstrate a clear level of independence from the national party, and that necessarily means a certain amount of independence from the White House,” he told The Hill.

Biden is facing trouble in the polls
Biden is facing trouble in the polls (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“That said, certainly, these numbers are nerve-wracking for those of us who think it’s critically important to keep [Mr Trump] out of the White House,” he added.

Even more troublesome, Democrats hope to win Senate seats in the traditionally Republican states of Montana and Ohio to bolster their chances of keeping their Senate majority.

Securing swing states is key in the race for the White House, and some Democrats are worried about losing their Senate majority.

One Democrat, who was not named, argued that many of the party’s Senate candidates are relatively well-favoured in their home states. Biden, however, is not.

“The Democratic coalition is strong, but the Biden coalition seems to be different and weaker,” they said.

With the threat of flailing Senate seats, an antidote might be for individual Democrats to leverage their own brands at a time when Biden could harm them.

Former New York representative Steve Israel noted that “Republicans in Biden’s districts are trying to create major distance between themselves and Donald Trump”.

The Biden campaign disagrees, claiming it is confident that the president’s record will help the party’s candidates.

“Let’s cut through the BS, on the three top issues – inflation, immigration and the war in Gaza – he’s in the toilet,” an anonymous Democratic strategist told the outlet.

“The polls show he’s not doing well with some of the key voting blocs: young voters, Black voters, Hispanic voters. So let me ask you this: would you want to stand side by side with him?” they added.

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