Democrat Senate candidates in battleground states will have a difficult time overcoming President Joe Biden’s underwater approval rating.
Biden’s average approval rating in seven of the top Senate swing states is underwater by an average of 15 points, a key midterm election bellwether metric Democrats fear come November 8.
According to Civiqs, Biden has a negative approval rating in the following swing states: Arizona (-18), Georgia (-20), Nevada (-17), New Hampshire (-1), Ohio (-24), Pennsylvania (-13), and Wisconsin (-13). Not included in the calculation are Biden’s approval ratings in Florida (-15), Colorado (-8), or Alaska (-21).
The sour numbers are one reason Biden has largely remained off the campaign trail. Biden has only traveled to 46 cities and held 11 fundraisers during the 2022 midterm cycle, according to Air Force One logs. Those numbers are contrasted with former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, who campaigned far more for their respective parties in the 2018 and 2010 midterms.
Biden’s own policies have neutralized the president’s popularity and, hence, the ability to help drive campaign fundraising and local media attention, impacting Democrat candidates’ chances of keeping the Senate.
Biden is responsible for the deadly Afghan withdrawal, 40-year-high inflation, a southern border invasion, and soaring gas prices. Since the deadly Afghan withdrawal in August 2021, Biden’s polling has struggled to remain above 40 percent. Inflation and costly gas prices over the spring and summer kept the president’s approval rating below 40 percent. On Saturday, Biden’s nationwide approval rating was 39 percent, just 32 days from the election.
White House director of political strategy and outreach Emmy Ruiz told Axios on Thursday the president is still working hard to help Democrat candidates defeat Republicans, even though he has traveled less than former presidents. “The president has made historic investments in the different [Democratic fundraising] committees … to make sure we keep the Senate and House,” she said.
But Biden’s record has fueled inflation and driven gas prices upwards, issues that rank as the number one topic Republicans are hammering across the political spectrum. During Thursday’s debate, Democrat senator in Arizona, Mark Kelly, was slammed by Republican challenger Trump-endorsed Blake Masters for aiding Biden’s war on American energy.
“First, [Biden and Kelly] declared war on oil and gas. Well, what’d they think was going to happen?” Masters asked. “When you declare war on oil and gas in a country that is still mostly powered by oil and gas, you think that’s going to send the price of energy to the moon? Well, yeah, it did.”
“They took gas from two dollars to six dollars. Now they want a prize because it’s back in the five dollars. When you make energy too expensive – everything you need to live takes energy to make or to move – you make energy expensive, you get some inflation.”
Kelly is not the only swing state Democrat under attack for Biden’s record. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) remained silent after nearly two million illegal migrants crossed the southern border this fiscal year. Republican challenger Gen. Don Bolduc has slammed Hassan for refusing to condemn Biden’s “catch and release” policy, which refers to the releasing of migrants throughout the nation while they await a court hearing, rather than detaining them, as required by law.
“Through their ‘border czar’ Kamala Harris, the Biden administration has declared the border ‘secure.’ If only that were the case,” Gen. Bolduc’s campaign stated. “Sen. Hassan’s unwillingness to speak the truth or stand up to her own political party makes her complicit in this mess, and Americans everywhere are paying the price.”
The overall momentum appears to be in Republicans’ favor to retake the Senate. Democrats must either reclaim North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania or prevent Republicans from winning any of five currently held Democrat seats: Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona, or Washington State.
Recent polling shows Republicans tied or leading in Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, and Georgia. In New Hampshire, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, Democrats appear to have a slight edge.