Biden steers clear of endorsing most vulnerable Democrats in 2022 midterms: ‘Lead balloon’ in key races
With just over two weeks to midterm election day, President Biden has remained noticeably absent in almost every battleground race, despite referring to the 2022 midterms on Tuesday as the “most consequential election in our history.”
Biden has endorsed only three House candidates across the country thus far in Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon. While Oregon’s 5th district is ranked a ‘toss-up,’ Illinois’ 7th and Ohio’s 11th districts are both ‘solidly blue’ House races, according to Fox News Power Rankings.
On the Senate side, where Democrats are fighting to maintain their razor-thin majority, Biden has endorsed only one Senate candidate, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, in the state’s contentious race to fill resigning Sen. Pat Toomey’s open seat.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters en route to Portland, Oregon, recently that the president is “always getting incoming requests” when asked whether anyone is requesting Biden’s presence on the campaign trail, however, Biden has only publicly announced events in Pennsylvania and Florida between now and election day.
“President Biden’s schedule is either empty or relegated to the deepest blue bastions of America because he is a lead balloon everywhere else,” GOP strategist and South and Hill Strategies co-founder Colin Reed told Fox News Digital.
Fox News Digital compiled a list of vulnerable Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterms who have yet to receive an endorsement from President Biden: Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, D-Wisc., Sen. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Val Demings, D-Fla., Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, Tina Kotek of Oregon, Katie Hobbs of Arizona and Stacey Abrams of Georgia.
“Democratic candidates know that if the midterms are a referendum on Biden’s first two years in office, they’re in for a shellacking on Election Night, especially given the economic misery their policies have created,” said Reed.
The president’s recent campaign tour to the West Coast notably excluded stops for the region’s most high-profile races in the upcoming midterms: Arizona and Nevada. In both battleground Senate races, the Democratic candidates have attempted to distance themselves from the president, especially on border policy and the economy.
Biden’s faltering approval rating and frequent gaffes on the campaign trail have called into question his effectiveness in key races. This week, in a NY Times/Siena poll, Biden’s approval rating slipped below the 40s for the first time since August, with just 36% of Americans approving of his job as president.
Some Democratic candidates have even publicly told Biden they’re not interested in his support.
In early October, incumbent Sen. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, currently being challenged by Trump-backed GOP nominee J.D. Vance, told Fox News Digital he’s “not inviting anybody” when asked whether he would welcome the president on the campaign trail.
Other vulnerable Democrats have shown signs of warming up to the president’s support, with Stacey Abrams, the Democrat gubernatorial nominee in Georgia, telling Fox News Digital she has “been in conversations” with the White House and would welcome Biden “if he can make it.”
“It’s a powerful image when Air Force One comes to town, no question,” Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Kevin Walling told Fox News Digital. “But often candidates from both parties need to run against the national party to be successful in winning moderate and independent voters.”