Vulnerable Dems Highlight Their Differences With Biden

Vulnerable Dems Highlight Their Differences With Biden Raphael Warnock Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga. (Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 21 April 2022 11:45 AM

Incumbent Senate Democrats in four key states are making an effort to highlight their independence from President Joe Biden, whose low job approval ratings are emerging as a pivotal factor in the midterms, according to Politico.

The news outlet noted that the four most endangered Democratic incumbents — Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan — are also taking steps to underscore their differences with Biden.

The loss of just one Democrat-held seat could lead to the Senate being controlled by the Republicans.

The four have publicly pushed back against Biden's decision to end the Trump-era border restriction called Title 42. Meanwhile, the four have also made a point to visit the border wall.

And just a month before a judge threw out Biden's mask mandate for plane passengers and those using other forms of mass transit, three of the four Democrats sided with Republicans in a bill that would have done the same thing.

Politico pointed out it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell that they've voted in line with Biden no less than 96% 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," said Martha McKenna, a Democrat ad maker who had worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

"They are not people who go looking for conflict; they're not grandstanders. They're hard working senators willing to say, Yes, I agree with Biden on child tax credits or healthcare, but look, I've got an issue on this issue, or that issue."

Biden's approval rating stood at just 38% among Americans, with 53% disapproving, according to CNBC's All-American Economic Survey released last week. The net -15% rating is substantially worse than his -9% approval in the same poll conducted in December.

Biden's approval rating on the economy was 35%, with 60% disapproving for a net of -25%.

And a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reveals 54% of Americans believe the president has been "not tough enough" in responding to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. About 36% say his approach has been about right, while 8% say he's been too tough.

Meanwhile, Kelly and Warnock are declining to answer questions about whether they would approve of Biden campaigning with them. But Hassan appeared with Biden on Tuesday in Portsmouth. Later she said she would continue to work with Biden and "colleagues on both side of the aisle."

Republicans are expressing confidence that Biden will hurt vulnerable Democrat incumbents.

Dave Carney, a Republican strategist in New Hampshire, who is working for Republican Chuck Morse's Senate campaign, said: "Republicans will need to list 'President Biden and his policies' as a massive in-kind contribution." He called Biden's presidency "the gift that keeps on giving."

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