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Dem Senate candidates shy away from Biden as elections draw nearer

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

  • Democratic Senate candidates running in red or battleground states appear to have shied away from President Joe Biden ahead of November.
  • Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jacky Rosen of Nevada, Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan have hardly mentioned Biden in social media posts on X since launching their 2024 bids, but overwhelmingly vote with him in Congress.
  • “Whether they have the guts to say his name or not, every single Democrat running for Senate has enabled Joe Biden’s disastrous agenda,” Tate Mitchell, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “They are directly responsible for the open border, rising crime, and sky-high prices that are hallmarks of Biden’s failed leadership, and American voters won’t forget it.”

Democrats running in competitive Senate elections appear to have shied away from President Joe Biden ahead of the November election despite voting in step with his agenda.

The Democrats — all of which are running in either red or battleground states — have largely abstained from mentioning Biden in social media posts across their accounts on X, formerly Twitter, since announcing their respective runs for 2024. None of the Democrats have explicitly endorsed the president’s reelection bid, but overwhelmingly voted with Biden in 2023.

Vulnerable Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jacky Rosen of Nevada agreed with the president anywhere from 94.6% to 99.3% of the time last year, according to FiveThirtyEight’s estimates.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is running for the seat currently held by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, votes with Biden 97.9% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight. Elissa Slotkin, a Democratic congresswoman running for outgoing Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat, supported the president’s agenda 88.9% of the time.

Of the few social media posts that Tester, Brown, Casey, Baldwin, Rosen, Gallego and Slotkin have made mentioning Biden on X since launching 2024 Senate bids, many were either critical of him or were calls for action addressed to his administration rather than expressions of support for the president’s reelection bid.

The Democrats occasionally touted Biden’s legislative achievements on the platform, and how their respective states benefited.

None of these campaigns directly answered the Daily Caller News Foundation’s questions over whether they endorse Biden’s reelection bid, are distancing themselves from the president as they run in competitive races or are concerned over potentially sharing a ticket with him.

As Biden continues to receive sagging approval ratings, swing-state voters say they trust former President Donald Trump more on issues the economy and immigration by double digits. Key voting blocs that Biden won by large margins in 2020 have also expressed disapproval of the president’s job performance.

The last time an incumbent president had nearly as low of an approval rating going into an election year as Biden does, it was Jimmy Carter in November 1979, according to Gallup. Biden’s most recent job performance score was at 37% in November, which is 3 points lower than Carter’s was just a year before he lost to Republican Ronald Reagan by nearly 10 points.

Tester, who voted with Biden 94.6% of the time in 2023, is running for his fourth term in the upper chamber in a state that Trump won by over 16 points in 2020. The senator could face either former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy or GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale, who is considering a run, in the general election.

The senator’s campaign disputed estimates that show he’s supported Biden over 90% of the time, and instead pointed to FiveThirtyEight’s measure of aligned-votes that exclude the administration’s nominations. This metric shows the senator’s score dropping by roughly 24 points.

Tester’s campaign failed to comment further, and did not respond to subsequent requests regarding the senator’s support for Biden’s reelection bid and concerns thereof.

Gallego is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in Arizona, where Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020. The congressman could end up in a three-way race with Republican frontrunner Kari Lake and Sinema, who has yet to decide whether she’ll run for another term.

During a “Politics Unplugged” interview on Jan. 28, the congressman failed to say whether he endorses Biden’s reelection campaign.

“I’m a Democrat. We’re going to make sure we get out the vote and at the end of the day when I win the Democratic nomination I will be with our Democratic nominee, and that’s going to be Joe Biden,” said Gallego.

A spokesperson for Gallego’s campaign told Axios on Jan. 30 that the congressman supports Biden and believes he should be seeking another term. Gallego doesn’t believe the president’s candidacy would harm his chances in the Arizona Senate race, the spokesperson said.

The Gallego campaign pointed the DCNF toward its comments given to the outlet, and declined to comment further.

Brown, who voted with Biden 97.9% of the time in 2023, is running for a fourth term in a state that Trump handily won in both cycles. Three prominent Republican challengers have emerged for the seat — the Trump-backed businessman Bernie Moreno, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Sen. Matt Dolan.

The Cook Political Report characterizes the races in Montana, Ohio and Arizona as “Toss Up[s],” while Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are considered “Lean D” seats.

Trump is currently leading Biden in all of these battleground states in the RCP averages but Pennsylvania, where he is behind by just 0.3 points. The most recent polling for a general election matchup between in Montana and Ohio found Trump ahead by 21 and 11 points, respectively, according to Emerson College’s surveys.

The former president has already led Biden in over 100 national polls, and is now ahead by 1.8 points.

Slotkin, who is leading the Democratic primary field in Michigan, has reportedly expressed concern over sharing the ballot with the president in the battleground state that Trump is currently leading him in by several points in the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average. Multiple Republicans have announced runs for the open seat, including former GOP Reps. Mike Rogers and Peter Meijer, as well as former Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Casey has served in the upper chamber since 2007, and is running for another term in Pennsylvania, where Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020. The senator, who voted with Biden 99.3% of the time last year, is facing a challenge from Republican David McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO who narrowly lost the GOP Senate primary in 2022 for the seat now-held by Democratic Sen. Jon Fetterman.

Rosen, who voted with Biden 98.6% of the time last year, is seeking a second term in the upper chamber to represent a state that Trump lost in both cycles but is currently leading the president in the RCP average. The senator will likely face decorated Army veteran Sam Brown in the general.

Baldwin is running for a third term in the battleground state of Wisconsin, which Trump won in 2016 and lost in 2020. The senator, who voted with Biden 99.3% of the time in 2023, currently faces no major GOP challengers, but businessman Eric Hovde is reportedly planning on running.

“Whether they have the guts to say his name or not, every single Democrat running for Senate has enabled Joe Biden’s disastrous agenda,” Tate Mitchell, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), told the DCNF in a statement. “They are directly responsible for the open border, rising crime, and sky-high prices that are hallmarks of Biden’s failed leadership, and American voters won’t forget it.”

The NRSC, the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, recruited Sheehy, Brown, McCormick and Rogers, but is remaining neutral in Ohio and hasn’t endorsed in Arizona. The group has also encouraged Hovde to challenge Baldwin in Wisconsin.

The campaigns for Brown, Baldwin, Casey, Rosen and Slotkin did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment. Neither the Biden campaign nor the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee responded to the DCNF’s inquiries.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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