Biden Needs to Stop Boasting About the Economy

As the midterm elections tighten, veteran pollster Stanley Greenberg has become Cassandra warning Democrats they need to push for economic populism or risk being ripped off by angry Voters drive out of the House and Senate. Greenberg, a close early adviser to President Bill Clinton, was not alone in making the argument. He is echoing debates from left-wing figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders and journalist David Sirota, a former Sanders adviser. But Greenberg, with his impeccable mainstream credentials, is more likely to be heard by partisan elites who habitually ignore criticism of Sanders or Sirota.

Greenberg’s analysis is best understood as a dissent against the electoral orthodoxy.This orthodoxy is succinctly expressed in a tweet Democratic strategist Greg Pinelo said: “This election is no longer about persuasion. It’s about the makeup of voters. If there’s a Kansas effect (it doesn’t have to be that big), Dems will shock the world. If women vote Rates are within historical standards, and white women vote Republican at typical rates, and we lose.”

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Pinelo’s brisk statement is worth reading, and its underlying assumptions are made clear. What he means is that there aren’t a large number of conflicting swing voters (e.g. voters who may support choice but also worry about inflation, and therefore be so responsive to Republican messages), or voters who may prioritize the economy’s primary focus and by default Who will be attracted to the Republicans (as the Democrats provide weak information on the current state of the economy). By Pinello’s logic, it would be an abortion election, with Democrats winning or losing depending on voters’ priorities on the issue.

Some analysts have gone further, warning that even talking about the economy is risky.write on guardianDePauw University political scientist Cass Mudd asserts, “Democrats are right not to focus on the economy.” Mudd admits “This the vast majority of americans Said they personally felt the pain of inflation and believed the U.S. economy was getting worse, not better. But, he insisted, “focusing on the economy will make those feelings more prominent, while centering on Joe Biden, his popularity near the lowest level of his presidency, while the GOP remains in more trustworthy Economically more important than Democrats. ”

Abortion, especially after Dobbs stripped him of his constitutional right to reproductive autonomy, is certainly a major issue in 2022. To the extent that Democrats have done well in special elections and remain significantly competitive in the polls (much better than the parties that control the White House, usually in the midterms), this is because tens of millions of Americans do see it as a make-or-break issue.


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