Steve Israel: Biden approval rating boost ‘likely saves Senate for Democrats’
Former Rep. Steve Israel (DN.Y.) predicted on Monday that just a slight increase in President Biden’s endorsements could save Democrats a beating in the Senate in this year’s midterm elections.
But whether the Democrats can keep their slim Senate majority may depend on a few factors, Israel said, warning that if Biden’s approval rating stays where it is now and the party’s electoral base heads around Election Day without motivation, it could cost Democrats dearly. polls.
“If the base intensity is anemic and the propensity to vote is in the 30s and the president’s favor remains in the 40s, it is that much harder for the Democrats to win,” Israel said, former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on SPAN’s C-Washington Journal.
“However, if Joe Biden’s numbers go up, if they can just get into the mid-40s, that probably saves the Senate for the Democrats and it could mean retaining the majority for the Democrats,” he added. “I think it’s going to be the popped ball.”
Israel is an opinion contributor to The Hill.
With the Senate split 50-50 and Democrats relying on Vice President Harris to vote for them, a net loss of just one seat this year would cost the party the majority it won a year ago. little over a year.
But Democratic strategists, party officials and lawmakers are more optimistic about their chances of retaining the Senate than the House, where an ultra-narrow majority and the decade-long redistricting process have put the party in a tough defensive position.
The Democrats say that, on the Senate side, they have some advantages. For one, they’re defending fewer seats this cycle than Republicans and see opportunities to play offense in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina.
At the same time, they believe they have benefited from strong recruitment of candidates and fewer divisive primaries. Meanwhile, Republicans face several competitive nominating contests that threaten to divide their constituents and distract from early campaign efforts against Democrats.
Nonetheless, Israel noted, history is not on the side of the Democrats. With few exceptions, the president’s party tends to lose ground in Congress during midterm elections. Combined with Biden’s low approval ratings, that could spell trouble for Democrats in November.
“When you really break it down, it looks like the Republicans are in pretty good shape historically,” Israel said.