Biden’s optimism collides with mounting political challenges

Few of Biden’s closest political advisers are as bullish about the party’s prospects as the president. In interviews with a half-dozen people in and close to the White House, there is a broad sense that Democrats will lose control of Congress and that many of the party’s leading candidates in down-ballot races and contests for governor will be defeated, with Biden unable to offer much help.

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The seeming disconnect between Biden’s view and the political reality has some in the party worried the White House has not fully grasped just how bad this election year may be for Democrats.

“I don’t expect any president to go out and say, ’You know what, ‘We’re going to lose the next election,’” said Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute, which is in regular contact with the White House’s policy team. What might serve Biden well instead, Marshall said, would be “a sober sense of, ’Look, we’re probably in for a rough night in November and our strategy should be to remind the country what’s at stake.’”

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