More of this, please. The number of vulnerable Democrat incumbents up for re-election this year is growing. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) faces spending financial resources on seven additional campaigns. The number of vulnerable Democrats was already over two dozen. You love to see it, don’t you?
The seven names added to the list are Reps. Greg Stanton (Ariz.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Bill Foster (Ill.), Dan Kildee (Mich.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), and Jennifer Wexton (Va.). One race caught a break, though. Thanks to re-districting shoring up her chances, Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan was taken off the list. The list of vulnerable candidates is known as the list of “Frontliners.” She can breathe a sigh of relief while her colleagues sweat out their chances of re-election.
DCCC Chairman Maloney released a statement that was, well, let’s just say it was more cheerleading than reality-based in its tone.
“Frontline House Democrats head into November with a record of delivering for the American people by fighting to end this pandemic, rebooting our economy, and putting millions of Americans to work rebuilding America,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the DCCC, said in a statement. “Across the country, Republicans will have to defend their extremist agenda that just doesn’t work for American families.”
It’s easy to imagine Maloney facing a camera and saying those words out loud while looking like a deer staring into headlights. His job just keeps getting more difficult. He has to embellish whatever accomplishments he thinks the Democrats are having with Joe Biden. The American voters, though, beg to disagree. Biden has lost support of voters across the board, including all but the most loyal Democrats. The most important indicator is the loss of support of Independent voters. They were the voters who were fatigued with the pandemic and Trump and decided to give Biden a shot at it. Biden promised a return to normal and an experienced, competent administration of government professionals. He hasn’t delivered on any of that and now he’s dragging down Democrats running in the midterms. Voters are ready to usher in a red wave in November, probably more of a tsunami than a wave.
Democrats passed massive spending on pandemic relief and were able to secure a few Republican votes for the bipartisan infrastructure bill but there isn’t anything else for Democrat incumbents to run on. BBB isn’t going to happen, at least not as a massive social spending bill, and bills described as voting rights legislation haven’t passed, either. Democrats, especially progressives, know that Biden will soon be seen as a lame duck president with little to no hopes of passing the legislation that would “transform” America into their idea of Utopia. Many Democrats don’t even want Biden’s help on the campaign trail. Who can blame them? The overwhelming majority of Americans think the country is going in the wrong direction. Disgruntled Democrat voters will likely stay home and Independents will move toward Republican candidates.
The party out of control usually has success in Congress in the midterm election cycle. This year there is the added bonus of redistricting. So far, 29 Democrats have decided to retire or seek other offices outside of the House. Because of redistricting, some Democrats are pitted against each other.
Some lawmakers who had been on the list were removed, mainly because redistricting will pit them against fellow Democrats, including Rep. Haley Stevens Michigan, who will face off against Rep. Andy Levin, and Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bordeaux, who will square off against each other in Georgia.
The retirement announcement by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is a welcome life preserver thrown to help Democrats in November. Nothing like a Supreme Court confirmation battle to rev up the base, right? In this case, though, Breyer’s willingness to given an assist to his team (Democrats running for re-election) may not really be enough in the end. Biden will get his black female justice on the bench as he promised. Republicans may object to whomever the nominee turns out to be but it will be futile. I actually think that’s a good thing. Not a single Republican has to vote to approve her confirmation if they are not inclined to vote for her. In today’s political atmosphere, the days of Republicans voting in favor of a SCOTUS nominee for a Democrat president out of deference to his right to have whomever he deems qualified for the job, barring a criminal record or charges of unethical behavior, are long gone. I don’t think replacing Breyer will make much of a difference in re-election races in the end. It can energize conservatives as much as it can progressives.
Democrats are trying to convince their voters that redistricting will work to their favor against some Republicans.
While Democrats identified their own incumbents they see as vulnerable Thursday, they also named Republicans they are targeting, including Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, and Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, a Trump loyalist.
Democrats also voiced some optimism, saying they have identified more than a dozen new congressional districts they consider to be “in play” because of redistricting, bringing the total to 38.
The fact is that Democrats, and all of us, are stuck with Joe Biden. He does little to convince voters to re-elect other Democrats in Congress. Midterm elections are a referendum on the president, no matter who is in the White House at the time. His former boss Barack Obama received a “shellacking”, Obama’s word, during the midterm cycle in his first term. The Tea Party emerged, thanks to Obama’s agenda. This time around there is plenty for voters to react against when it comes time to vote in November.