Tuesday’s election results raise questions about Biden’s agenda

A bad night at the polls on Tuesday has left some Democrats questioning how best to move forward with President BidenJoe Biden Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia Manchin collapse says he won’t vote to override Senate MP Carville blames ‘stupid awakening’ for Democratic losses MOREspending plans and whether the party needs to reorient its agenda to win over voters.

White House officials and many Democrats saw Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe Democrats must stop infighting and four other lessons from the 2021 election Democrats feel new urgency on Biden’s agenda after Virginia defeat Republican optimism soars over Democratic debacle MORE(D) loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race for Glenn youngkinGlenn Youngkin Democrats must stop infighting and four other lessons from the 2021 election Democrats feel new urgency on Biden’s agenda after Virginia defeat Republican optimism soars over Democratic debacle MORE (R) and a much closer-than-expected run for New Jersey governor as signs that Democrats must quickly push Biden’s agenda to show that the party can deliver on its promises to the public.

But others wondered if McAuliffe’s defeat in a state that Biden easily managed last year was a sign that the party misunderstood what moderate voters wanted when they put Democrats in office.

Biden told reporters on Wednesday that “people want us to get things done” and said lawmakers should have approved his agenda before Election Day, though he acknowledged that it may not have made a difference given Virginia’s record turnout. .

Its. Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine Democrats Press Panic Button After Virginia Collapse Schumer Hints At Obstruction Reform After GOP Blocked Voting Rights Bill Manchin Says ‘Incredible’ Virginia Results Validate Concerns about the expense package MORE (D-Va.), A former Virginia governor, told reporters that the party’s inability to compromise earlier damaged McAuliffe’s ability to sell his vision to voters.

“I hope my colleagues will take in this notion that when you are the majority, the ‘D’ in Democrat should stand for ‘doer’, not ‘delay’, ‘hesitation’, ‘do nothing’, ‘division’,” he said. said.

The party has centered its agenda around a $ 1.75 trillion package of funding for climate initiatives and money to expand programs around child care, education and healthcare. Some strategists questioned whether that effort could have hurt Democrats at a time when Americans are concerned about inflation and the health of the economy with the pandemic fading as the most important issue for many.

“The 2020 elections were not a message for Joe Biden,” said the former Republican representative. Charlie dentCharles (Charlie) Wieder Dent The Memo: Trumpers never sink into sadness as Gonzalez retires The Memo: Now what for the anti-Trump Republicans? Influential Republicans threaten to form a new party MORE (Pennsylvania.). “I would say that if they had passed Build Back Better before the election, it would have been worse for them yesterday.”

“It seems to me that the Democrats are looking at a lot of issues that I don’t think are on the minds of many voters right now. I think it’s hurting them, they’re getting too big. It is simply not the mandate, ”he added.

The spending package was initially priced at $ 3.5 trillion, and the new White House framework cut provisions such as expanding Medicare to cover dental and vision care, paid family leave, and free community college – all grants for the that progressives have fought for.

Its. Joe manchinJoe Manchin Democrats Press Panic Button After Virginia Manchin Collapse Says Will Not Vote To Override Senate MP On The Money – Presented By Citi – Pelosi Plays Tough With Manchin MORE (DW.Va.), who urged Democrats to slow down when considering the reconciliation package, said Tuesday’s results “should be a call for all of us to be more attentive to people at home.”

The White House is in the limelight for supply chain problems, while Americans face a shortage of goods and long wait times to get them home. And the influence of parents on the school curriculum amid struggles over critical race theory and what is taught after a year of remote learning dominated the final weeks of the campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey.

“I think for sure the Democrats misunderstood their mandate as to how much political capital they had, there’s no question that’s the case. If they went too far to the left or if they let their guard down and thought that all these social issues would not have the kind of impact that they did because the country was in a different place now. ”Said Ivan Zapien, a Democratic lobbyist and former executive director of the Council of Hispanic Leadership of the Democratic National Committee.

Still, White House officials and several Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday took the view that the results in Virginia and elsewhere were a call to action to push Biden’s agenda and deliver on the president’s promises through a bipartisan infrastructure bill and reconciliation package.

“The inability of the Democrats, at least so far, to deliver on the promises that Joe Biden made last year is an unforced error,” said Matt Bennett, executive vice president of the center-left think tank Third Way, in a statement that was retweeted. by the White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon Klain White House ‘Confident’ Manchin Will Endorse Biden Reconciliation Framework To Meet With House Democrats Ahead Of Europe Trip: Overnight Energy And Environment Report – Presented By American Clean Power – Democrats See Way To Negotiate weather provisions MORE.

“The months of infighting and sausage making must come to an end,” Bennett said after the loss of McAuliffe. “We must pass these two landmark bills and then explain what they will do to create jobs, cut taxes and help working families pay for essentials.”

Its. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerMellman: Warner Election Lessons On Virginia’s Closed Elections: ‘Unfortunately, All These Races Have Been So Nationalized’ Warner Says Cyber ​​Threats Are More Of A Concern Than ‘Traditional Weaponry’ MORE (D-Va.), Who also previously served as Virginia governor, had advocated passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill as something McAuliffe should point out in a tangible way as a reason to trust the Democrats in power.

“In Washington alone, people think it’s a smart strategy to make a one-generation investment in infrastructure and prevent your president from signing that bill. And in a way that’s a good strategy, “Warner said Wednesday, according to CNN.

There were warning signs for Democrats in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election. Biden’s approval rating had steadily declined from about 50 percent in mid-August to the low range of 40 percent in multiple polls in late October.

His decline was particularly pronounced among independent voters, who played a key role in turning Virginia’s election toward Youngkin. An NBC News poll released on Sunday showed that 70 percent of independents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

“People went from Biden to Republicans yesterday. It’s happening, enough of them, a shocking number, ”Dent said. “This election was not about Trump yesterday and I understand why the Democrats wanted to talk about him. … [Voters are] sending a message to slow down, take advantage of the breaks, look at the problems we are dealing with, which are higher prices, a shortage of everything, schools, 18 months of children out of school. “

In Virginia, candidates from the same party as the president historically lose the year after the presidential election. The president’s party lost 11 of the last 12 gubernatorial elections in the state. McAuliffe’s win in 2013 after the former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHouse Outlines Immigration Provisions In Latest Build Back Package Better Biden Says His Economic Agenda ‘Should Have Passed Before Election Day’ Democrats Point Finger After Virginia Defeat MORE won reelection was the only exception.

Biden went to northern Virginia to speak with McAuliffe last week and warned voters that a Youngkin victory would be a Trump victory.

Biden also went to New Jersey last week and, along with Murphy, highlighted the ways his national policy agenda would benefit the region in a speech.

“To the extent that indecision in Washington mattered, perhaps it makes Biden seem less effective and perhaps contributes in some marginal way to his low approval rating,” said Kyle Kondik, editor-in-chief of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Policy Center. .

Morgan Chalfant contributed.


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