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Tipsheet

As Media Cheers Biden 'Comeback,' Democratic Candidates Want Nothing to Do With Him

Remember when President Biden and Vice President Harris went down to Georgia earlier this year to lie about 'voter suppression' and compare Republicans to segregations and confederates?  The leaders of the Democratic Party were hosting a hardcore pander-fest on election truther Stacey Abrams' signature phony issue, in her back yard, yet she oddly couldn't be bothered to show up.  Scheduling issues, you see.  And so it's gone for Biden all across the country, including in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Members of the president's party continue to tie themselves into knots over whether they want him to run for re-election in 2024, and as several of my colleagues have noted, they've been awkwardly trying to navigate answering questions about whether they'd like POTUS to stump for them:

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The latest example comes from Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, who tried avoiding the question on Sunday when asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he wants Biden to come to Arizona to campaign. “Hey, I’ll welcome anybody to come to Arizona, travel around the state at any time, as long as I’m here,” he said on State of the Union.  “If I’m not up in Washington in session. And talk about what Arizona needs. This water situation is significant. And right now, we have some of the tools necessary to deal with it," he continued. "I’m trying to get some answers from the Department of Interior on more – like what authority do they have to make some decisions themselves on this because, as I said earlier, the other states are not stepping up to help Arizona deal with this. But if anybody wants to come to Arizona and talk about Arizona issues or issues that affect the country, I’ll be here." "That’s not exactly an open invitation to President Biden to come and campaign with you, even though he won the state of Arizona in 2020, saying you’d welcome anybody," Tapper pointed out.

But what about the big winning streak, or whatever? I thought meme-star Dark Brandon was suddenly shooting laser beams out of his aviator sunglasses and owning the cons, or whatever. Journalists appear to be much more excited about that narrative than average voters, who continue to give Biden and the US economy poor reviews. They are also deeply and realistically pessimistic about the so-called 'Inflation Reduction Act' doing much of anything to help improve their lives. More telling, though, is how many elected Democrats and Democratic candidates are rejecting the 'comeback' framing, as clearly evidenced by their actions:

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He’s being attacked more often in televised ads than Obama was at this point in 2010, or Trump was in 2018. He goes largely unnamed on Democratic campaign websites and Twitter accounts. And candidates in key races in battleground states are either not asking him to come — or actively avoiding him when he does, according to a Washington Post survey of more than 60 candidates in the most competitive gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and congressional campaigns in the country. Few candidates said they wanted Biden to campaign for them in their state or district, with many not responding to the question at all. The Post also asked if candidates wanted Vice President Harris as a surrogate campaigner for the Biden administration and got the same set of unenthusiastic responses. “No comment from the campaign at this time,” said a spokeswoman for Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo), who is a Republican target in a state that Biden won by more than 13 points.

Despite some GOP struggles on fundraising and candidate recruitment, it remains a political reality that this is a very tough election cycle for Democrats, and the fundamentals are quite bad for the ruling party.  Gallup's "suffering" index has hit a new high:

The percentage of Americans who evaluate their lives poorly enough to be considered "suffering" on Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index was 5.6% in July, the highest since the index’s inception in 2008. This exceeds the previous high of 4.8% measured in April and is statistically higher than all prior estimates in the COVID-19 era. Across extensive measurement since January 2008, the suffering percentage has reached 4.5% or higher on a handful of occasions.

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That might be less of a problem if the misery were limited to a relatively small fraction of Americans, but the overall right/wrong track number across is also awful across the board, underwater by roughly 50 points on average.  Relatedly, I can't believe they're sticking with this:


As we wrote recently, telling people that they can reap taxpayer-funded credits to defray part of the cost of expensive purchases like home weatherizing, installing solar panels, or purchasing a $60,000 electric vehicle sounds like a ridiculous slap in the face to many middle and working class people who are already living paycheck to paycheck.  They don't have thousands of free dollars lying around to spent, in order to unlock the "anti-inflation" windfall Granholm is talking about.  On a separate subject we've also covered at some length, I'll leave you with this:

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