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Tipsheet

Biden Seems Confused About Whom Midterm Elections Usually Favor

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

While speaking at the Democratic National Committee's holiday party on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden made some curious remarks about the 2022 midterms.

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As he spoke of "critical issues" and the "fight to make progress on all of them," the president spoke of it not only in the context of the need to win in the 2022 midterms, but the certainty that Democrats will.

Part of the reason Biden believes Democrats won in 2020 and will win in 2022 is because of what he sees as a unified Democratic Party. "Now we look at 2022.  I want to tell my Republican friends: Get ready, pal.  You’re going in for a problem," the president claimed, to paltry applause.

Predictably, Biden used his speech to push for his reconciliation spending bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act. The White House keeps sticking to the talking point that it will cut costs.

"The bottom line is: We’re helping working-class and middle-class people spend less money on the things they badly need.  So if you’re worried about rising cost, nothing will cut costs for American families more than the Build Back Better plan.  That’ll give them a shot," Biden claimed at one point.

It's worth noting that polls show the reconciliation spending bill has mixed favorability, depending on the poll. Even a considerable amount of Democratic respondents are wary to believe that the legislation will benefit people like them. 

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Guy has also provided a thorough analysis addressing the bill's lack of popularity. 

Further, as has been reported throughout Wednesday, negotiations over the legislation appear to be falling apart, as least when it comes to a vote taking place before Christmas, particularly as it applies to getting support from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Biden went on to refer to the cost-cutting claim again, bringing it back to the midterms. 

"I just mentioned that we’d reduce the cost for American families.  We have to keep making the case.  And if we do, I believe we’re going to win.  Let me say this again for the press: We’re going to win in 2022.  I really mean it," he later said in his speech.

In his closing, Biden called on the crowd to "let’s go get them and win in 2022!"

While the president's sense of optimism for his party at a DNC event is to be expected, historical trends are not on the Democrats' side. 

During the president's first midterm election, his party tends to lose seats in Congress. Democrats only have a single-digit majority in the House and control the 50-50 Senate because Vice President Kamala Harris serves as a tiebreaking vote. 

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Further, Biden's approval ratings have been lower than 50 percent, which is a particularly bad sign for the midterms. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last month predicted that the GOP could flip 60 seats. The highest pickup in recent years was when the GOP picked up 63 House seats in the 2010 election and took back control of the House when Barack Obama was president. 

It's worth noting that Biden's poll numbers appear to be improving, though time will tell if it's enough of an improvement to save his party and not only prove his words true, but prove historical trends wrong. 

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