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Tipsheet

Dem Focus Group Shows How Out of Touch Biden's Party Has Become

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

While Democrats keep squabbling among their fractured caucuses in Congress, a new focus group of Democrat voters show how truly out of touch party leaders have become ahead of the midterms. 

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As reported by POLITICO on Tuesday morning, "Democrats are desperately trying to understand what’s roiling the electorate heading into a brutal midterm environment." To any outside observer, the obvious edit to that thesis would be to ask what isn't roiling Democrat voters. 

A group called HIT Strategies has been doing weekly surveys of voters to see how the electorate is reacting to the chaotic reign of President Biden and his disarrayed party leaders on Capitol Hill. The voter groups that POLITICO observed going through one of the focus groups were "Black Base, Always vote for Dems, Ages 25+" and "Youth Base; Always vote for Dems, Ages 25 – 39." Solidly Democrat voters, or at least they used to be. 

Here's what POLITICO gleaned from the focus groups:

— A preoccupation with inflation and crime.

— Exhaustion with pandemic restrictions.

— Cynicism about politics.

— Deep frustration that President JOE BIDEN and Democrats have failed to deliver on their early promises.

— Sympathy for Ukraine mixed with a lack of enthusiasm for Biden spending too much time and money on the issue.

— Ambiguity about how important Jan. 6 should be for Democrats in the midterms.

It seems almost like POLITICO is describing the concerns of conservatives — but these were Democrats who always vote for Democrat candidates. Yet the surveyed voters are as fed up with rising prices and spiking crime as the rest of us. Notably, it shows that the White House's spin to blame inflation on Putin's invasion and greedy CEOs isn't playing well among Biden's base. It also shows why Biden has quickly scrambled to show action related to funding police departments and Democrats have tried to remove COVID restrictions, albeit not for all Americans and not in a way that makes logical sense. 

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Then there's the fact that Democrat voters don't see the Biden administration and the work of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as some wholesome episode of The West Wing but for the chaos it is. Their frustration with a lack of results from Biden and his congressional allies is to be expected: Biden campaigned as the man with the plan to "shut down" COVID, build the economy back better than it was before the pandemic, and bring stable leadership to the White House. Instead of that, Democrats watched Biden get rolled by the Omicron variant before declaring there isn't a federal solution for COVID, fail to break-even with the number of jobs that existed before the pandemic, abandon Americans in Afghanistan, and falter on the world stage. If I'd voted for that, I'd be frustrated and cynical too. 

Despite Biden's first State of the Union Address' focus on Ukraine and the White House's obsession with Russia, it also turns out Democrat voters aren't all that interested in what's going on. Sure, they feel bad for the people of Ukraine — what's happening to them and their country is a tragedy — but they don't see any payoff for the United States' involvement so far and think Biden is wasting time and money on the issue while crises go unmitigated at home. 

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And lastly, they don't see the work of Nancy Pelosi's select committee investigating the events of January 6th as critical to Democrats' midterm plans. The average Democrat voter, presumably, would rather Democrats in Congress focus on delivering on Biden's campaign promises or address issues that have an effect on their daily lives. Because most Democrat voters are not Nicolle Wallace, they don't see the events of one day more than a year ago as impacting their everyday struggle to pay bills or buy groceries.

As POLITICO concludes, there is "a yawning gap between what Democrats here in D.C. are saying and what their most loyal voters are experiencing outside the Beltway." Another point for Real America(TM) and against the Twitter / Cable News / Acela corridor-obsessed Democrats in D.C. 

While Ron Klain can tweet from the West Wing about how great the economy is supposedly doing, the focus groups showed Democrat voters saying they are "exhausted," "uptight," "unsure," "concerned" and "anxious." That's not where any Democrat wants their base to be as they make their case for why they deserve another term to work with President Biden on accomplishing his Build Back Better agenda that flopped so bad he renamed it "Building a Better America."

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Maybe if Democrat politicians just tried to even pretend to be normal for a few days, they'd see that what they're obsessed with in D.C. doesn't matter all that much outside the beltway. And maybe they'd finally understand the consequences of their policies on the everyday lives of American families.

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