Biden and Obama hit blue strongholds in the midterm elections, stopping red wave

Joe Biden,Barack Obama
President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama arrive at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro and Democratic Senate candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Patrick Semansky/AP

Biden and Obama hit blue strongholds in the midterm elections, stopping red wave

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President Joe Biden‘s often criticized strategy of campaigning in blue states during the midterm elections materialized with some early wins on election night.

Biden campaigned in New York, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania in the campaign’s final days and was rewarded with big wins in those states that appear to have held off a red wave.

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“It’s official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania,” John Fetterman (D-PA) tweeted on election night. “We bet on the people of Pennsylvania — and you didn’t let us down.”

Fetterman was one of the few battleground state candidates to embrace Biden fully, appearing with him several times in the campaign’s final weeks. The president played up his local ties to the state, joking that he had lived in Pennsylvania longer than GOP candidate Mehmet Oz despite leaving the state at age 10.

In contrast, Biden did not visit Georgia, Arizona, or Nevada during campaign season.

Fetterman’s gamble was rewarded with a somewhat surprising win over Oz, while Pennsylvania’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro picked up a victory as well.

“I’m so humbled, thank you so much, really,” an emotional Fetterman told supporters after winning. “It’s like 1:30 in the morning and you’re still here hanging in. We launched this campaign almost two years ago, and we had our slogan, it’s on every one of those signs right now: every county, every vote.”

Biden sent Fetterman a congratulatory text message around the same time.

The president also campaigned with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) on Sunday night as she held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). That effort, too, was rewarded, with Hochul declared the winner late Tuesday night.

On the campaign’s final night, Biden stumped with Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore, though that candidate was already expected to win by a wide margin.

Critics pointed to the location of Biden’s final campaign stops as evidence that Democrats could be in big trouble. Instead, those blue areas held, potentially keeping the Senate in the party’s control.

Former President Barack Obama joined Biden for a rally in support of Fetterman and Shapiro as part of a five-state tour for the former president that included Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada. While Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams lost, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) outperformed her by more than 130,000 votes and may be able to win reelection in a runoff.

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“There is very little evidence that he has taken any interest, bothered to learn anything about, or displayed any kind of inclination towards public service or volunteer work or helping people in any way,” Obama said of Warnock’s GOP challenger, Herschel Walker. Obama called the former football star a “celebrity that wants to be a politician — and we have seen how that goes.”

Obama suffered severe midterm losses during his two terms as president, including a self-described “shellacking” in 2010, but may have helped prevent Biden from suffering the same fate this time around.

https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1589656507830136832

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