Democrats ‘did not listen’ to voters, warns party strategist


Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks about threats to democracy ahead of next week’s midterm elections, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, at the Columbus Club in Union Station, near the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

Democrats ‘did not listen’ to voters, warns party strategist

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President Joe Biden has warned in the waning days of the midterm election cycle that democracy is under threat if Republicans triumph, arguing in speeches across the country that voters must consider this choice when they cast their ballots on Nov. 8.

Yet Biden’s closing message is drawing skepticism from Democrats who suggest it’s a distraction from the economic concerns weighing on the electorate.

“I’m a loyal Democrat, but I am not happy. I just think that we did not listen to voters in this election, and I think we are going to have a bad night,” Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said during a Sunday appearance on CNN.


“When voters tell you over and over and over again that why care mostly about the economy, listen to them,” Rosen said. “Stop talking about democracy being at stake.”

He’s not the only one to suggest Democrats are misfiring when it comes to messaging.

“I’ve been saying for months that we need to frame this election as an economic choice,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) told USA Today.

Republicans hold a 14-point lead on the economy and a 12-point lead on inflation when adults are asked which party they believe would do a better job in handling each issue, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll. The party also has an edge with independent likely voters, who favor Republicans at 53%, compared to Democrats at 45%.

Still, the survey suggests that Biden’s focus on threats to democracy isn’t entirely ill-founded. Twenty-one percent of likely voters said it was among their foremost concerns, the same share who named rising costs.

On Wednesday, Biden delivered hastily announced remarks “on standing up for Democracy” to an audience near the Capitol, pressing voters to put the issue on the ballot, just as he had made the case with abortion over the summer. “We’re often not faced with questions of whether the vote we cast will preserve democracy or put us at risk, but this year we are,” Biden said.

In a worrying sign for Democrats, the shift toward Republicans among key groups suggests voters are not persuaded by the president’s messaging.

White suburban women, who make up 20% of the electorate, favor Republicans in congressional races by 15 percentage points, a 26-point swing since August, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The survey showed more than half believe the United States is already in a recession, while 74% say the economy is headed in the wrong direction. The group helped Democrats secure a majority in the House in 2018 and propel Biden to victory two years later.

But Democrats are struggling to rouse women and other groups, such as Latino voters, amid questions about Biden’s leadership on the economy, including in key races that could decide control of the Senate.

Rosen said Biden’s low approval appears to be hurting Democrats in these states, while their opponents benefit from popular top-of-the-ticket Republicans.

In Arizona, incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) has struggled to put away his Republican challenger, Blake Masters, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at the top of the ticket.

“Mark Kelly’s popular, but Kari Lake is more popular, and the combination of Kari Lake’s popularity and Joe Biden’s unpopularity is going to hurt Mark Kelly,” Rosen said. “We’re in trouble because of the top of the ticket.”


Kelly leads Masters by 1 percentage point, according to a RealClearPolitics average, which ranks the race as a “toss-up.”

Biden’s approval is at 41%, up slightly since October, but with 53% disapproving, according to the Washington Post-ABC News poll.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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