‘Still a referendum for both’: Biden and Trump end half term on 2024 collision course

‘Still a referendum for both’: Biden and Trump end half term on 2024 collision course

For much of this campaign cycle, even as the former president has remained popular among GOP ranks, many party leaders have hoped that losses to candidates with whom Trump has tied could damage his credibility ahead of 2024. As the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, the focus had to be “candidate quality” — a lingering concern after the GOP primaries ended in victory for a number of pro-Trump conservatives with clear commitments come general election time.

But many of Trump’s favored candidates rebounded in the days of the campaign that waned as Republicans surged nationally, toss or better odds in Senate races in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and New Hampshire.

The fact that Biden campaigned in heavily Democratic New York on Sunday signaled how seriously his party is concerned about the massive losses.

Democrats had already entered the weekend resigned to not only the likelihood of losing the House, but also the growing risk that they could lose the Senate as well.

“I don’t feel good,” said Matt Bennett of the left-of-center group Third Way.

Democratic pollster Molly Murphy, president of Impact Research, said, “October is where it really came back down to earth, and that’s still where it is.”

“They threw in a ton of money,” said Murphy, whose firm was Biden’s lead pollster in the 2020 election. a night for the Democrats.”

On Sunday, the final CBS News halftime poll found that Democrats have caught up with Republicans in enthusiasm for the election, erasing the GOP’s 9 percentage point lead in voter interest last month.

Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.) said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that “we have to translate that to people coming out.”

In a late-night scramble to boost turnout, Democrats surged across the map this weekend, including in New Hampshire, where Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) campaigned for the embattled Democratic senator on Sunday. Maggie Hassan.

Buttigieg and Klobuchar, who have become unlikely running mates on the campaign trail, poked fun at their newfound team at a rally in Nashua — their first appearance together in New Hampshire since finishing second and third, respectively, in the state’s 2020 presidential primary.

“Last time we were on stage [here], the circumstances were a little different,” Buttigieg joked to Klobuchar from a fall-themed stage set up in the parking lot. Now, he said, “we are absolutely united in our enthusiasm for your phenomenal congressional delegation.”

But Democrats still face their own internal party problems after nearly two years of bickering among themselves over policy. It’s a dream on Saturday. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) ran into Biden for promising to shut down coal plants during a speech in California, saying “these comments are why the American people are losing confidence in President Biden.” The Democrat called Biden’s language “offensive and disgusting.”

Amanda Renteria, who served as national political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said Tuesday she was “preparing for an impact,” not just because of the expected losses, but because of “the kind of politics that are winning right now.”

“What makes me nervous is that you’re going to have people who are denying the election and who were joking [the attack on] Paul Pelosithen win the elections and have a mandate to not only continue with such intensity and such rhetoric,” she said.

“Usually after the election, we think that we will gather now. But this is not set up to be able to say that,” Renteria added. “We’re in the space of a never-ending election cycle that never has a chance to recover, reconcile, or even pretend to try to come together and bring the country together.”

Biden, as he did during his presidential bid two years ago, used historical terms, telling supporters in Pennsylvania that they were making “a choice between two very different visions of America.”

Trump drew a stark contrast to his potential 2024 primary opponents that same night, touting his position in early polls.

Two days after telling a rally in Iowa that he was “very, very, very likely to do it again” in 2024, Trump also began disparaging his leading potential Republican primary rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — describing him as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

“The fact that Trump, after losing with all his legal problems and his polarizing personality, can still be clearly not only the front-runner, but probably waltz to the nomination, speaks volumes [the fact that] it’s his Republican Party,” said John Thomas, a Republican strategist.

Still, in an acknowledgment of Trump’s likely continued problems in winning over voters in the general election, Thomas added, “I’m just thankful that he didn’t [announce a presidential run] before the appointment. Because the gains we’re making with white women aren’t going to happen.”

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