Top Democrats are questioning their party’s strategy as midterm concerns grow
“If an asteroid is headed for Earth — it’s going to land in about two weeks — if you walk into the Republican caucus and say, ‘What do you want to do?’ They would say, ‘We need tax breaks for the rich,'” Obama said over the weekend in Wisconsin as he criticized Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican. “That is their only economic policy.”
As president, Mr. Obama has seen his party suffer heavy medium-term losses. But this year, many Democrats see him as their most powerful surrogate by far. The problem, some say, is that there is only one of him.
“If he ran in every state, we’d win every Senate race, but he’s a once-in-a-generation talent,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., adding that following the former president’s comments should be “homework” for entertainment. “He should not be the only one delivering the basic economic message. We should have 20, 30 people capable of that and that across the country.”
Mr. Khanna, who said Mr. Biden understood the urgency of the issues, questioned whether the “consultant class” had grasped the power of that message in time, amid intense focus on abortion rights and the protection of democracy. Both are important, said Mr. Khanna, but their prioritization should not come at the expense of pocket money.
“The consultants looked at it and said, ‘Well, we’re in the economy, so maybe we shouldn’t talk about it,'” he said. “That is a mistake! No, we have to make our case.”
Democrats spent nearly $320 million on ads focused on abortion rights, more than 10 times the $31 million they spent on inflation spots, according to media monitoring firm AdImpact. They spent nearly $140 million on crime ads.
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