White House buoyed by early midterm results as Biden avoids fate of predecessors

MILWAUKEE – President Joe Biden celebrated on Wednesday midterm election results that he said defied the expectations of the Democratic Party, arguing that the county was on the “right track” under his leadership and that his policy agenda is delivering results.

Speaking at the White House, Biden said voters were “sending a clear and unequivocal message” on issues such as democracy and abortion rights, but were also “clear that ‘they were always frustrated’.

While it’s unclear whether Democrats will retain control of Congress, Biden and his party have avoided the “red wave” that some strategists predicted was going to be fueled by record inflation and economic hardship.

Biden said if he was willing to work with fellow Republicans, he would also veto a national abortion ban and oppose any Republican effort to cut Social Security.

“The American people have been clear: they don’t want every day to be a constant political battle,” Biden said, adding that he would invite leaders of both political parties to meet when he returns from a trip to Israel. overseas later this month. . “America’s future is too bright, too bright to be trapped in endless political warfare.”

Biden’s losses are expected to be far lower than those suffered by President Barack Obama in 2010 or President Donald Trump in 2018.

The results validate a White House that for weeks has said Biden’s policies — from student debt relief to infrastructure investments — were wildly popular with voters and that their strategy of touting those accomplishments would pay off. . A Biden adviser said there was a sense of vindication in the West Wing on Wednesday morning, especially with the loss of some Trump-backed candidates who had continued to push lies on who won the 2020 election.

Had the election gone as predictors had predicted, Biden would likely have criticized his ability to lead the party and Trump would have boasted of victories ahead of the scheduled launch of a re-election bid next week.

But instead, it’s Biden’s camp that feels confident.

Even if the Democrats’ worst-case election scenario did not materialize, Biden could still face a tough two years if Republicans are able to gain control by even a narrow margin of the House or Senate, allowing them to block legislative efforts. by Democrats. If Republicans take control of the House, they have indicated they will conduct a host of investigations into everything from the business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

For many voters, Biden appeared to play little role in their decision. According to NBC News’ exit poll, nearly half of voters said Biden was not a factor in their vote for the US House of Representatives. That compares to 2018, when just a third of voters said Trump was not a factor in their vote in the House.

There were other warning signs for Biden.

Two-thirds of voters said they did not want to see Biden run for re-election, with three-quarters of midterm independent voters saying they did not want to see Biden run again and 66% of voters in mid-term under 30 saying the same thing. , according to exit polls.

But the win seemed to give him a bit more support among his party members.

“If there was a rematch, based on the results we saw last night, I don’t think there’s any doubt that he would beat Donald Trump again,” Senator Michael Bennett said. Colorado on MSNBC.

Biden’s approval rating among voters was 41%, just slightly above Trump at 39%.

Ahead of the results, the president’s aides and advisers said Tuesday’s result would not be a factor in his decision to run for a second term in the White House, NBC News reported Tuesday.

Shannon Pettypiece reported from Milwaukee and Monica Alba from Washington.

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