Late last week, when Barack Obama’s campaign staff revealed the former president’s itinerary for the midterm elections, some Democrats were already upset. Democrats have been enquiring about Obama’s whereabouts for weeks prior to the midterm elections, when the party is clinging to the slimmest of majorities in the House and Senate.
Given his low approval ratings, Joe Biden is viewed by many as a drag on the party’s prospects this year. Obama’s star power has been noticeably absent due to several candidates’ requests that Biden not appear at rallies in their states and districts.
Obama did participate in four events in August and September to help raise money for candidates, but some Democrats claim that given his stature and ability to draw crowds, it is not enough.
One Democratic strategist stated, “I believe that a lot of people have asked, ‘Where is Obama?'” He shouldn’t only serve as the closer. He is still regarded as the event’s rock star. Other strategists and donors also agreed in interviews that Obama need to be more active in supporting the party.
According to surveys, Republicans have reclaimed the initiative from Democrats with less than three weeks until the election.
Democrats trailed Republicans on the general congressional ballot, according to a CBS News-YouGov poll, while a New York Times-Siena College poll conducted last week revealed that Republicans were more likely to get voters’ votes by a 49 to 45 percent margin. Compared to the summer, when Democrats had a 1-point lead, that represents a change.
One strategist criticized the usage of Obama, saying, “I believe it’s unwise to leave things till the end.”
Eddie Vale, a Democratic strategist, acknowledged that Obama “is coming in late in the cycle,” but he said that this is not unprecedented nor a serious issue. Obama’s appearance on the campaign trail very recently, according to Vale, “shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”
He stated, “I think they believe properly that if he’s out there doing events all the time, it dilutes the attention it gets from voters and media so it’s best to keep it for the big get out the vote drive at the end.
According to sources close to Obama, the former president actively participates in assisting Democrats in a number of ways. Obama’s campaign staff said on Wednesday that they were include Nevada as a new visit on his midterm campaign trip. On November 1, he is anticipated to participate in a rally there for early voting. After previously scheduled visits in Atlanta, Detroit, and Milwaukee, the demonstration follows them.
Three of the races that will probably decide the next Senate majority are taking place in Nevada, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Additionally, three significant gubernatorial contests will take place in Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan.
President Obama wants to do his part to assist Democrats win the upcoming election, according to Hanna Hankins, the former president’s communications director, given the importance of this year’s midterm elections. “As part of the Democrats’ last-ditch GOTV effort, he will campaign in selected states and served as the keynote speaker at four recent fundraising events for the major campaign organizations.
Hankins continued, “He looks forward to campaigning for candidates across the board, particularly in contests and states that will have an impact on the conduct of the 2024 elections.
The former president also made a 45-second video warning people about the repercussions of staying home and encouraging them to vote. It’s the most recent of more than 20 advertisements the former president has produced for politicians in this election season, including Sen. Maggie Hassan and Steve Sisolak, who are competing for governor of Nevada and New Hampshire, respectively.
Obama states in the video, “Election Day is just around the corner, and I want to be clear about what’s at stake.” “Our basic rights, particularly women’s reproductive rights, are up for election.”
The good news is that we can create a different future, he said. “… Don’t skip this election, then.
Obama’s appearance at rallies can draw a crowd, but they don’t necessarily result in electoral victory. Obama won elections in 2008 and 2012 while he was a candidate, but his presence at rallies didn’t stop Democrats from losing the midterm elections in 2010 and 2014. He served as a stand-in for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Despite winning the popular vote, Clinton fell short of Republican former President Trump.
Republicans overwhelmingly defeated Obama’s party in 2010, scooping up 63 seats, one of the largest gains in decades, amid criticism of his leadership during the recession and the adoption of the Affordable Care Act by Congress.
Another Democratic strategist said, “People forget that it’s not that simple for him or anyone really these days with some of these races being so split.” People sometimes overlook the fact that Joe Biden had to visit these purple areas since Obama wasn’t exactly welcomed there.
Nevertheless, a seasoned strategist who has worked with Obama claimed that the former president has the capacity to influence important groups, such as independents and Black voters, almost more than any other surrogate.
Obama being in his state, in my opinion, benefits Mandela Barnes as an African American candidate, the strategist said of the Democratic senatorial contender in Wisconsin. It will assist him in mobilizing Black voters and securing their support, something Barnes has struggled to achieve.
The strategist said, “I believe [Obama] is now being deployed in the correct locations and may be beneficial at this time.