Democrats don’t know who to run against in the 2022 midterms. They want a boogeyman to blame for the problems facing average Americans in order to deflect from their own failures, but they don’t know who to choose for this role.
They don’t want to run against Trump because they know how that worked out in Virginia last November. They don’t want to choose Ron DeSantis because they’re afraid to raise his profile.
It probably won’t matter in the end. They’re going to get creamed either way.
Biden needs a Trump substitute
Searching for a strategy to avoid a 2022 midterm disaster, advisers to President Biden have discussed elevating a unifying Republican foil not named Donald Trump.
Why it matters: Biden confidants worry that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is too unknown, that Biden won’t demonize Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell because of their longstanding and collegial relationship and that elevating Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could backfire.
Biden isn’t on the ballot in November. But if voters see the elections as a referendum on the last two years, it could hurt Democrats across the ticket and cost their party control of Congress.
Biden advisers and Hill allies told Axios voters are more likely to side with the president if he’s compared to an alternative.
Between the lines: Team Biden’s muscle memory is to elevate and focus on the best foil Democrats have ever been gifted — Trump.
But as Terry McAuliffe’s loss in the Virginia governor’s race showed last fall, running against an out-of-office Trump won’t cut it with voters.
Breitbart News has more:
Democrat strategist Celinda Lake admitted to Axios that running on Biden’s track record of poor governance may be difficult. “One of the problems is our messaging has been driven by governing, not by campaigning, and we need to move into campaign mode,” she said.
“If you’re trying to win the November 2022 elections, you must draw a contrast,” she added.
But with Trump as the leader of the Republican Party, Democrats fear they may not find another Republican as powerful to contrast to their party. Besides McConnell, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are reportedly second options, though they have drawbacks.
If Democrats had done a halfway decent job of running the government for the last year, they could run on their own achievements.
The fact that they need someone to run against speaks volumes.