Former President Barack Obama will hit the midterm campaign trail this fall to help Democrat candidates, while some embattled candidates have avoided campaigning with President Joe Biden.
Obama will campaign with Democrats up and down the ballot, potentially including House, Senate, gubernatorial, and secretary of state candidates, Fox News reported Thursday. Obama will even help the Democrat Party raise money through its reelection committees.
Obama’s wide Democrat appeal may raise awareness for many embattled candidates in tough districts or states overwhelmed by a potential Republican red wave. Democrat candidates that could benefit from Obama’s visit are those who have decided to not campaign with Biden.
In Wisconsin, Senate candidate Mandela Barnes refused to campaign with Biden at Milwaukee’s Laborfest campaign event on Labor Day. Barnes skipped the event because he wanted to be elsewhere in the state. Only 41 percent approve of Biden in the Badger State, while 53 percent disapprove, a poll found Thursday.
“I don’t think there’s any Democrat in a competitive district who is clamoring for Biden to come,” an aide to a high-profile Democrat candidate told NBC News. “The White House wants to show that they’re back or whatever, but there’s just a disconnect.”
Embattled Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D-OH) campaign, which is challenging Trump-endorsed J.D. Vance for Senate, told the Washington Post it has not asked Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris to campaign with Ryan.
“We have not asked President Biden or VP Harris to campaign in Ohio and have no plans to do so,” spokeswoman Izzi Levy said. “Tim has been very clear that he wants to be the face of this campaign, and that’s not changing anytime soon.”
Biden’s approval rating in Ohio is 34 percent. Fifty-nine percent disapprove.
The White House has defended the lack of interest in Democrats pledging to campaign with Biden.“If they are reluctant, I think it’s political malpractice,” senior official at the Democratic National Committee Cedric L. Richmond told the Post. “If you don’t want Biden, it’s malpractice.”
“If we had a dollar for every time someone underestimated or counted Joe Biden out, we could pay off the national debt,” he stated. “You’ll see his numbers go up, you’ll see accomplishments happen. That’s what voters want to see — and if I’m a candidate, I’d tie myself to that.”