Source: Emily Goodin

Democrats warn it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to the upcoming midterm election as the White House defended its messaging strategy amid sagging approval ratings for President Joe Biden

Six months out from the election that will determine which party controls Congress, Democrats are facing an increasingly nightmare scenario that involves the war in Ukraine, high prices for food and gas, immigration problems at the Southern border and the remains covid pandemic. 

It has them worried they will lose control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate in November.   

Michael Stratton, a Democratic strategist who has worked on campaigns in the competitive state of Colorado, said it was a ‘perfect storm’ that Democrats are facing.

‘Democrats need to you know, wake up here, smell the coffee, and start to get ready,’ he said. 

The White House has defended its economic record, touting high job numbers and increased wages, but Democrats worry that message is being lost when Americans are being hit in the pocketbook at the grocery checkout counter and the gas pump.  

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White House press secreary Jen Psaki said it was the war in the Ukraine that is making it difficult for the administration to get its economic message out but she defended the job they were doing.

‘We understand some realities happening right now, including the fact that there is a war happening in Europe, and that is dominating the airwaves, which we understand and fully expect,’ she told at Wednesday’s press briefing.

‘The president has actually done a number of events on the economy in recent days and weeks and will continue to,’ she said. ‘And I don’t know that that’s a shift or requiring a shift; it’s just a recognition that being able to continue to speak to domestic audience.’ 

Biden is doing his part. He has repeatedly touted the number of jobs being added to the economy: 431,000 were added in March and unemployment was at 3.6 percent. 

He and his administration are also amid a nation-wide tour to tout the projects coming out of the infrastructure law. And the president has dispatched all his principals – first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff – to proclaim the benefits of the American Rescue Plan. 

Voters don’t seem to be giving the president credit, however. 

Two new polls this week saw voters give Biden dire marks on his job performance – a 33% approval rating in a Quinnipiac poll and 41% in a Reuters/Ipsos poll.   

The United States hit a 41-year high of 8.5 percent this week with high food, gas and rent prices being the underlying cause. 

The White House has tried to push the blame on Vladimir Putin’s war in the Ukraine. Biden has labeled it ‘Putin’s price hike.’

But Democratic strategists told that voters are going to blame the leaders in charge for their domestic pain and not tie it to international issues.

‘No one is going to have to vote on Vladimir Putin anytime soon,’ one Democratic strategist said.

‘They are losing the blame game right now,’ the strategist said of the White House. 

Chad Campbell, a Democratic strategist in Arizona, said even though it’s a global situation voters are ‘looking at American leadership.’ 

‘Trying to divert attention to unemployment numbers – that is not going to take away the average person’s concern about inflation,’ he said.

He conceded the White House’s point on the high job numbers and improved wages but added: ‘When you’re paying five and half dollars for a gallon of gas it doesn’t matter what your job is – it’s expensive.’

Democrats concede the party in the White House traditionally loses in the midterm election. Republicans are favored to win control of the House of Representatives in November.

Their concern is backed up by polling data, which shows that voters’ top concern is the economy and that Independents – a crucial voting bloc that can decide elections – are leaning toward Republicans.  

One Democratic strategist described the odds of Democrats keeping control of the House in November as ‘very low.’ 

‘It will be shocking if there was anything but a Republican majority after this November,’ the strategist said.

But they are not pushing the blame on Biden. 

‘It’s not like he has a toxic brand,’ the strategist said of the president

‘He’s up against tremendous odds,’ Stratton noted, saying a turn around in the Ukraine or a drop in inflation could help boost the president.