Former President Barack Obama will campaign for Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm elections, while some embattled candidates have opted out of campaigning with Vice President Joe Biden.
According to Fox News, Obama will campaign with Democrats across the country, including House, Senate, gubernatorial, and secretary of state candidates. Obama will also assist the Democratic Party in raising funds through its reelection committees.
Obama’s broad Democratic appeal may raise awareness for many embattled candidates in difficult districts or states that could be overwhelmed by a Republican red wave. Democrat candidates who have decided not to campaign with Biden may benefit from Obama’s visit.
In Wisconsin, Senate candidate Mandela Barnes refused to campaign alongside Biden on Labor Day at Milwaukee’s Laborfest campaign event. Barnes did not attend the event because he needed to be elsewhere in the state. In Wisconsin, only 41% approve of Biden, while 53% oppose him, according to a new poll.
“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 revealed to NBC News. “The White House wants to show that they’re back or whatever, but there’s just a disconnect.”
The campaign of embattled Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who is running against Trump-endorsed J.D. Vance for Senate, told the Washington Post that 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.”
In Ohio, Biden has a 34% approval rating. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of him..
The White House has defended the Democrats’ lack of interest in 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.”