Joe Biden speech 'a punch in the gut' says Baheer
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The US President is under immense pressure this week after his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan allowed the Taliban to reclaim control of the country. Mr Biden gave an address last night, in which he said he “stood squarely” by the decision despite the chaotic scenes seen in the Afghan capital of Kabul. He has been condemned for the move – an opinion piece on CNN’s website by a retired soldier said Afghanistan’s collapse was “willful abandonment” and that the withdrawal of US forces “left the tribes of Afghanistan little choice but capitulation”.
Mr Biden was defended in the New York Times, however. The newspaper said the “calamity cannot be laid alone at President Biden’s feet.”
While the situation in Afghanistan makes headlines this week, a former Democrat adviser has also warned that President Biden faces a potential disaster domestically too.
Speaking on the Politics Weekly podcast, Jonathan Freedland asked David Shor why the Democrats face a “scary” 2022 Midterms.
The data analyst at Open Labs explained how data surrounding demographics had got him “worried” about the Democrats’ electoral hopes.
He said: “In 2016, there was a real education lines realignment where affluent, college-educated white people had trended towards the left, while working-class white and non-white people trended towards the right.
“In the context of the US, this is a really big problem because the US electoral institutions are just not designed for coalitions based on urban professionals to win.”
Mr Shor said that the electoral college system in the US has a “three-point bias” in favour of the Republicans.
He added that Mr Biden won in 2020 with 52.3 percent of the popular vote – but had he got just 52 percent, he would have lost despite having millions more votes.
Mr Shor has said he is “scared” for the Democrats in the 2022 Midterms, as certain demographics like black voters and Hispanic voters are shifting towards the Republicans.
He continued: “If you look at Hispanic voters, the Democrats fell something like nine percent. One in ten Hispanic voters switched from Clinton to Trump.
“If you look county by county, there are counties in Texas who voted Democrats by 40-50 points for over 100 years, and Trump either won or narrowly lost those counties.
“Florida was one of the only states to be more Republican in 2020 than it was in 2016. Exactly because there was a 14 percent swing amongst Hispanics in favour of the Republicans.”
Earlier this month, Politico reported that a senior Democrat sent a blunt warning to his own party.
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the party’s campaign chief, warned that if the Midterms were held now, Mr Biden and his colleagues would suffer defeat.
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Tim Persico, executive director of the Maloney-chaired Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), gave a more optimistic view in an interview recently.
He said: “We are not afraid of this data … We’re not trying to hide this. If [Democrats] use it, we’re going to hold the House. That’s what this data tells us, but we gotta get in action.”
The comments came in response to a July poll commissioned by the DCCC.
They showed a Democratic candidate falling behind a Republican candidate by 6 points in a generic poll in swing districts.
The survey of 1,000 likely 2022 voters was conducted in more than four dozen congressional battleground districts and regions.
One Democratic member who attended the briefing told Politico: “The polling looked pretty dismal to me.”
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