In Michigan, Obama shredded GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon for spouting a series of downright baffling conspiracy theories.
Obama: “The other day a video came out of Gov. Whitmer's opponent claiming that Democrats have been working for decades to topple the United States because they are still upset about losing the civil war. And that COVID restrictions were part of some master plan to do this. Now, first of all: What?"
In Wisconsin, Obama blasted incumbent GOP Sen. Ron Johnson for getting tax breaks for his wealthy donors while favoring cuts in benefits for retirees and hard-working Americans of lesser means.
Obama: "Some of you here are on Social Security, some of your parents are on Social Security, some of your grandparents are on Social Security. You know why they have Social Security? ‘Cuz they worked for it. They worked hard jobs for it. They had chapped hands for it. They had long hours and sore backs and bad knees to get that Social Security. ... If Ron Johnson does not understand that, if he understands giving tax breaks for private planes more than he understands making sure that seniors who've worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect, he's not the person who's thinking about you, who knows you and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin."
But the former president wasn’t done with the senator’s favoritism yet.
He also warned Democratic Senate nominee, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, to start digging up his birth certificate.
In Georgia, Obama reminded voters, "If a candidate's main qualification is that he's going to be loyal to Donald Trump, it means that he's not really going to be thinking about you. And you deserve better. Georgia deserves better."
Obama is the best closer in the country right now, bar none. Not only are his barbs and insights as sharp as ever, he doesn’t carry the baggage that someone like Donald Trump does. Everywhere Trump goes, a critical slice of suburban voters are reminded of how vile the Republican Party has become, even if Trump’s cultists are crazy about him.
Obama, by contrast, is much more likely to engender a sort of misty nostalgia along the lines of, man, those were the days… before Trump got elected and everything went to crap.
It’s true that, as president, Obama didn’t turn in particularly good midterm election performances. But the landscape is entirely different this cycle than it was in 2010, for instance. Democrats have delivered far more for base voters in the first two years of Biden’s presidency: student debt cancellation, competent pandemic management, a historic investment in combatting climate change, price caps on insulin, affordable hearing aids, government negotiation of some prescription drugs, and initial steps toward decriminalizing marijuana.
At the same time, Democratic voters got a shot in the arm following the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. This will also be the first general election to take place following Donald Trump’s deadly insurrection.
Biden and Democrats have banked a variety of accomplishments for average Americans amid a period of historic political realignment. Now Obama is on the campaign trail selling those accomplishments and showing Republicans no mercy in the process.
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How should we be reading the 2022 polls, in light of shifting margins and past misses? In this episode of The Downballot, Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen joins us to explain how his firm weights polls to reflect the likely electorate; why Democratic leads in most surveys this year should be treated as smaller than they appear because undecided voters lean heavily anti-Biden; and the surprisingly potent impact abortion has had on moving the needle with voters despite our deep polarization.
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