What increasingly looks like a Republican wave in this coming mid-term elections, could result in the loss of more than 20 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and perhaps control of both chambers of Congress.
The grim outlook has some Democrats second-guessing their party’s midterm messaging, which has emphasized the threat Republicans pose to abortion rights and democracy in a year when voters have said they are most concerned about the economy and violent crime.
Polls continue to show voters frustrated over high consumer prices and blaming the party in power from President Joe Biden on down. A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 1 showed 69% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, compared with just 18% who said it was headed in the right direction.
A few months ago, Spanberger was among the Democratic incumbents who appeared relatively safe. But a flood of Republican PAC money, a barrage of TV ads blaming Democrats for “staggering inflation” and “letting violent criminals back on the streets,” and voter antipathy have helped their Republican opponents close the gap.
“We’re seeing a lot of races that were thought of as unwinnable become winnable,” said Doug Heye, once a top aide to former Republican House leader Eric Cantor, who represented the same district as Spanberger.
RUNNING ON HER RECORD
At campaign events, Spanberger details a laundry list of legislative victories under Biden: massive infrastructure and climate bills, and measures to lower prescription drug costs and boost domestic semiconductor production.
A former CIA officer, Spanberger has criticized her party’s progressive wing and has attempted to appeal to independent voters. She was first elected as part of a Democratic wave in 2018 when Donald Trump was president.
“I have a voting record, a proud record of accomplishment,” Spanberger told the crowd at the winery on Wednesday.
But Rodell Mollineau, a Democratic consultant and former Senate leadership aide, said it is difficult for voters irate about energy and food prices to view those actions as making a difference in their day-to-day lives.