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Biden Debate Performance Could Damage Senate Dems' Election Prospects

 June 29, 2024

President Joe Biden's debate performance on Thursday has triggered significant concerns among Democrats, particularly those in down-ballot races.

Republican candidates are leveraging Biden's weak showing to link their Democratic opponents to him, potentially impacting the upcoming Senate elections, as Breitbart reports.

Concerns Among Democrats

Jake Sherman of PunchBowl News highlighted the serious problem Biden's performance has created for down-ballot Democrats.

Sherman noted that congressional Democrats felt Biden failed to meet even the lowest expectations during the debate. He stated, "I’ve had a lot of conversations in the last 7 hours with congressional Democrats. Their sense isn’t that this was a bad debate. It is much worse than that."

Biden's inability to articulate his policies is seen as a major issue for Democrats running in down-ballot races. According to Sherman, "In their view, Biden didn’t even clear the lowest bar. They may agree with him on policy. But Biden wasn’t even able to articulate what his policies are. For Democrats running down ballot, this is an incredibly serious problem."

Republican Responses to the Debate

Republican candidates in competitive Senate races quickly tied their opponents to Biden's poor debate performance.

Ohio GOP Senate nominee Bernie Moreno linked Sen. Sherrod Brown to Biden in a post on X and a pre-debate ad, stating, "Think about the Joe Biden you saw tonight -- That’s who Sherrod Brown supports for President and votes with 99% of the time."

Montana Republican Senate candidate Tim Sheehy criticized Sen. Jon Tester for supporting Biden, tweeting, "After Joe Biden’s abysmal debate performance tonight, remember this, Montana — @JonTester LOVES @JoeBiden."

He added, "Tester thinks Biden is ‘100% with it’ and votes with Biden 95% of the time!!"

Impact on Senate Races

Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Dave McCormick accused Sen. Bob Casey of lying about Biden's fitness for the presidency. McCormick stated, "Bob Casey has said over and over that his ‘close friend’ Joe Biden, with whom he votes 98% of the time, is fit to be president. What we all saw last night proves Casey is lying."

Arizona Republican Kari Lake accused her opponent, Rep. Ruben Gallego, of hiding after the debate.

She noted, "Did you notice @RubenGallego went into radio silence for that debate? He knows it was an embarrassment to his party & the man he’s supported 100% of the time." Lake also commented, "While Ruben goes into hiding, hoping to escape the albatross that is Joe Biden, I will continue to proudly support Trump’s America First agenda that will benefit every Arizonan."

Republican Momentum in Competitive Races

Virginia Republican nominee Hung Cao criticized Sen. Tim Kaine for his support of Biden, saying, "You sure are a ticketmate of Joe Biden, buddy. And we’re not going to let anybody forget it." Similarly, Nevada Republican nominee Sam Brown linked Sen. Jacky Rosen to Biden's poor performance. Brown stated, "Tonight, Nevadans saw with their own eyes what a Joe Biden/Jacky Rosen ticket will look like in November, and it is disastrous."

Brown further noted, "For nearly 4 years, Jacky Rosen has enabled Joe Biden and voted with him 98% of the time." He concluded, "In November, Nevadans will proudly play a critical role in electing President Trump; helping Republicans retake the Senate majority; and retiring Joe Biden and Jacky Rosen."

Challenges for Senate Democrats

Wisconsin Republican candidate Eric Hovde and Michigan's Mike Rogers also criticized their opponents for their alignment with Biden. Hovde remarked, "That was one of the least successful debates for one of the least successful presidents in American history. Wisconsinites deserve better." Rogers added, "votes with Joe Biden 100% of the time but she hasn’t said a word about tonight’s debate."

Republicans need a net gain of one seat to take a simple majority in the Senate. Democrats' best pick-up opportunities are challenging races in Florida and Texas. If Republicans win all the mentioned races, they could achieve a 58-42 seat majority in the Senate.


President Joe Biden's shaky debate performance has raised significant concerns among Democrats, particularly those in down-ballot races.

Republican candidates are using this opportunity to link their Democratic opponents to Biden, potentially affecting the upcoming Senate elections.

With Republicans needing only a net gain of one seat to secure a majority, the implications of Biden's performance could be substantial for both parties in the Senate.