President Joe Biden will swing through Southern California Thursday and Friday to stump for Democratic House candidates in crucial elections, hoping to reverse the tide of Republican advancement in the races, and to help solidify the races before election day on Tuesday.
While the President is expected to make remarks at several events, the focus will be encourage voting in the 2022 election at an event at MiraCosta College in Oceanside and to support Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA) at an event in San Diego. Democrats hope that the late Presidential visit, only days before election day, will encourage Democrats to vote amid large GOP gains in recent days.
Like a growing number of races in California as well as across the Country, the race between Congressman Levin and the former Republican Mayor of San Juan Capistrano Brian Maryott has shifted in the last couple of weeks. Initially seen as a solid Democrat district, the 49th District, which sits in Northern San Diego County and Southern Orange County, saw a sharp rise in support for Maryott. With the race now considered a toss-up, Democrats have been clamoring for rock-solid support to help turn the tides for the Democrats in a race that experts say they can’t afford to lose.
“Not only is every House race valuable to the Democrats this year, but they do not want to lose ground in California at all costs,” explained Pamela Cooper-Roth, a political strategist based out of Southern Maryland, to the Globe on Thursday. “If California loses seats again, it could show the world that California had peaked Blue and is now shifting back on a more conservative bend. I mean, it’s a long way from where it was in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s when it comes to the number of Republicans in office there, but a mix of questionable policies, rising crime, economic worry, a bad tax situation, misjudging Latino voters as being a solid blue base and a lot of other factors, are really challenging California’s place as being solidly blue now. Biden visiting there, out of anywhere else in the country, including in huge races in Georgia and Arizona and his home state of Pennsylvania, is really sending a message about the importance of California.”
The effect of Biden campaigning this late for crucial House race candidates in CA
Throughout the fall, both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have made several visits to California to boost up Democratic candidates. Most notably, Biden visited Orange County a few weeks ago at an event for Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA). While promoted heavily, the visit did little to help Porter, who has wound up rapidly losing ground to her GOP opponent Scott Baugh, with the race itself, like Levin’s, being shifted from leaning Democrat to becoming a toss-up.
This inability by Biden to help turn these races around has been lampooned by Republicans in the state. In a statement on Thursday concerning Biden’s San Diego visit, RNC spokesperson Hallie Balch noted, “Republicans gladly welcome Joe Biden to San Diego for his campaign stop with Mike Levin, which will be a boon for the GOP and remind voters to choose Brian Maryott on November 8th. The Biden-Levin agenda has been a complete failure for California families and Biden’s visit with Levin keeps the record of failure fresh in Californians’ minds.”
Political experts also noted the less than stellar performance of the visiting Biden.
“The President is kind of unpopular now,” added Cooper Roth. “Only 42% of the Country approves of the job he is doing, and that means many Democrats and people in the center, along with the vast majority of Republicans. If he is trying to bring out the vote, there is prestige to the Presidency. But if he is this unpopular, there’s a question if this really do all that much.”
President Biden’s visit will be the last major stumping in the Golden State by Biden or Harris prior to the election on Tuesday.
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