The Lead

Biden to visit Philadelphia on Friday as Dems gather to plot midterm strategy

By: - March 10, 2022 12:19 pm

President Joe Biden addresses a gathering of county commissioners in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, 2/15/22 (Screen Capture)

President Joe Biden will visit Philadelphia on Friday, where he’s slated to address U.S. House Democrats during an issues retreat, the White House has said.

The visit comes during the same week that Biden announced a U.S. ban on Russian oil, warning Americans of pain at the pump, even as gas prices have soared past $4-a-gallon. With control of Congress on the line, Democrats are expected to spend their two-day confab in Philadelphia plotting out a policy agenda that will resonate with voters heading into the thick of the 2022 campaign season, Politico reported.

The visit to a key battleground state comes at a precipitous time for both Biden and Democrats.

As has been the case across the rest of the nation, Biden has seen his numbers sag in a state that sent him to the White House in 2020.

About three in 10 registered voter respondents to this month’s Franklin & Marshall poll said Biden was doing either an “excellent” or “good” job as president, which is a slide from his 44 percent rating in June, and 41 percent rating in August. Biden’s current approvals matches those of former President Donald Trump, but are lower than Biden’s old boss, President  Barack Obama,  at the same in their respective administrations.

The poll also contains another troubling number for Democrats in an election year in which the party in power traditionally loses seats on Capitol Hill.

A third of the respondents (35 percent) to the poll of 490 registered voters say they’re worse off financially than they were a year ago — the highest such number in five years.

Another warning shot: A third of self-identified Democratic respondents (35 percent) and 40 percent of self-identified independents told F&M pollsters that they believed the state was headed in the wrong direction. That number ran highest among self-identified Republicans (82 percent), the Capital-Star previously reported.

More registered voters also told F&M pollsters that  they’ll support a GOP congressional candidate (42 percent) than a Democrat (38 percent). That’s a marked swing from 2018, when voters said, 42-35 percent, that they intended to support a Democrat over a Republican congressional candidate.

Parsing the results, Pennsylvania voters seem “deeply frustrated, particularly about economic issues, and are mostly dissatisfied with the job President Biden is doing as president,” pollsters said, adding that “these judgments will play an important role in Pennsylvanian’s voting behaviors in the 2022 mid-term elections. And they suggest the electoral current is running pretty strongly in favor of the Republican Party at  the moment.”

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.