Democrats facing an uphill battle in midterms are hoping to resurrect former President Donald Trump as a political “villain” to inspire their supporters to come out and vote.
“We still have a villain. We’ll have to remind people of what that was like. And that sure scares the hell out of me,” Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) told Politico.
“For God’s sake, how did we get to the point where … the base voters are so mad about two of our own senators, rather than Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump and Jan. 6? That is a tremendously mismanaged situation,” he added, likely referring to Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona who have stifled leftist parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
In the 10 most recent polls done on the generic ballot, Republicans have beaten Democrats on eight. The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of the last 10 polls has the GOP leading Democrats by 3.5 points. In an appearance on Fox Business last week, RCP co-founder Tom Bevan predicted that Democrats were heading for a “wipeout” in 2022.
“The number that jumped out to me from the Harvard/Harris poll was the generic Congressional ballot, Republicans leading by 6 points. But among independents, leading by 18 percentage points on the question of ‘if the election were held today would you vote for Republican or Democrat?’ That is a massive, national number,” Bevin said, referring to a Harvard-Harris poll conducted late last month.
“You’ve got to think in swing districts, that number is even more lopsided in the Republicans’ favor,” he added. “Those are wipeout numbers. Those are really catastrophic numbers for the Democrats. They’ve got to do something to turn that around or they’re going to lose big in November.”
Democrats are hoping to run against Trump again, despite him being out of the White House and off the ballot. Democrats believe they can fend off the worst of the GOP’s growing electoral wave if they are able to drag Republicans down with voters’ unfavorable views of Trump, harnessing the power of “fear” to propel them to victory.
“One of the things that motivates voters is fear, and a lot of this is causing a lot of fear among not just Democrats but also rational individuals everywhere,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) told Politico.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) added: “If the Democrats lose the majority … then people are going to truthfully get away with stuff unimaginable.”
The Biden administration has overseen multiple crises during the first half of his first term, from a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 American service members dead, to rising prices across the U.S. on everything from fuel to food. The administration is bracing again for a resurgence in illegal immigration over the southern border in response to scrapping Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows the U.S. to effectively block migrants from entering the country.