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1) Republicans Win Big In Virginia
The Topline: Last night, in a stunning result, Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost the Virginia Governor’s race to Republican Glenn Youngkin. The election was considered by many to be a referendum on the Biden presidency and a bellwether for future elections.
Quote Of The Day: “You see what happens in Virginia will in large part, determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.”
– Vice President Kamala Harris
Glenn Youngkin Shocks Democrats
Just one year ago, Democrats won Virginia by ten points, and the state hasn’t gone blue in a presidential race since 2004.
Youngkin dominated in rural counties, as expected, but the real story was his performance in the suburbs. One CBS exit poll had him winning with suburban voters 53-47, and that held true throughout the night.
Chesterfield County was plus 7 for Biden a year ago. Last night, it was plus ten for Youngkin. In Virginia Beach, Biden won by 5 points. Last night, Youngkin won by almost 20 points.
Republican Jason Miyares won the Attorney General race, and Republican Winsome Sears won the Lt. Governor’s election. She’ll now be the first woman of color to hold statewide office in Virginia.
Looking Ahead: Virginia gives Republican hopefuls nationwide a blueprint for success. It shows education and the economy are two winning issues with swing voters.
2) Biden’s Approval Numbers Plunge
The Topline: New polling numbers show President Joe Biden’s approval numbers dropping, with the Republican Party leading by double digits across a vast number of crucial issues for voters.
A majority of Americans now disapprove of Biden’s job performance. Based on the latest national NBC poll, 54% disapprove of Biden’s performance, with only 42% approving. This marks a pretty massive drop since April, when Biden was in positive territory.
The shift appears to have happened in August, when 49% approved and 48% disapproved, around the time of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
71% of Americans say the country is heading in the wrong direction under Biden — an 8% increase since August.
Almost half of Democrats think the country is on the wrong track.
40% approve and 57% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.
Polling shows Americans think the Republican Party is better suited than the Democratic Party on a range of important issues.
Americans give Republicans double digit leads when it comes to who can better handle: border security, inflation, crime, national security, and “getting things done.”
Biden and the Democratic Party lead in education, COVID, and climate change, but there have also been drops within those categories.
On Sunday, a new ABC/Ipsos poll found that Democrats are failing to sell their legislation to the American public, with around 7 in 10 saying they know just some or little to nothing about what’s in both spending packages.
President Biden Says: “The polls are gonna go up and down and up and down…Look at every other president, the same thing has happened. But that’s not why I ran. I didn’t run to determine how well I’m gonna do in the polls.”
3) Manchin Stalls ‘Build Back Better’ Plan
The Topline: President Joe Biden’s hopes of pushing through his agenda by passing the “Build Back Better” act appear to have stalled after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) reiterated his concerns over the size and cost of the bill.
Quote Of The Day: “I will not support a reconciliation package that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our $29 trillion in national debt …”
Manchin Stands Firm
Officially, Senator Manchin is still making up his mind on the reconciliation package. But he continues to raise the same objections he’s had to the bill, including how it will add to the national debt and create new social welfare entitlements as programs.
The senator said the president’s handling of the Build Back Better bill is holding up a bill most Americans support — the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework — and he called on Congress to vote on it, instead of demanding it be passed with the larger reconciliation package.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki famously said the cost of the “Build Back Better” bill would be zero.
The White House advertises the cost as $1.75 trillion, but independent analysts say the bill will cost between $3.8 and $4 trillion.
The Congressional Budget Office also claims the White House is doubling the amount of revenue it will raise through harsher IRS tax enforcement.
The bill sets the goal of abolishing the State And Local Tax cap — or the SALT tax — but then it counts the revenue raised by the SALT tax toward the cost of the bill.
The Penn Wharton Budget Model estimates the bill will pay for around half of its total cost — and will add more than $2 trillion to the national debt.
White House Responds
President Biden didn’t address Senator Manchin’s comments when he was questioned about them yesterday in Scotland.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released a statement defending the administration’s accounting methods and saying 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists believe the bill will reduce inflation by cutting the costs people pay for things like childcare.
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