Democratic candidates say ‘scheduling issues’ will keep them away from Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh

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Two top Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania will skip President Joe Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh on Friday, the latest sign that his disastrous polling numbers could be disastrous in November’s midterm elections.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a leading Senate contender, and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is likely to win the party’s gubernatorial nomination, will be absent due to scheduling conflicts. , their spokespersons told The Associated Press.

It’s another hint that Biden is viewed as a liability by candidates who would otherwise benefit from the exposure and fundraising opportunities that come with a presidential visit.

And it comes in territory Biden once considered his own, playing to his “Scranton Joe” roots to win over blue-collar voters.

But this week, two major polls showed how the president’s support has plummeted.

Monmouth University and Harvard CAPS/Harris found that only 39% of voters approved of Biden’s performance in office, dropping to 54 and 61%, respectively, after he was sworn in.

President Joe Biden will visit Pittsburgh on Friday, but two top Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania will not be there – the latest to refrain from a presidential visit

Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman

Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman said he hosted a party meeting 200 miles away on Friday, while state Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro gave no reason other than a scheduling conflict.

A Monmouth University poll this week showed how Biden's numbers have fallen

A Monmouth University poll this week showed how Biden’s numbers have fallen

The numbers have Republicans licking their lips in anticipation of sizable gains in November’s midterm elections — and Democrats seemingly shunning their party’s biggest name.

Earlier this month, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, a leading gubernatorial contender in another swing state, also claimed a scheduling conflict when Biden came to town to deliver a speech on rights. of voting.

His office has yet to explain the nature of the dispute.

“Josh Shapiro is running for governor of Pennsylvania and he is focused on the issues that matter to Pennsylvania families,” spokesman Will Simons said.

Shapiro appeared with Biden three times last summer (when Biden’s numbers were above water).

But Simons didn’t provide any further details about the scheduling conflict.

“As any American should, Josh wants our President to succeed and we will continue to welcome President Biden to his home state of Pennsylvania,” he said.

Biden spent much of his youth in Scranton, Pennsylvania during the 2020 campaign.

But analysts say its tone-deaf approach to rising prices over the past year has undermined its appeal to blue-collar voters.

“Biden’s go-to image during the campaign was ‘Joe of Scranton,'” Patrick Murray, director of the independent polling institute at Monmouth University, said when unveiling his latest poll this week.

“The public now feels they have lost the connection to those working-class roots.”

Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful in Texas, has made it clear he doesn't want any help from the White House in his campaign

Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful in Texas, has made it clear he doesn’t want any help from the White House in his campaign

Last week, Beto O’Rourke, who carries the party’s hope of turning Texas blue with his gubernatorial campaign, distanced himself from the White House.

“I’m not interested in a national politician — anyone outside of Texas — coming to this state to help decide the outcome of this,” he said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

“I think we all want to make sure that we work, listen and vote with each other here in Texas.”

The party leadership in Congress gets the message.

In an interview with Politico, Steny Hoyer, the House’s third-longest-serving Democrat, is said to be undecided whether the candidates should run as “Biden Democrats.”

“I want every Democrat to come out as ‘Democrats Who Deliver,'” he said. ‘Show the folder. Indicate what has been done.

Republicans are gearing up to strike in short-ballot races.

A poll commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee gave the GOP candidates a six-point advantage due to Biden’s unpopularity, among other factors.

“If Republicans across the state continue to present themselves as the last line of defense against President Biden’s faltering leadership and promote policies that boost the economy and lower the cost of living, make their communities safer, and enable parents to have more control over their children’s education, they will have a major advantage over issues in 2022 in battleground states,’ an accompanying memo reads.

Biden’s visit was announced earlier this week.

It represents a new strategy to get the president out of Washington, to cheat victories — like the bipartisan infrastructure bill — after seeing other legislation killed by Republican opposition and Democratic infighting.

“He will talk about how far we’ve come to get our economy back on track, doing more here in America, and making sure all workers benefit,” the White House press secretary said Thursday.

“He will highlight the 367,000 manufacturing jobs our economy has created since taking office, and he will highlight the vital role the federal government can play in bringing workers and businesses together.”

Fetterman, whose campaign headquarters is in Pittsburgh, told The Associated Press he was already scheduled to attend the Democratic State Committee meeting that begins Friday night 200 miles away in Harrisburg.

“It’s great that President Biden is coming to Pittsburgh to talk about infrastructure,” he said.

“It’s great to come to the city that helped build America to talk about rebuilding America.”

However, one of his primary opponents, Rep. Conor Lamb, will be in Pittsburgh, according to his office.

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