Biden needs popular down-ballot Democrats to rally support for him if he's going to win in November

  • Presidential nominees generally drive voter turnout for their respective parties.

  • But with many Democrats boasting higher favorability numbers than Biden, their popularity could boost his campaign.

  • Swing-state Senate candidates like Bob Casey Jr. and Tammy Baldwin could be Biden's biggest assets.

In most presidential elections, the top-of-the-ticket candidates are the top draws for their respective parties, amassing votes that often help down-ballot candidates win close races.

But for several popular swing-state Democrats, their popularity could actually help drive turnout in support of President Joe Biden's reelection bid — a reversal of the usual presidential coattail effect.

It's a dynamic that might keep Biden in the White House for four more years. He remains locked in a close contest with former President Donald Trump in must-win swing states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Pennsylvania election

In Pennsylvania, the latest RealClearPolling average showed Trump leading Biden by a little over two points. But the more popular Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. is averaging a more robust 4.8% lead over his GOP rival, David McCormick.

Casey, an ex-state auditor general and one-time state treasurer who is seeking a fourth term, has held statewide office in Pennsylvania for decades. Such a track record gives him a connection with many voters that Biden may lack, especially in an era where ticket-splitting has become less commonplace in federal races. (One notable advantage for Biden: his decadeslong political career in Delaware made him a familiar face in the Philadelphia media market.)

In an interview with The Washington Post, Casey said he expects a tighter contest as more people become familiar with McCormick.

"The way I see it, my race is different than the president's because my opponent is not as well known as his opponent," he told the newspaper. "I think in the end we'll probably see similar numbers in both races."

Bob Casey
Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania.AP Photo/Marc Levy

Casey's race is poised to be a major draw, especially for Democratic voters who want to see the party continue controlling the US Senate. McCormick, who ran for the GOP Senate nomination in 2022, is a top recruit for the party this cycle.

And in Pennsylvania, which Biden won by one point over Trump in the 2020 election, the race could be decided by a few thousand — or a few hundred — votes.

Democratic Rep. Susan Wild, who has represented a Lehigh Valley swing district since 2018, told the Post that a solid victory in a seat like hers will be critical for the president's chances this November.

"I truly believe that Biden only wins Pennsylvania if the down-ballot people, like me, win. I strongly believe that we push him," she said.

The Wisconsin election

In Wisconsin, where he narrowly won in 2020, Biden is locked in a tight race with Trump: the RealClearPolling average in the Badger State has Trump leading the president by less than half a percentage point.

However, in two major surveys of the state's US Senate race, Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin boasted wide leads over her likely GOP opponent, Eric Hovde. A recent Quinnipiac University poll had Baldwin ahead of Hovde by 12 points, while a New York Times/Siena College poll conducted from late April through early May showed the senator up by nine points.

Baldwin's popularity in Wisconsin could also give Biden a significant lift in the state, especially with renewed enthusiasm among Democratic voters over redrawn state legislative maps, which are poised to afford the party significant gains in the upcoming election.

Read the original article on Business Insider