The chairs of the Republican Senate and governors reelection committees say the policies being pushed by President Biden and congressional Democrats are increasingly unpopular and they argue that will benefit the GOP as the party tries to regain majorities in the House and Senate and increase its number of governorships in the 2022 midterm elections.
"I think it's clear that Biden's honeymoon is over. It was pretty short," Sen. Rick Scott of Florida told reporters on Monday.
Pointing to the results of a new poll commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the Republican Governors Association (RGA), the NRSC chair charged that Americans are "rejecting Biden and the Democrats’ increasingly radical agenda."
Scott touted the results of the survey, which was conducted in 26 battleground states with key Senate and gubernatorial races next year. The partisan poll indicated a majority see the country on the wrong path, are concerned about the massive government spending proposals being pushed by the Biden administration and congressional Democrats, and, by a slight majority, blame the president’s polices for the rise in inflation.
Scott said Americans "are scared to death over what’s happening to inflation" and argued that "the Biden agenda and the Democrats’ agenda is not popular."
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, the RGA chair, pointed to the poll as he spotlighted that "independents see country going the wrong direction."
Highlighting what he called the Democrats "reckless spending," Ducey said that "these are things we’re in a position to point out and we’re going to continue to amplify."
Both Scott and Ducey also looked to the partisan fight over critical race theory as an issue that will benefit the GOP at the ballot box.
"Last election cycle socialism helped Republicans. I think this time critical race theory is an absolute disaster for the Democrats, " Scott argued.
Discussing critical race theory, Ducey said, "I think most people see as wrongheaded and unnecessary in our K-12 education system."
Critical race theory aims to combat racism by emphasizing that systemic racism is part of American society and takes aim at the beliefs that allow the nation to exist. It has become the latest cultural flashpoint, as Republican governors and lawmakers across the country move to prevent it from being taught in schools.
The Senate is currently split 50-50 between the two major parties, but hold a razor-thin majority in the chamber due to the tie breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris through her constitutional role as president of the Senate.
Republicans are defending 20 of the 34 seats up for grabs in next year’s midterm elections – including trying to protect five open seats where GOP incumbents are retiring. But they see strong pickup opportunities in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and New Hampshire.
Looking to the midterms, Scott predicted that "as long as we get our message out, raise our money and get good candidates, going to have a hell of a ’22."
But Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee communications director David Bergstein, pointing to Senate Republican opposition to much of the Biden agenda, charged that "here's the Republican agenda: blocking the checks and vaccines that helped Americans recover from the coronavirus, refusing to crack down on China in order to protect American jobs, and continuing their campaign to spike health care costs while slashing coverage protections for those with preexisting conditions."
And he argued that "real, independent polls have confirmed the GOP record on these issues is toxic with voters – and they'll hold every GOP candidate accountable."
Two states – New Jersey and Virginia – hold gubernatorial contests this November, with 36 states holding elections for governor next year. Put another way – nearly 85% of Americans will have the opportunity to vote for governor this year and in 2022.
The GOP controls 27 of the 50 governorships, but more Americans live in states with a Democrat as governor. At least a dozen of the gubernatorial showdowns are currently considered by political pundits to be competitive.
Ducey highlighted that "we have 16 strong incumbents that we’re going to be protecting, but we see real pick-up opportunities in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, as well as opportunities in Nevada, Colorado and Connecticut. So it’s a map that favors us. The direction of the country favors us."