Politics & Policy

Biden Brushes Off Concerns about Tightening Virginia Race: ‘We’re Going to Win’

President Biden speaks during a press conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 2, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Biden dismissed concerns about the tightening gubernatorial race in Virginia on Tuesday, telling reporters: “We’re going to win.”

During a press conference Biden held before departing the U.K.’s climate summit in Glasgow, a reporter noted that Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is struggling in Virginia, where Biden defeated Donald Trump by ten points, and asked the president if he believes McAuliffe’s struggles are a “rebuke” of his presidency and if it could be a harbinger for losses to come in the midterms next year. 

“We’re going to win,” Biden said. “I think we’re going to win.”

“We knew from the beginning this is going to be a tight race and it is tight,” he added. “It’s going to get down to turnout.”

He also expressed confidence that Democrats will win the New Jersey gubernatorial election, in which Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy is facing off against Jack Ciattarelli, a former Assembly member and small businessman. If Murphy wins, he will become the first Democrat to be reelected as the state’s governor in 44 years. 

Biden then brushed off concerns that his failure to pass his “Build Back Better” agenda has hurt McAuliffe, who now trails behind Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin in the RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight polling averages.

“I’ve not seen any evidence whether or not I’m doing well or poorly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda passed or not is going to have any real impact on winning or losing,” he said, adding that even if his agenda had passed he wouldn’t claim Democrats won because his agenda passed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) again delayed a vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill last week after progressives refused to support the measure amid a political stalemate over the party’s larger reconciliation bill. The delay came after Biden revealed a new, pared-down framework for his social spending package — the initial proposal for the reconciliation bill was estimated to cost $3.5 trillion but has since been reduced to $1.75 trillion.

Progressives demanded to see the final reconciliation bill text before agreeing to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill, dealing a massive blow to Biden, who had hoped to score a policy win as he headed to Europe last week to address the Group of 20 and a United Nations climate summit. 

Meanwhile, a new ABC News/IPSOS poll revealed this week that many Americans are not so keen on Democrats’ spending binge after all.

Just 25 percent of Americans believe the massive social-spending package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill would help them if they became law, while 32 percent believe the spending bills would hurt people like them, the poll found. Nearly 18 percent think the bills would make no difference.

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