Republican wins on hot button topics such as abortion and former President Donald Trump have “enthused” and “engaged” a lackluster Democratic electorate, according to a former White House official.
Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden’s former press secretary, made her first appearance on MSNBC Tuesday since being hired by the network and claimed Trump and abortion restrictions have energized the electorate.
“Appearing on ‘Alex Wagner Tonight,’ on Tuesday evening, Psaki claimed the Democratic Party has flipped from being unexcited about the upcoming elections at the beginning of the year, to now being ‘engaged’ and wanting to ‘participate’ in the races.”
“I mean if you look back on the NBC poll from back in January, Democrats were not that into the midterms, you know? They just weren’t that into it,” Psaki said. “It’s gone up by 20 percentage points almost, the excitement and enthusiasm for participating. That is largely related to Dobbs, largely related to women across the country, young women across the country, and even men being scared of a woman’s right to choose being taken away from them.”
New York Times political analyst Nate Cohn recently wrote that Democratic mid-term polling could be a “mirage.”
“That warning sign is flashing again: Democratic Senate candidates are outrunning expectations in the same places where the polls overestimated [President] Biden in 2020 and [Hillary] Clinton in 2016,” he wrote in Monday’s newsletter.
Wagner cited Cohn’s newsletter, asking Psaki how she thought Democrats would fare in roughly 60 days.
“Usually the midterms are a check on power and yet the biggest piece of sort of powerful policy change has come as a result of the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs,” Wagner said. “And in many ways, these midterms may end up being a referendum on Republican power more so than Democratic power.”
Psaki agreed, saying Republican pro-life policies may be an “animating factor” for Democratic voters ahead of the election.
“To your point, it’s largely flipped now, where people are saying the anger is among the members of the Democratic Party, which is the party in power, which is so rare for that to be the case,” Psaki said. “People are enthused, they’re engaged, they wanna get out and vote, they wanna participate in the process, and many Democrats, women, independents who were not that excited, were going to be in their jammies on election night as of a few months ago, they don’t want their rights to be taken away. And that has been a huge factor that has changed the dynamics of the race.”
Referring to former President Trump as a “figurehead in the Republican Party and in national politics,” Wagner said his influence could have an effect on Democratic voters, as well.
“Well nothing’s more of a driving and excitement factor like Donald Trump for Democrats, right?” Psaki said. “I mean they love to be opposed to him, ‘cause they are. Um, independents, many don’t want to see another reign of Trump. The more he engages in the race, the more he puts himself out there, the more it’s a reminder of what’s at stake to people. And having Trump on the ballot is a hugely energizing factor in a lot of these races.”
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