Topics
Administration
Congress
Democrats
Elections
Ethics
Governor -- Alabama
Governor -- Alaska
Governor -- Arizona
Governor -- California
Governor -- Colorado
Governor -- Connecticut
Governor -- Delaware
Governor -- Florida
Governor -- Georgia
Governor -- Hawaii
Governor -- Illinois
Governor -- Indiana
Governor -- Iowa
Governor -- Kentucky
Governor -- Louisiana
Governor -- Maryland
Governor -- Massachusetts
Governor -- Michigan
Governor -- Minnesota
Governor -- Missouri
Governor -- Montana
Governor -- Nevada
Governor -- New Hampshire
Governor -- New Jersey
Governor -- New Mexico
Governor -- New York
Governor -- North Carolina
Governor -- North Dakota
Governor -- Ohio
Governor -- Oregon
Governor -- Pennsylvania
Governor -- Rhode Island
Governor -- South Carolina
Governor -- Texas
Governor -- Utah
Governor -- Vermont
Governor -- Virginia
Governor -- Washington
Governor -- Wyoming
Governors
Health Care
House
House -- Alabama -- 02
House -- Alabama -- 03
House -- Alabama -- 05
House -- Alaska
House -- Arizona -- 01
House -- Arizona -- 03
House -- Arizona -- 05
House -- Arizona -- 08
House -- Arkansas -- 01
House -- Arkansas -- 02
House -- California -- 04
House -- California -- 12
House -- California -- 26
House -- California -- 32
House -- California -- 50
House -- Colorado -- 02
House -- Colorado -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 04
House -- Connecticut -- 05
House -- Florida -- 06
House -- Florida -- 08
House -- Florida -- 13
House -- Florida -- 15
House -- Florida -- 16
House -- Florida -- 18
House -- Florida -- 19
House -- Florida -- 21
House -- Florida -- 24
House -- Florida -- 25
House -- Georgia -- 05
House -- Georgia -- 10
House -- Georgia -- 12
House -- Idaho -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 01
House -- Illinois -- 03
House -- Illinois -- 05
House -- Illinois -- 06
House -- Illinois -- 10
House -- Illinois -- 11
House -- Illinois -- 14
House -- Illinois -- 18
House -- Indiana -- 03
House -- Indiana -- 07
House -- Indiana -- 09
House -- Iowa -- 03
House -- Iowa -- 04
House -- Kansas -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 02
House -- Kentucky -- 03
House -- Louisiana -- 01
House -- Louisiana -- 02
House -- Louisiana -- 04
House -- Louisiana -- 06
House -- Maine -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 01
House -- Maryland -- 04
House -- Massachusetts -- 05
House -- Michigan -- 01
House -- Michigan -- 07
House -- Michigan -- 09
House -- Michigan -- 13
House -- Minnesota -- 01
House -- Minnesota -- 03
House -- Minnesota -- 06
House -- Mississippi -- 01
House -- Mississippi -- 03
House -- Missouri -- 09
House -- Nevada -- 02
House -- Nevada -- 03
House -- New Hampshire -- 01
House -- New Hampshire -- 02
House -- New Jersey -- 03
House -- New Jersey -- 05
House -- New Jersey -- 07
House -- New Mexico -- 01
House -- New Mexico -- 02
House -- New York -- 13
House -- New York -- 15
House -- New York -- 20
House -- New York -- 21
House -- New York -- 23
House -- New York -- 24
House -- New York -- 25
House -- New York -- 26
House -- New York -- 29
House -- North Carolina -- 03
House -- North Carolina -- 08
House -- North Carolina -- 10
House -- North Dakota
House -- Ohio -- 01
House -- Ohio -- 02
House -- Ohio -- 05
House -- Ohio -- 07
House -- Ohio -- 10
House -- Ohio -- 15
House -- Ohio -- 16
House -- Oklahoma -- 05
House -- Oregon -- 05
House -- Pennsylvania -- 03
House -- Pennsylvania -- 04
House -- Pennsylvania -- 06
House -- Pennsylvania -- 10
House -- Pennsylvania -- 11
House -- Pennsylvania -- 12
House -- Pennsylvania -- 15
House -- South Carolina -- 01
House -- South Carolina -- 02
House -- South Carolina -- 05
House -- South Dakota
House -- Tennessee -- 07
House -- Tennessee -- 08
House -- Tennessee -- 09
House -- Texas -- 07
House -- Texas -- 10
House -- Texas -- 14
House -- Texas -- 22
House -- Utah -- 03
House -- Virginia -- 01
House -- Virginia -- 05
House -- Virginia -- 09
House -- Virginia -- 11
House -- Washington -- 08
House -- West Virginia -- 02
House -- Wisconsin -- 08
House -- Wyoming
Inauguration 2009
International
Issues
Judiciary
Local Elections
Media
Miscellaneous
Morning Thoughts
Politics Weekly
Polls
Rankings
Republicans
Senate
Senate -- Alaska
Senate -- Arizona
Senate -- Arkansas
Senate -- California
Senate -- Colorado
Senate -- Connecticut
Senate -- Delaware
Senate -- Florida
Senate -- Georgia
Senate -- Idaho
Senate -- Illinois
Senate -- Indiana
Senate -- Iowa
Senate -- Kansas
Senate -- Kentucky
Senate -- Louisiana
Senate -- Maine
Senate -- Massachusetts
Senate -- Minnesota
Senate -- Mississippi
Senate -- Missouri
Senate -- Montana
Senate -- Nebraska
Senate -- Nevada
Senate -- New Hampshire
Senate -- New Jersey
Senate -- New Mexico
Senate -- New York
Senate -- North Carolina
Senate -- North Dakota
Senate -- Ohio
Senate -- Oklahoma
Senate -- Oregon
Senate -- Pennsylvania
Senate -- South Carolina
Senate -- South Dakota
Senate -- Tennessee
Senate -- Texas
Senate -- Utah
Senate -- Virginia
Senate -- Wisconsin
Senate -- Wyoming
Sports
Supreme Court
WH 08
WH 08 -- Democrats
WH 08 -- Republicans
WH 12
WH 12 -- Republicans
White House

 

« Dreier Slams Dems' Health Care 'Gymnastics' | Blog Home Page | NC Sen Poll: Democratic Primary Still Wide Open »

Biden In Demand For Vulnerable Democrats

Both President Obama and Vice President Biden were in Ohio Monday, a curious instance of the nation's top officeholders traveling on separate business to the same politically important state. While Obama was tending to his administration's battle for health care reform, Biden was making two political stops on behalf of two Democrats whose jobs may be on the line as a result of that battle - first-term Rep. Steve Driehaus and Gov. Ted Strickland.

More than a year into the administration, Biden has been tasked with a disproportionate share of the political responsibilities, earning at one point the title of "patron saint of freshman Democrats." It's hardly unusual for a vice president to be more active in party-building activities this early. But with the president's approval rating stagnant and support for his agenda slipping, might Biden ultimately be the more sought-after surrogate as the midterms heat up?

On the surface, that question seems rather silly. Even if Obama's numbers were to slip further below 50 percent, the benefits of a presidential visit, particularly as measured in dollars, cannot be surpassed. But the decision for Democrats on the ballot in 2010 is whether the potential harm outweighs the potential good. And some -- particularly the more than 40 remaining Congressmen running in districts won by John McCain in 2008 -- might prefer to keep their distance.

That's a sentiment Republicans are increasingly hoping to paint as a trend. The National Republican Senatorial Committee pointed to the fact that Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher skipped Obama's Strongsville event, while Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D), another candidate for Senate, was not acknowledged. Republicans also noted the absence of Robin Carnahan, Senate candidate in Missouri, from Obama's trip to the Show-Me State last week. Politico reported this weekend that nearly a dozen moderate Democrats demonstrated "a lack of enthusiasm for having Obama come to their districts to campaign for them."

Biden has, however, already headlined a fundraiser for Carnahan, one of more than two dozen events for candidates and incumbents, including at least 14 events for 18 House Democrats. The financial draw is certainly not the same, and Biden's numbers are hardly stronger than his boss'. But a vice presidential visit tends to be much more low-profile, making it harder for Republicans to gain the same kind of traction.

Biden has yet to appear at many public campaign events. But as the campaign heats up, he might likely be seen playing a role this fall similar to the one he did as Obama's running mate in 2008 - as the ultimate validator. In his two months on the ticket, Biden's itinerary was heavy on more rural counties carried by President Bush, full of Reagan Democrats the party wanted to win back. That kind of terrain is precisely where Democrats are most vulnerable this fall.

That Obama can fire up an audience more than Biden is hardly in doubt. But the president is increasingly seen as a polarizing figure. Large crowds for gubernatorial candidates in 2009 and for Martha Coakley this January did not translate to victories, as independents swung against the Democrats. To the extent that Biden might still have the same appeal in 2010 that he did in 2008, he'll continue to be in demand.

Of course, the relative paucity of presidential events for House incumbents in particular to this point may be tactical. As the White House leans heavily on undecided votes in their own caucus, one of the few promises they can make is that an aye vote now makes it increasingly likely Air Force One might touch down in a member's district when the going gets tougher down the road. The question is now whether such an offer would be seen as a winning proposition for Democrats facing a tough vote.