Priorities USA chair warns that failure to tout Biden policies will cost Democrats in 2022
The chair of the largest Democratic super PAC urged his party on Thursday to go all-in on a sweeping voter persuasion and mobilization effort ahead of next year’s midterm elections, warning that a failure to sufficiently sell President Biden’s policy achievements could prove devastating for Democrats in 2022.
In an online briefing with reporters, Priorities USA chair Guy Cecil said that Democrats will have to invest heavily next year in digital programs geared toward galvanizing their support among suburban voters, voters of color and those new Democratic voters who cast their ballots for Biden in 2020.
“If Democrats don’t spend big resources online communicating to new Biden voters, we will lose in 2022,” Cecil said. “We will lose the House, we will lose the Senate, we will lose governor’s races.”
Those three groups — suburban voters, voters of color and new Biden voters — proved decisive in handing Democrats the White House in 2020, Cecil said, and many of them remain motivated even after a long and bitter election year.
A post-election survey conducted by Priorities found that new Biden voters were 9 points more likely than new voters who cast their ballots for former President Trump last year to vote in state and local elections in 2022, when the presidency will not be on the ballot.
But he also cautioned against taking those voters for granted.
“While these voters are motivated, while they believe their vote made a difference, they want to see progress,” Cecil said, later adding: “The most important thing we can do for those splitters and switchers is talk to them about delivering on the economy.”
Priorities is retooling itself in the wake of 2020 to promote Biden’s agenda as Democrats barrel toward an uncertain midterm election cycle that will act as a referendum on the party’s control of Washington.
The midterms will prove critical for both parties. Republicans need to flip only five seats in the House and one in the Senate to recapture control of Congress, meaning Democrats can’t afford to cede any ground to the GOP if they hope to retain a governing majority.
But Democrats are facing an ominous historical reality: that the president’s party typically loses seats in Congress in the first midterm following their election.
Priorities has begun an advertising campaign touting the recently signed American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that passed through Congress without any Republican support. Cecil said that Priorities plans to feature that measure heavily as it prepares for its midterm push.
“Our primary focus will be on communicating to voters either what Democrats are fighting for or what we’ve accomplished,” he said. “Sometimes that’s by legislation, sometimes that’s by executive order.”
“It will also be comparative,” he added. “In other words, promoting the American Rescue Plan … our job is to make sure that they understand that not one Republican lifted a finger to actually pass this legislation.”