Joe Biden’s team sees the bombshell Ohio election this week as proof that he is yet again being underestimated.
In a memo sent to the president’s allies Saturday and obtained by POLITICO, Biden’s campaign took partial credit for the results in Ohio, where voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly defeated a proposal intended to thwart abortion rights — and where the Democratic National Committee quietly invested in the race.
Democrats across the country were ecstatic by the election’s outcome, seeing it as evidence that more than a year after Roe v. Wade was struck down, voters are not any less frustrated by the elimination of abortion rights — not even in solidly red states like Ohio. Within Biden’s campaign, his aides also believe it shows that his strategy of empowering the DNC is paying off and that the party is performing strongly under his leadership.
“There are a lot of reasons we feel confident about this election, but this week alone, you’re seeing even more evidence that President Biden and Vice President Harris’ message is the right one for 2024,” wrote Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager. “Our campaign is partnering with a stronger-than-ever national party that is already investing up and down the ballot, and organizing in communities year round.”
Biden has faced low approval ratings and doubts even among voters who like him about whether he should be nominated again, sparking concerns among some Democrats about his reelection campaign. But Biden’s team views the fact that Democrats have overperformed in special elections this year as a sign that the polls are not telling the full story.
It reflects the chip-on-their-shoulder approach that Biden world has taken since 2020, when Biden was counted out in the Democratic primary by many political insiders, and again in 2022, when some news coverage predicted a red wave that never materialized.
“Democrats continue to overperform in 2023 elections. Across the board, we have seen the president’s reelection message reflect the issues generating high turnout in elections this year,” Chavez Rodriguez wrote in the memo. “That’s because Democrats have invested across the country and up and down the ballot to make sure Americans know the stakes of these races.”
She added, “Like we did in 2020 and 2022, we are already proving the prognosticators and pundits wrong again.”
Chavez Rodriguez added that volunteers marshaled by the DNC’s national distributed organizing team have this year made more than 800,000 calls and sent millions of texts in down-ballot races, including Ohio’s ballot measure, Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court race, and the mayoral race in Jacksonville, Fla.
Biden’s aides sent the memo on Saturday to donors and members of his campaign national advisory board.