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Joe Biden predicts Democratic odds will improve


US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on deficit reduction from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, October 21, 2022.

Sarah Silbiger | Reuters

President Joe Biden predicted on Friday that voters would swing back in favor of the Democrats in the remaining weeks before the midterm elections as worries about the economy eased.

“Back and forth, with them ahead, us ahead, them ahead, back and forth. The polls have been everywhere,” Biden said, speaking at the White House. “I think we’re going to see one more change on our side in the last few days.”

Democrats hope to retain their majority in both houses of Congress for the final two years of Biden’s first term. The party clings to a slim majority in the House and holds the slimmest advantage possible in a Senate split 50-50 by party.

Polls have recently favored Republicans as concerns about the economy eclipsed abortion. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday found voters favoring Republican control of Congress by a margin of 4 percentage points.

The discrepancy, which was within the survey’s margin of error, marked a change from a month ago, when Democrats were favored to control Congress.

The poll found that economic issues such as the stock market and jobs were top of mind for voters, with 26% saying it was their biggest concern, followed by inflation at 18% and abortion and immigration at 5% each.

Biden’s approval in general and his handling of the economy rose in the third-quarter CNBC All-America economic survey released Thursday, each improving by 10 percentage points from the last poll in July. The survey found that respondents preferred Republicans over Democrats to control Congress by a margin of 2 percentage points. The advantage was within the survey’s margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

The CNBC survey also found Republicans scored higher on voters’ preference for economic issues, with double-digit leads on questions of who would do a better job of reducing inflation, managing taxes, manage deficits and create jobs.

But Biden, speaking of the federal deficit dropping to $1.38 trillion in fiscal year 2022 from the 2021 deficit of $2.78 trillion as pandemic-era spending waned, pointed out that the economic tides were changing.

“Let me tell you why,” Biden said. “I think we’re starting to see some of the good news on the economy. Gas prices are down sharply in 46 out of 50 states because of what I’ve done. We’re moving in the right direction and there’s no more coming.”

Biden argued that the Republican proposals would further increase the deficit and that the United States was only beginning to feel the effects of his economic policies.

“The election is not a referendum, it’s a choice,” Biden said. “Republicans can criticize my economic record, but look what I inherited and what I did. Look what they offer.”

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