Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted Sunday that “Democrats will lose” the midterm elections should the cycle prove to be a referendum on President Joe Biden.
A panel on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” discussed strategies of Democrats and Republicans in winning the midterm elections in November. Psaki said Democrats must focus on the “extreme” candidates and lawmakers in the Republican Party to have any hope of winning, particularly due to the president’s approval ratings.
“I think that, Democrats, if the election is about who is the most extreme, as we saw [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy touch on there with Marjorie Taylor Greene … sitting over his left side, then they’re gonna win,” Psaki said. “If it is a referendum on the president, they will lose and they know that.”
The former press secretary, who left the White House in May, told the panel that crime is a “one of the biggest vulnerabilities” hanging over Democrats in a handful of races, particularly in the Pennsylvania Senate race. She added that crime is a significant issue facing Democratic candidates in all races in the upcoming election. (RELATED: Psaki Dodges On Why Americans Feel Unsafe Under Biden)
“They also know that crime is a huge vulnerability for Democrats — I would say one of the biggest vulnerabilities — and if you look at Pennsylvania, for example, what’s been interesting to me is … you follow the money and ‘where are people spending money?’”
“And in Pennsylvania, the Republicans have been spending millions of dollars on the air on crime ads against [Senate candidate John] Fetterman, because that’s where they see his vulnerability. So yes, the economy is hanging over everything, but you do have to look at state by state factors and crime is a huge issue in the Pennsylvania race.”
Biden’s approval ratings have reached historic lows in multiple polls throughout the majority of his presidency. An ABC/Washington Post poll released Sunday found the president’s approval ratings sinking below 40%, with 39% approving of his job performance and 53% disapproving.
In July, the president’s approval ratings hit a record low of 31%, as Americans disapproved of his handling of the war in Ukraine, the economy and gun violence.
While serving as press secretary, Psaki told Today News Africa White House correspondent Simon Ateba in April that approval ratings remained low as Americans struggled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising gas prices.