Biden's Oil Stance Jars Democrats In Tough Races

Joe Biden's vow to phase out the oil industry at Thursday's debate creates a problem for Democratic candidates in red-leaning states and swing House districts as it gives Republicans an opening to tie them to their party’s left wing.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in April of last year that he wanted to make the 2020 election “a referendum on socialism.”

That strategy ran into a big problem when Democrats nominated Biden, a candidate who developed a reputation as a moderate during his decades in Washington, for president.

Now Biden’s blunt affirmation that “yes” he “would transition” when asked by President Trump on Thursday whether he would “close down the oil industry,” gives Republican candidates ammo.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said Biden’s statement is also a liability for Democratic candidates in Western Pennsylvania, such as Rep. Conor Lamb, and running for three Republican toss-up seats in Texas: the 21st, the 22nd, and the 24th congressional districts.

“In Western Pennsylvania where you have some battles for the Conor Lamb seat and others, it’s going to put them on the defensive. It holds a special resonance in Western Pennsylvania because [the energy industry] is what helped bring back that area after it was hard hit in the early nineties,” he said.

O’Connell said Biden “drew attention to something that he had been doing a good job deflecting on in terms of assuaging people’s fears,” referencing GOP attempts to tie Biden to bold liberal proposals to respond to climate change.  

Read more from Alexander Bolton at The Hill

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published this page in In The News 2020-10-26 10:43:50 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy