AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough

Democrats Have Been Panicking About Joe Biden. Now, They’re Panicking About the Senate.

There has been, for at least a year, speculation that Joe Biden was going to bow out or be forced out. What’s more, there have even been calls from within his own party for him to step aside and let younger, fresher leadership step in. But Biden is stubborn and won’t let anyone push him out of the way.

However, there are a lot of signs that the American public does not feel confident in his job as president, and there is a lot of grumbling that has turned into polling data showing a plurality of Americans would prefer going back to Donald Trump rather than keep Biden around.


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Democrats are worried, and there are two recent, though seemingly unrelated stories, that show the Democrats aren’t just worried about Biden, but about the Democratic Party as a whole this November – particularly where the Senate is concerned.

The current Senate map is extremely unfavorable for Senate Democrats. The most vulnerable of their numbers are up for reelection, including in Arizona, Montana, and Ohio, which are considered “toss-up” seats. Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are also up for grabs, currently listed as “Leans Democrat.” Overall, polling for Democrats across the board – from Joe Biden on down – is bad, and there are still some signs in the economy that things could get worse.

The first story that appears to be a sign Democrats are worried is Chuck Schumer tabling the Alejandro Mayorkas impeachment trial. 

In a non-election year, one would assume Schumer would allow it to come to the floor, knowing it would fail. Democrats would give passionate defenses of Mayorkas and Biden while trashing Republicans and Trump for getting in the way of real border reform. But it’s an election year, and several of Schumer’s colleagues would be asked to vote to save Mayorkas’ job – a job he’s failed at, and a job that has led to one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) issues of the election cycle, immigration.

If Schumer were confident his party would be able to hold the Senate, he would bring the Mayorkas impeachment to the floor. But that is an extremely tough vote, especially for Senators in Arizona and Nevada.

The second story is the recent slate of calls for Sonia Sotomayor to retire. Nate Silver wrote about it on Substack:

I am not the only person to bring up this touchy subject. Josh Barro has been advocating for Sotomayor to retire. And the issue has reached the mainstream: Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse have also not-so-subtly encouraged her to find the exit door.
However, I’m going to be more blunt than any of them. If you’re someone who even vaguely cares about progressive political outcomes — someone who would rather not see a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court even if you don’t agree with liberals on every issue— you should want Sotomayor to retire and be replaced by a younger liberal justice. And — here’s the mean part — if you don’t want that, you deserve what you get.
The nature of lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court — something I’d reform if for some strange reason I was tasked with rewriting the Constitution — is that we as citizens have not just the right but I’d argue the responsibility to think strategically about the justices’ age and health. Perhaps — perhaps — if the political class hadn’t seen such discussions as uncouth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg would have come under more peer pressure to retire when Barack Obama could have replaced her. Instead, of course, RBG died in the waning days of the 2020 presidential campaign, replaced on the bench by Donald Trump’s choice of Amy Coney Barrett.

Why now? Sotomayor is 70, has diabetes, and had a parent who died at a young age, Silver points out. If Biden or the Senate were not in jeopardy, the growing number of calls wouldn’t be happening right now. There would be time to look for a replacement first and ease Sotomayor out rather than suddenly call on her to step down immediately.

There is no filibustering Supreme Court nominees anymore. There is no 60-vote threshold. If the Democrats lose the Senate, there’s no way Joe Biden gets a nominee of his choice in. If Biden loses the White House, there’s no way you get a progressive nominee to replace Sotomayor. It’s a stalemate. And God forbid Democrats lose the Senate and the White House. A 7-2 Supreme Court would cause Democrats to have an absolute meltdown.

The Democrats are extremely worried about November, and it’s not just Joe Biden they’re worried about. You’ve got to wonder what their internal polling looks like if they’re acting this way.

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  1. Democrats are finally waking up to the fact that they are going to get a real hosing come November, one they most likly won’t survive, at least politicaly.

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