Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Washington — Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Sunday that Democrats must continue to push their closing messages to voters in the final days of the midterm election cycle as they fight to convince the electorate that the Democratic Party should maintain their hold on the House and Senate.

“We have seen a record number of people turn out in the early vote, but we still have an election on Tuesday, and we cannot let up until this election is over,” Bottoms told “Face the Nation.” Bottoms now serves as senior adviser to the president for public engagement, but was appearing in her personal capacity.

Nearly 39 million Americans in 47 states have already cast their ballots, and a host of political heavyweights hit the campaign trail this weekend to stump for their respective party’s candidates. 

In Pennsylvania, which has one of the most closely watched Senate races, President Biden and former President Barack Obama appeared together to drum up support for Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman and gubernatorial hopeful Josh Shapiro, while former President Donald Trump held a rally for Republican Senate nominee Dr. Memhet Oz and Shapiro’s opponent, Doug Mastriano.

Obama has also traveled to Nevada, Wisconsin and Georgia to campaign for Democrats on the ballot, while Trump has held in-person and virtual rallies in Iowa and Arizona. Mr. Biden, meanwhile, has generally refrained from appearing alongside Democratic Senate candidates in tough battleground races, where Republicans have sought to tie record inflation and the state of the economy to the president and his policies.

While Democrats have been able to pass major pieces of legislation such as their climate, health care and tax package, COVID relief and an infrastructure plan while in control of Congress, many top Democrats have said those legislative achievements have not been communicated well to voters.

In addition, efforts to protect voting rights and police reform stalled despite Democrats’ majorities in both chambers.

But Bottoms stressed that Democrats’ narrow margins in the Senate, where each party holds 50 seats and Vice President Kamala Harris casts tie-breaking votes, and in the House have been a roadblock. 

“It’s been a very difficult couple of years. We have been in the midst of a pandemic. There’s been a lot of misinformation flooding the airwaves. We see it in ways not just on television, but we’re seeing it through YouTube, we’re seeing it on other social media platforms,” she said. “It is more difficult to get the message out, but I’m sitting here today getting the message out. This administration, Democrats in Congress have delivered for the American people, and to turn back the clock and not allow us to keep pushing through will be devastating for people across America.”

She said voters should elect more Democrats to Congress to pass voting rights legislation and protect abortion access.

“That’s the message that we will continue to push out, not just through Election Day, but beyond, because we know that elections happen quite frequently, and we can’t have people so discouraged that they think their votes don’t matter,” Bottoms said.

Despite Democrats’ warnings of what is at stake this election, Republicans are positioned to win a majority of seats in the House, according to the CBS News Battleground Tracker. Crucial Senate contests, such as Pennsylvania and Nevada, have also narrowed.

Bottoms noted that while Mr. Biden has pledged to work across the aisle, in the event Republicans gain control of Congress, a GOP-majority would effectively lead to two years of partisan gridlock.

“The American people want us to be able to get things done, but when you have Republicans say that they will pull back aid to Ukraine, that their entire platform is based on doing what Joe Biden doesn’t want done, that’s not what the American people want,” she said. “We want progress in this country, and we want leaders who believe in democracy. We don’t want leaders who deny elections.”



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