US midterms: is it still the economic, stupid? – podcast | News

The midterm elections are usually bad news for the party in power. Voters often view them as a referendum on the president’s performance – and the state of the economy. So Democrats went into the campaign fearing the worst.

As the Guardian’s Washington correspondent Lauren Gambino tells Michael Safi, the Democratic party has learned the hard way to keep its election campaigns laser-focused on the economy. ‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ a slogan used in Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, has resonated down the ages. But Democrats have spent much of the past few months campaigning on women’s rights after the seismic supreme court decision removing the constitutional right to abortion. And Joe Biden used his final major speech of the campaign to warn voters of the threat to democracy itself.

Democrats go into these elections lagging in the polls and it’s left some hardened campaigners, such as Bernie Sanders, wondering if the party has neglected its most famous mantra. When it comes down to what Americans care about most in the voting booth, it is still the economy, stupid?

Photograph: Mark Makela/Getty Images

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