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Biden hails “good day’ for democracy

President Joe Biden has declared the Democrats “had a strong night” in the United States midterm elections in his first public remarks since polls closed.

November 10, 2022
By AAP
10 November 2022

Buoyed by midterm elections in which his fellow Democrats fared better than expected, United States President Joe Biden says poll day was good for democracy but the results showed Americans remain frustrated.

“It was a good day, I think, for democracy,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

White House officials have expressed a sense of vindication that Democrats did better than expected after Biden focused his campaign pitch largely on preventing threats to US democracy, securing abortion rights and extolling his economic policies.

Republicans made modest gains in US midterm elections and are likely to take control of the House of Representatives but control of the Senate hinges on three races that remained too close to call on Wednesday afternoon.

Biden said he was prepared to work with Republicans.

“The American people have made clear, I think, that they expect Republicans be prepared to work with me as well,” he said.

Biden said he would veto efforts to pass a national ban on abortion and opposed tax cuts for the wealthy, two policy proposals Republicans might pursue.

He said when he returns from a trip to Asia he will invite Democratic and Republican leaders to the White House to discuss priorities going forward.

Biden said he expects to decide early next year whether he will seek re-election for another four-year term.

He repeated that he intends to run for office again but that it was a family decision and he would seek their consultation over the holidays.

“I am a great respecter of fate,” Biden told reporters. 

Two thirds of midterm voters – including 43 per cent of Democrats – would prefer that Biden not seek re-election in 2024, according to exit polling conducted by Edison Research. 

Ninety percent of Republican voters do not think he should run, the poll found.

While final results in several races were not in yet, Democrats may have held onto control of the Senate and have narrowed expected losses in the House, bucking historical trends for the party of a new president.

“President Biden will and should run for re-election and he’ll win,” Democratic strategist Jennifer Holdsworth told Reuters.

“He has led a tremendously successful administration and the American people recognise that. 

“Republicans and pundits alike continue to underestimate him at their own peril.” 

Another Democratic strategist, Karen Finney, said the midterm result should mean Biden “gets all the time he wants to decide” on what to do about 2024.

Biden may have to do some convincing to get voters to warm to the idea.

The White House had crafted a message casting Republicans as extremists planning to take away women’s rights and defund popular social programs, even as some pundits suggested focusing more on the economy.

Some strategists were also crediting Vice President Kamala Harris for her campaign work and pushing the message of reproductive rights despite harsh criticism of the strategy.

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