Next stop for Biden's agenda: The campaign trail

Bridget Bowman, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

Maloney announced last week that every House Democrat in the coming weeks would hold five events on the infrastructure and spending packages, culminating in at least 1,000 events by the end of the year. Biden has also started to travel to tout the policies.

Democratic outside groups are also becoming engaged. The group Build Back Better Together announced a $10 million effort to air TV and digital ads supporting Biden’s agenda in Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania, all critical Senate battlegrounds. House Majority Forward, the nonprofit arm of the super PAC House Majority PAC, is increasing its investment in promoting Biden’s agenda to $20 million, launching ads, mailers and field programs in battleground House districts.

“You’re seeing the Democratic side go on offense in a much, much different way than we did in 2010,” said Democratic strategist Martha McKenna, whose firm is making ads for the pro-Biden super PAC Unite the Country.

2010 rewind

Before the health care vote in 2010, then-Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s campaign conducted a poll that showed supporting the bill would end the North Dakota Democrat’s career.

“In the end, I voted for it,” Pomeroy said in a recent phone interview. He would go on to lose reelection by 10 percentage points in 2010.


“I do think that the Affordable Care Act vote had something to do with it,” Pomeroy said. “And I have no regrets whatsoever about voting for it.”

While Pomeroy supported the law, he said voters struggled to understand it amid an onslaught of attacks from Republicans and insurance companies. Pomeroy tried to defend the law in his campaign, running a TV ad that highlighted support from local hospitals and medical professionals. It didn’t work.

In a move that was emblematic of the challenge facing vulnerable Democrats navigating attacks, Pomeroy made an ad looking directly into the camera, telling voters, “I know I’ve disappointed you with a vote here or there, but you can always count on the fact that I do what I do for the right reason, for the people of North Dakota.”

Pomeroy said the ad was referring to his vote to pass the health care law. But he was optimistic that Democrats running in 2022 won’t face the same dilemma when it comes to the infrastructure and social spending packages.


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