On its face, Pres. Biden’s low job approval rating should sink most Democratic candidates in battleground swing states or congressional districts. The FiveThirtyEight.com tracker puts Biden’s approval rating at 42.8 percent, while the Real Clear Politics average shows Biden at 43.3 percent. A president’s job approval rating is closely correlated with the congressional vote. If you think the president is doing a good job, you will probably vote for a federal candidate from their party. If you think he’s doing a bad job, well, odds are that you’ll vote for the opposite party. So, the more unpopular the president, the harder it is for a candidate from the president’s party to prevail.

Presidents Obama and Trump had similarly weak job approval ratings going into the 2018 and 2014 midterms. In both cases, their party lost not only seats in Congress but also lost one branch of Congress (the House flipped to Democrats in 2018 and Republicans won the Senate in 2010).

But, with the election less than a month away, statewide Democratic candidates continue to outpace Biden’s poor ratings

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