There's a growing sense of panic among Washington Democrats about the party's midterm election prospects, with a number of them calling on President Joe Biden to focus more heavily on domestic problems rather than the war in Ukraine.

Numerous polls show voters of both parties are overwhelmingly focused on the economy heading into November. Biden and the White House launched the year with a pledge to travel the country more to explain how the president's fiscal policies will "grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out."


However, for the past two months, Biden's attention has been consumed by coordinating the West's economic pressure campaign against Russia. John Anzalone, Biden's campaign pollster, has said publicly that the president's inability to advance his economic agenda, not to mention liberal social proposals, has forced voters into a "what have you done for me lately" mode.

"They don’t feel Democrats can get their s*** together and get things done," he told Politico. "No one’s going to sit there as a Democratic consultant and try to bulls*** you that this is anything but a really sour environment for Democrats."

Anzalone called 2022 "the worst political environment that I’ve lived through in 30 years of being a political consultant," maintaining that Democrats have the "ability" to maintain a majority in the Senate but could suffer catastrophic losses in the House.

"There’s a big difference between losing 7 and 10 seats in the House and getting your ass kicked and losing 35, 40," he added.

White House officials, cautiously avoiding Hatch Act violations that plagued the Trump administration, have avoided publicly weighing in on Democrats' midterm election hopes but argue that the administration can "walk and chew gum at the same time."

Top administration officials have spent 2022 highlighting the president's legislative victories, the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Biden is also ramping up the national tour he promised in January. The president traveled to a bioethanol plant in Menlo, Iowa, on Tuesday to discuss the administration's efforts to cut rising gas prices, and he visited North Carolina A&T State University to pressure Congress to pass a competitive manufacturing bill while simultaneously highlighting the administration's support of HBCUs.

The White House has also sought to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine for the current inflationary run, referring to elevated gas prices as "Putin's price hike."

Still, polling indicates voters are much more likely to blame Democrats and the Biden administration for historic price increases than give them credit for adding a record number of jobs to the economy in Biden's first year-plus in office. A February poll conducted by liberal firm Navigator Research shows that 40% of the country actually believes the economy has shed jobs under Biden's stewardship.

A Democrat strategist told the Daily Mail that Democrats are also "losing the blame game" on inflation.

"No one is going to have to vote on Vladimir Putin anytime soon," that person added.

Meanwhile, Biden's average approval rating has sunk back down to 40%, following a slight bump during the early days of the war in Ukraine. Even fewer people approve of Democrats in Congress, following multiple failed attempts to pass voting rights legislation, gun control measures, and the president's social spending packages.

Still, some Democrats argue that it's simply too early in the cycle to properly gauge the party's chances of holding on to its majorities.

"Most people aren't tuned into the everyday happenings in D.C., but they are understandably tuned into what's happening in their real-world lives," one senior Democratic official previously told the Washington Examiner. "We're a little over six months out, and we're talking about how everybody who wants a job can get a job right now, but the American people are frustrated — I don't think anybody is denying that — with gas prices, with inflation."

That person added that, while Republicans are hammering Biden for the current 8.5% annual inflation rate, Democrats will ramp up their targeted attacks on Republicans' lack of a "real plan" for lowering prices, specifically highlighting National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott's proposal to "tax poor people."


"Republicans are putting their foot in their mouth and highlighting what a Republican majority would look like," the official concluded. "I think that is going to be motivating for a lot of people as we get through the summer and you see more ads. [Democratic] voters will become much more enthusiastic as they tune into the election."