Vulnerable Dem incumbents move to the center in key swing states as Biden panders to far-left base

Democratic incumbent Senate candidates across the country in key battleground states are moving more and more to the center and right as polls continue to show President Biden trailing former President Trump in many key swing states.

Biden trails Trump in six battleground states with about six months to go before the election, according to Fox News polling last month, with Biden finding himself behind in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen has made it a point to tout her bipartisan credentials on the campaign trail.

“I know what Nevada families are going through,” Rosen said in her first ad launching her re-election campaign. “It’s why I first ran for Congress. And it’s why in the Senate, I’ve worked with both parties to solve problems. And always focused on making a difference in people’s lives.”


Rosen, like many other incumbent Democrats, is in a tough re-election campaign under the backdrop of historically low approval ratings for Biden, while also carrying a record of voting with the president 98.6% of the time last year, Fox News Digital reported.

“Since day one, Sen. Jacky Rosen has worked to get things done in a bipartisan way,” a Rosen campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “That’s why she’s been recognized as one of the most bipartisan and effective senators in the nation. No matter what year it is, Sen. Rosen will always be focused on bringing Republicans and Democrats together to deliver for Nevadans.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen

Longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is up for re-election in the key swing state of Pennsylvania, which Biden narrowly won in 2020 in a race he has acknowledged will be “tough.”

Casey recently distanced himself from the defund the police movement, despite recent endorsements from groups advocating that police departments be defended, and promoting a bill that would have overhauled policing practices at the height of 2020s protests and riots. 


President Joe Biden

Casey has faced strong criticism from his Republican opponent, businessman Dave McCormick, for allegedly shifting positions on key issues like immigration over the years, particularly when he is up for re-election.

The Pennsylvania Democrat has adopted a populist message on the economy, where Biden is underwater with voters, according to Fox News polling, by attacking “greedflation” – a blunt term for corporations that jack up prices and rip off shoppers to maximize profits – and trying to reframe the election-year narrative about the economy.

“Casey’s biggest vulnerability is the Biden administration,” GOP consultant Vince Galko recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Casey wins or loses based on what Biden does in the next couple of months.”

Sen. Bob Casey

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Casey campaign spokesperson Maddy McDaniel said, “Bob Casey is consistently ranked among the most effective and bipartisan senators in Washington and has worked across the aisle to create jobs and lower costs. Meanwhile, his opponent David McCormick has only worked to increase his bottom line, from outsourcing American jobs to investing in Chinese military companies.” 

In Wisconsin, Dem. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is running in a state Trump won in 2016 and narrowly lost in 2020, and she has attempted to position herself as a “pro worker” candidate who champions the needs of the working class.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin

While Baldwin often touts her relationship with Biden, she recently joined several other vulnerable Democrats and opposed the president’s unfreezing of Iranian assets in October.

“Tammy Baldwin is willing to work with and stand up to anyone if it means getting the job done for Wisconsin,” Baldwin campaign spokesperson Andrew Mamo told Fox News Digital. “She has stood up for our workers by voting to repeal President Biden’s policy that let China cheat in the solar industry and successfully pausing his Indo-Pacific trade deal, and has gone to bat for our farmers by taking on the FDA for their wrongheaded decision to allow plant-based products to use the good name of Wisconsin milk.”

Incumbent Democratic senators in Ohio and Montana are also finding themselves in close races, with the Cook Political Report labeling both a “toss up,” prompting each senator to publicly take more moderate positions.

Voting booths, man with glasses, mustache, in jacket voting

Sherrod Brown has served as a Democrat representing Ohio in the Senate since 2007 and finds himself running for re-election in a state that Trump carried by eight points in 2020 and is expected to carry again.

Brown, who carries with him a record of voting with Biden 99% of the time from 2021-2023, and 97% of the time since 2023, has broken with the president on a few issues in recent months.

Brown became only the second Democrat earlier this month to oppose Biden’s electric vehicle tax credit plan, Politico reported, and also bucked the president over his repeal of Title 42 last year. 

Brown Biden

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, running in a state that Trump carried by almost 20 points in 2020, has been described by his GOP challenger Tim Sheehy as “two-faced” during election years, and has been taking positions to the right of Biden on key issues such as immigration.

Tester recently became the first Democrat in the Senate to back the Laken Riley Act, which would require federal officials to arrest illegal immigrants charged with certain crimes like burglary, similar to the illegal immigrant alleged to have killed the 22-year-old Georgia nursing student for whom the bill is named.

Tester has publicly criticized Biden’s handling of the border and recently secured over $10 million to support law enforcement in Montana. 

“Jon Tester does what’s right for Montana. President Trump signed more than 20 of his bills into law, including to help veterans, crack down on government waste and abuse, and support our first responders, and Jon stood up to President Biden by demanding action be taken to secure our border and protect Montana’s way of life,” Tester campaign spokesperson Monica Robinson told Fox News Digital. “That’s why Jon has been ranked one of the most effective U.S. senators of either party.”

While incumbent Democrats across the country move to the middle and pitch themselves as pragmatic problem solvers who work across the aisle, Biden faces accusations of moving even further to the left on issues such as the conflict between Israel and Hamas and student loan handouts. 

Biden has faced criticism, including from his own donors, over threatening to delay weapons shipments to Israel if they continue a military campaign to rid Hamas from the city of Rafah, Gaza. Republicans have alleged that Biden is siding with progressive activists in his own party in an attempt to win over voters in key swing areas like Dearborn, Michigan, rather than give full support to Israel. 

Sen. Jon Tester

Biden has made a noticeable effort in recent months to win back his Democratic base by holding events with progressives such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in April and issuing a “flurry of left-leaning policy announcements,” according to Axios. 

Biden continues to be plagued by historically low approval numbers and low popularity in key swing states as Republicans grow more and more optimistic about taking back control of the Senate, which Democrats currently hold 51-49.

Polling this week shows that Democratic incumbents, or likely nominees, in the Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Senate races all lead their respective GOP opponents, or hypothetical opponents, with less than six months to go until the general election in November, but the president trails Trump in almost every single battleground state, often by a significant margin.

The Associated Press and Fox News Digital’s Aubrie Spady contributed to this report


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