In The News

Biden’s Signature Bills Are Pumping Billions Into Swing States — But Will It Make A Difference In November?

https://dailycaller.com/

President Joe Biden’s signature pieces of legislation are routing billions of dollars into swing states, but pundits are not convinced that the money will make much difference in November’s elections.

The bipartisan infrastructure law of 2021, the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have cumulatively routed billions of dollars to battleground states over the course of Biden’s first term. The Biden campaign is running swing state ads to promote the funding and projects that Biden’s legislative agenda has created, but state and national pundits told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the benefits are unlikely to be a decisive factor in states like Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“I doubt most voters are aware of these projects, mostly because at this point they are little more than ribbon cuttings and plans. The administration hasn’t even spent a fraction of what was appropriated,” Mike McKenna, a Republican political consultant with extensive experience in the energy sector, told the DCNF. “More importantly, these projects are going to affect a pretty small fragment of the population — prospective employees and investors, that’s about it. Inflation — in energy, food, housing, and consumer goods — affects approximately everyone.”

The three bills have cumulatively routed $15.4 billion in public funds for green energy, infrastructure and semiconductor chip manufacturing in Arizona, according to Invest.gov, the government website tracking the administration’s agenda. The administration also states that its legislative agenda has attracted $121 billion of private sector investment to the state.

In Pennsylvania, Biden’s landmark bills have allotted $16.7 billion in public funding for green energy, infrastructure and semiconductor initiatives, according to Invest.gov. In Michigan, the three laws have pumped $12.5 billion for the same initiatives into the state.

In both rust belt states, the Biden administration also touts a combined $32 billion of private sector investments into green energy, manufacturing, semiconductor production and more, according to Invest.gov.

Pennsylvania

Former President Donald Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016, but Biden flipped it during the 2020 cycle. The state figures to be pivotal for whichever candidate hopes to win in 2024, and the RealClearPolitics polling average indicates Trump is leading Biden by 2%.

Pennsylvanians will also decide whether to reelect incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in November in another pivotal race. RealClearPolitics polling data suggests that Casey currently has a 4.8% lead over Republican candidate Dave McCormick.

The Biden administration’s January decision to pause approvals for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals could be a key factor in both races. Pennsylvania produced more natural gas in 2022 than every state other than Texas, with 20% of U.S. natural gas produced that year coming from the Keystone State, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

“I think the problem for President Biden in Pennsylvania is that there really are not enough jobs created in these bills — especially in the near future — to offset the losses of his curbs on natural gas,” Jon McHenry, a GOP polling analyst who works for North Star Opinion Research, told the DCNF. “Even if voters know about potential gains down the road, what they really know is likely job losses that are a direct result of what could be called the ‘war on gas.’ And of course, the president is in a box because any backing away from his green energy rhetoric will upset his base.”

McHenry and other pundits previously told the DCNF that the LNG pause could end up costing Democrats the Senate because of Pennsylvania’s unique demographics, and the policy may also drag Biden down given that the industry employs tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians. As of March, the economy was the top issue for more than 35% of Pennsylvanian voters, followed by crime and immigration, according to a poll conducted by Emerson College Polling and The Hill.

Michigan

Michigan, like Pennsylvania, went for Trump in 2016 before Biden won it in 2020. RealClearPolitics polling data indicates that Trump currently enjoys a narrow 0.8% lead in a head-to-head matchup.

The state, known as the beating heart of America’s auto industry, also has a unique intersection with the administration’s climate agenda, part of which includes massive increases in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and adoption over the coming decade. The IRA and the infrastructure law both contain subsidies designed specifically to facilitate the EV transition, as well as boost American manufacturing and adoption of other green technologies.

The EV agenda played a role in the United Auto Workers’ strike in 2023 as the union was concerned that the future envisioned by Biden administration officials would possibly leave many of their members jobless. The union ended its strike after ensuring that the EV transition would not disadvantage its workers.

Promoting EV- and green energy-related investments in a state where many blue-collar voters with populist leanings reside may be a counterproductive strategy, according to Jason Cabel Roe, a GOP consultant based in Michigan, but Biden and his campaign have few other options.

“These bills and projects are the centerpiece of whatever accomplishments he can point to in his first term, and so he has to lean into it, whether it’s good or bad,” Roe told the DCNF.

Roe added that he thinks immigration is also shaping up to be a defining issue in how the state votes in November.

“I just did a poll two months ago in Michigan’s seventh congressional district, which is probably a decent microcosm of the state in a lot of ways. Immigration was the number one issue,” Roe told the DCNF. “And, you know, a lot of it is just a cultural reaction to seeing what’s happening on the border. A lot of it is seeing what’s happening in major urban areas. Not so much Michigan cities, but places that are in our atmosphere like Chicago, where you see the reaction to the influx of illegal immigrants there.”

Adolph Mongo, a lifelong Michigander and expert on the state’s Democratic politics, was even more critical of the Biden campaign’s messaging on its domestic agenda, which he called “very weak” in light of the more pressing challenges that everyday people are facing.

“It’s a very weak message. The administration has done some good things, but if I’m an average person in these states, where real political junkies, they will look at it and say, ‘you know what, there’s no way in the world that I’m going to vote for Donald Trump,’” Mongi told the DCNF. “But, when you are living in a community, say Detroit, and you don’t have a real grocery store or you go into a grocery store and the food prices have doubled, schools are terrible, people are looking for a job, et cetera. That is the problem. Saying the economy is great and all of this other stuff — the average person could not care. It’s like, ‘how can I better my life and my family’s life?’”

Mongi added that he does not believe Biden to be an apt messenger and that Democrats could boost enthusiasm among voters if former President Barack Obama more forcefully campaigned for Biden.

Arizona

Trump also carried Arizona in the 2016 race before losing the state in 2020. Recent polling data from RealClearPolitics indicates that Trump currently leads by 5.2%.

Arizona is unique among swing states in that it is both home to crown jewels of the CHIPS Act and also a state that directly borders Mexico, potentially making immigration a more salient issue than elsewhere. Relative to other issues, immigration “dominates” the concerns of Arizona’s electorate, according to the Center for the Future of Arizona.

Intel and TSMC, two major tech companies, opted to establish multi-billion dollar semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the state with the help of the CHIPS Act.

However, trepidation over the state of the economy and the crisis at the border is more likely to motivate voters than the new facilities, according to Barrett Marson, an Arizona-based Republican strategist.

“I’m not sure if there is really a state that has benefited more from the CHIPS Act than Arizona. Between TSMC and Intel, Arizona has really gotten some great benefit out of some of President Biden’s economic initiatives,” Marson told the DCNF. “When we talk about the economy, that is not what voters are paying attention to. They’re paying attention to the gas prices, which are edging up to $4.50 a gallon here, they are paying attention to interest rates, both for purchasing cars and purchasing homes … Those are factors that impact you daily.”

“Immigration has long been the number one or number two issue in Arizona,” Marson continued. “And right now, the border policies can’t be described as anything other than outright failures. I think that is a little bit of what is fueling President Trump’s popularity. I think it’s both economic issues and the border. Quite frankly, the only thing that will save Joe Biden in Arizona is abortion.”

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org

Support Conservative Daily News with a small donation via Paypal or credit card that will go towards supporting the news and commentary you've come to appreciate.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button