Nevada Dem Sen. Cortez Masto reportedly distances herself from Biden, won’t campaign alongside unpopular president

There have been recent reports of Democratic candidates, particularly those facing tough elections in battleground districts and states, who are not so subtly distancing themselves from the decidedly unpopular President Joe Biden in advance of the important midterm elections in November.

That would appear to include Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who recently refused to answer a question about if she would campaign together with Biden and whose campaign has said that she wants to remain singularly focused on defeating her Republican challenger, Breitbart reported.

Left unstated, at least on the record, is the very real concern of many Democratic candidates that President Biden, with his abysmal approval ratings and low favorability with most Americans, would prove to be more of a negative liability than a positive asset for their electoral aspirations.

Distancing herself from Biden

NBC News reported Monday on how a number of Democratic candidates were “hesitant” to campaign alongside President Biden, with some outright rejecting his offered assistance while most simply dance around the issue and decline to give straight answers.

Sen. Cortez Masto is among that group, and the outlet noted that the Nevada senator “has distanced herself from Biden, with a source close to the campaign saying she wants to keep the focus on her Republican opponent, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt.”

An unnamed veteran Democratic strategist in Nevada told NBC News of the president, “His unfavorable rating isn’t helpful, especially with independent voters,” but then tried to smooth things over by suggesting the distancing of Democratic candidates was due less to Biden being an unpopular liability and was more because of a desire by candidates to keep their respective races local and not nationalized.

“These races are won and lost at the state level. These candidates have to run against their own villains,” the strategist added.

That sounds reasonable, but the fact of the matter is that many Democratic candidates, including Cortez Masto, appear to be incapable of expressing such common sense when pressed on the matter by reporters, as was evidenced earlier this month when the Nevada senator dodged a simple repeated question about the president, the Daily Caller reported.

Following a campaign event at a new taco franchise grand opening in Las Vegas, Cortez Masto was repeatedly asked, “will you campaign with Biden this fall?” However, the senator refused to answer and her aides quickly whisked her away without a response.

Biden approval deep underwater in Nevada, where Cortez Masto holds slim lead

Part of the problem here for Sen. Cortez Masto, according to polling by Civiqs, is the fact that President Biden is deeply disapproved by her own Nevada constituents, as Biden is 14 points underwater with a 39 percent approval and 53 percent disapproval rating.

Add into that the fact that, according to FiveThirtyEight‘s average of polls, Cortez Masto holds a slim lead of just 3.7 percent over her GOP opponent Laxalt, and it becomes obvious that, whether right or wrong, there is clearly a concern among the senator’s team that being perceived as too close to the president could drag down her own support and provide a boost to her challenger.

According to the NBC News report, the White House is insistent that President Biden will hit the campaign trail nationwide between now and November, but the question is, will he actually be campaigning alongside specific candidates or simply promoting the Democratic Party more generally?

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