As hopes look increasingly bleak for Democrats less than two weeks from Election Day, a number of the party’s candidates at risk of losing their races have begun calling for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden to be replaced despite their voting records largely aligning with party leaders.
Although Democrats’ cries for “new blood” began with the rise of the party’s far-left members, such as the “Squad,” voters in many areas of the country that aren’t buying into “woke” culture, and are seeking a solution to the economic challenges that have become central issues in the midterm elections, are driving these candidates to turn on their leaders.
In September, Democratic Ohio Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan, who is trailing in the polls to Republican rival JD Vance, called for the next generation of leadership to take hold of the party when asked in a radio interview if he thought Biden should run for a second term in 2024.
Biden remains widely unpopular across the nation with an underwater approval rating, including in Ohio, where some of the the latest polls show just 37% of voters approving of his job performance as president.
U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) speaks during the annual North America’s Building Trades Union’s Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel on April 6, 2022, in Washington, DC. JD Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, speaks to a reporter at a campaign rally on May 1, 2022, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
“My hunch is that we need new leadership across the board,” Ryan said, including the Republican Party in his comments. “Democrats, Republicans — I think it’s time for a generational move.”
Ryan hasn’t invited Biden to join him on the campaign trail as he seeks to make up ground against Vance, and recently vented frustration that national Democrats weren’t investing more money into his race.
Despite his calls for a party leadership change, Ryan’s voting record while in Congress shows he’s voted in tandem with Biden 100% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight. Data from ProPublica shows he’s also voted with Pelosi 100% of the time.
Fox News’ Power Rankings has rated the race as “lean Republican.”
Last month, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., published a press release on her official website calling for Pelosi to be replaced as House speaker, citing the latter’s handling of a bill that would have banned members of Congress from trading stocks.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) speaks on banning stock trades for members of Congress at a news conference on Capitol Hill on April 07, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
“This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known,” Spanberger said in the release, noting her previous calls for a leadership change.
Despite her calls for change, she has voted in tandem with Pelosi 92% of the time, according to ProPublica.
Spanberger faces a tough re-election bid in Virginia’s newly drawn 7th Congressional District against Republican challenger Yesli Vega, a race that Fox News has rated as “lean Democratic.”
Earlier this month, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., appeared on liberal network MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” where she called for a full overhaul of Democratic leadership at every level.
“We need new blood, period, across the Democratic Party, in the House, the Senate and the White House,” she said, prompting Pelosi to later respond on a separate program on the network that “there’s no substitute for experience.”
She has, however, voted in tandem with Pelosi 96% of the time, and with Biden 100% of the time as a member of Congress.
Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., speaks during a news conference highlighting the passage of H.R. 1448, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act in Washington on Thursday, May 13, 2021. (Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The embattled Slotkin, who moved to a different Michigan county to run in the newly drawn 7th Congressional District, is running neck-and-neck with Republican Tom Barrett in a race Fox News has rated as a toss-up.
Republicans are largely favored to win control of the House in November, while the Senate remains a toss-up.
Brandon Gillespie is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_cg.