AUSTIN, Texas - New polling suggests Democratic voter enthusiasm may pose a threat to the GOP's projections of a red wave at the November ballot box.
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County Republican Party join FOX 7 Austin's Matt Warren to discuss.
Mike Warren: Katie, why are Democrats now in a better position today to retain the Senate?
Katie Naranjo: Well, Democratics, the Democrats are working for and fighting for common sense issues that a majority of Americans and a majority of Texans support when it comes to making sure our children can go to school or church or Wal-Mart safely and not be held hostage by somebody with an AR 15. Or that individuals can make decisions for their bodies and have the privacy to work with their health care provider to make the best decision for them. Democrats are fighting for Texans at the ballot box. And when it comes to policy.
Mike Warren: Matt Mackowiak, the senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell recently spoke of a candidate quality issue in the GOP. Was he right to say it? And what do you think he meant by those comments?
Matt Mackowiak: Well, his message is both to candidates who have now won their primary and to donors who have maybe stayed on the sidelines. And it's time to engage that. This midterm is one of the more significant midterm elections that I can remember. The problem with what Katie just said about, quote, a majority supporting Democrats is that President Biden's job approval has been generally in the low thirties for much of the last year. The Gallup poll, I think, released today did have him at 44, but that shows a majority of this country does not approve of the job President Biden's doing. The first midterm election is generally a referendum on the party that's in power. And so the case Republicans are making is that we're going to focus on issues that really do matter. The border crisis at the southern border, the fentanyl crisis that's flowing, the Democrats are ignoring it, pretending that doesn't happen. Borders are Vice President Kamala Harris hasn't even been to the border. We're all the where all this is happening. We have to focus on inflation, how that's hurting people. Grocery prices, food prices, gas prices, which, yes, have come down but are still well above when President Biden took office. So the economy, opportunity, security, those issues are going to be what Republicans are going to be talking about over the next two months.
Mike Warren: Katie, do you think the Biden administration's recent legislative wins will help Democrats in the midterms and specifically the forgiveness of this student debt? There have been several Democrats that didn't think that was a good idea. Is that going to help the president?
Katie Naranjo: The Republicans have been staying the way of President Joe Biden's agenda, trying to help Americans for the entirety of his presidency. I think it's laughable that Matt wants to pretend that the Republican Party still exists. The tombstone of the Republican Party reads January six, 2021. And since then, Republicans have done nothing to pass legislation both at the state or federal levels that help Texans or help voters across the country. The folks focused on inflation are the Democrats making sure that workers are able to work one job instead of two to make sure that health care workers, essential workers, law enforcement have the resources and support they need. That includes comprehensive mental health care. And so when it comes to Republicans, they are great at voting no. But we are very far between to find them voting yes for anything. Even the gun control legislation that was passed with some Republican support, Senator John Cornyn got booed at the Republican State Party convention. So the Republican Party no longer represents the American people and they're nothing but the party of Donald Trump.
Mike Warren: All righty, Matt, I'll ask you a similar question. As far as the Biden forgiveness of student loan debt, do you think that is going to help or hurt in this next election?
Matt Mackowiak: Well, the White House refuses to say, number one, what the cost of that is. Number two, where the money is coming from. A number three, how it will help anyone who didn't have a federally guaranteed student loan or who paid their own loan back or maybe didn't go to college at all. So it leaves a lot of Americans behind who are hurting. It helps a very small number, certainly for the people that benefit. I'm sure they're happy and it will help them, certainly. But the problem is not forgiving student loan debt. The problem is the rampant, out-of-control increase in the cost of higher education. And the student loan debt forgiveness program does nothing to control cost increases at higher education institutions. So Katie doesn't need to display her anger at the Republicans need to display it. As Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, Senator Kirsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona. Because Democrats have a majority in the Senate, they haven't been able to move much of their agenda until the last couple of months. And it's because it has been so left wing and so radical, which is why President Biden's approval rating has been mired in the mid to high thirties for much of his presidency, historically low.
Katie Naranjo: Two votes versus 50 Matt, 2 votes versus 50. Not, a single Republican has crossed the line, except on the one piece of legislation. Your party can stand for something, too.
Mike Warren: Okay. We're going to have we're going to have to hold off on this one because we've got to wrap it up, but we will rejoin at a later date. Katy, Matt, thank you both very much. Thank you.