▶️ Biden begins West state swing; Oregon visit coming Friday


VAIL, Colo.  — President Joe Biden is on a three-state swing out West aimed at promoting his administration’s accomplishments and rallying the party faithful.

Biden has been eager to travel the country, but is facing midterm headwinds against the political party in power, an unsettled economic outlook and presidential approval ratings that have remained stubbornly underwater.

Biden’s first stop Wednesday is near Vail, Colorado, where he is designating his first national monument at the behest of Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who’s in a competitive reelection bid.

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Biden is expected in Oregon Friday night where the goal will be to consolidate Democratic support behind the party’s gubernatorial nominee Tina Kotek.

She’s in a tight, three-way race that national elections forecasters have called a “toss-up” with Republican Christine Drazan and independent Betsy Johnson.

Democrats are concerned Johnson, who is trailing Kotek and Drazan in the polls but is still has solid support, may pull enough votes from Kotek to have Oregon elect its first Republican governor in 35 years.

“That is a huge factor in this race,” David Turner, a spokesman for the Democratic Governor’s Association, told the AP. “I don’t think we would be talking about this race if Betsy Johnson wasn’t in it.”

Jessica Taylor of Cook Political Report, a non-partisan election forecaster, told Central Oregon Daily that Drazan wouldn’t have a path to victory without Johnson in the race.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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