By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden traveled to California this week in the final days before the midterm election to stump for a Southern California congressman in a high-profile race, warning voters the election will have ramifications for years to come.
The president spoke at a campaign rally in San Diego in support of Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., who is in a tight race for re-election against Republican challenger Brian Maryott. Cook Political Report has dubbed the race a “toss up.”
“This guy delivers,” President Biden said of Rep. Levin during his remarks. “He lowers costs for families, caring for our veterans, protecting our environment. These are big deals. Rebuilding our infrastructure, protecting Social Security and Medicare. He’s fighting to protect democracy. Look, we need to re-elect Mike.”
President Biden’s visit to California came just days before Tuesday’s midterm election, where current predictions show Republicans are favored to win the House. The president’s visit indicates the importance of Rep. Levin’s race in California’s 49th Congressional District that straddles north San Diego County and south Orange County as Democrats seek to retain control of the House.
Before coming to California on Thursday, President Biden made a stop in New Mexico to campaign for Democratic Gov. Michelle Lynn Grisham, who is narrowly leading in the governor’s race, according to The Hill.
Speaking to a fire-up crowd Thursday night, President Biden warned that the upcoming election will “shape our country for decades to come.”
“It’s going to determine the direction of the country for at least a decade or more – not a joke,” the president said.
As of Thursday, roughly 17% of California voters had returned their ballots, according to Political Data Intelligence’s tracker. All registered California voters received a ballot in the mail and have until Nov. 8 to mail it in, drop it off at a ballot box location or return it to a polling location.
During Thursday’s event, Rep. Levin praised the Biden administration for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and efforts to lower prescription drug costs for seniors. He encouraged Democrats to get out and vote so that his party can continue work on inflation and abortion rights.
“I need everyone these next five days to do more than just yell at the TV, I need you to knock on doors, I need you to make phone calls, I need you to get out that vote,” Rep. Levin said Thursday.
“Democracy is not automatic, like gravity or the sun rising,” Rep. Levin later added. “Democracy only happens when people like all of you in this room make it happen. We gotta make it happen.”
President Biden headed to Illinois on Friday to attend a political reception in Chicago in the evening, according to his press office. On Saturday, President Biden and former President Barack Obama are set to attend a rally in Philadelphia for gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro and Senatorial candidate John Fetterman.