Granite State Democrats looking for words of encouragement in the wake of President Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance heard them from a member of Congress stumping for the president in Nashua and Exeter this weekend.

Interestingly, it was a member of Congress from Rhode Island, not New Hampshire. While Democrats around the country are rallying around Biden, local Democrats have been lying low since Thursday’s Biden vs. Trump debate.

U.S. Rep. Gabe Amo, who represents Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, urged Democrats to “get out the message to vote for opportunity and democracy over lies and retributions.”

Amo had an uphill task. A CBS News poll released Sunday found that, in the wake of Thursday night’s debate between Biden and former President Donald Trump, 72 percent of Americans say Biden lacks the mental acuity to do the job of president.

That number includes 41 percent of Democrats. Even more (46 percent) say their party’s presumptive nominee shouldn’t be running for president at all.

And Sunday’s FiveThirtyEight polling average found Trump leading Biden in all seven swing states, including the three — Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — viewed as “must-wins” for Biden. If Trump carries even one of the three Great Lakes swing states, it’s all but impossible for Biden to get to the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win.

Meanwhile, polls continue to show Trump in a neck-and-neck race in states that should be out of reach for the Republican, like Minnesota, Virginia, and New Hampshire.

The fact that the Biden campaign has staffed up in New Hampshire and is sending out surrogates like Amo is a sign, observers say, that New Hampshire is either in play for Republicans, at the least, or too close for comfort for Democrats.

So, where are the New Hampshire Democrats?

When Amo was campaigning for Biden in the Granite State, he was joined by state Rep. Latha Mangipudi (D-Nashua), but none of the Democratic candidates for governor or Congress. Longtime Maggie Hassan staffer Aaron Jacobs was out door knocking for Biden, but not the senator herself.

One exception is the legislative leadership in Concord. Senate Democratic leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) and Rep. Matt Wilhelm, the top Democrat in the House, both appeared at a Friday press conference repeating their commitment to supporting Biden. Political professionals say they have no choice. A poor showing by Biden will make it harder for Democrats to win control of the State House in November.



The same is true for Congress, according the Associated Press, which reports, “Biden’s debate performance leaves down-ballot Democrats anxious — and quiet.”

That’s certainly the case in New Hampshire, where none of the Democrats running for Congress — U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas in the First Congressional District, Maggie Goodlander and Colin Van Ostern in the Second District– have made any statement of support for Biden since Thursday’s debate.

The same goes for Democrats running for governor, Joyce Craig and Cinde Warmington. No public statements, nothing on social media, and they all declined repeated requests for comment over the weekend.

On the other hand, Republican candidates for governor didn’t hold back.

“It’s clear that Joe Biden is not up to serving any longer,” said Kelly Ayotte. “The Biden administration has been a disaster, and that’s why it’s important that we elect Donald Trump in November.”

And Chuck Morse said, “Anyone who has watched President Biden on video, including his debate performance, can understand Special Counsel Hur’s findings. It is clear that Joe Biden was called to trial, and we can see with our own eyes that he is unfit for the Oval Office.”

Republicans say Biden’s debate performance confirmed years of reports that his age and infirmity keep him from competently doing the job. That critique was confirmed by White House aides who told Axios, “From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Biden is dependably engaged — and many of his public events in front of cameras are held within those hours.”

Trump spokesperson — and Pappas’ 2022 GOP challenger — Karoline Leavitt, responded to that report: “Joe Biden is a national security risk.”

Does U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, agree? She has had no comment since telling WBUR radio Friday that she couldn’t answer the question of whether Biden is fit for office.

But while Granite State Democrats dodge questions about the president’s fitness or whether he should remain on the ticket, others in their party are speaking out strongly on Biden’s behalf.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is all in for Biden.

“Joe Biden’s decision to go forward is a decision that we will all embrace because of the record he has and the performance that will come with it,” Pelosi told CNN Sunday. Asked whether Biden should remain at the top of the ticket, Pelosi said, “This is an opportunity for Joe Biden to go out there and show he has the stamina,” while “there are health care professionals who think that Trump has dementia.”

And Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), national co-chair of Biden’s reelection campaign and a close ally, said the party needs to stick with Biden because he’s its strongest candidate.

“The stakes of this race couldn’t be higher, and the only Democrat who’s ever beaten Donald Trump is Joe Biden,” Coons told ABC News. “He is our candidate for November, and he has the best shot to beat him.”

If any of the Granite State Democrats running for Congress or governor agree, they are keeping it to themselves.