Biden predicts midterms will shift back toward Democrats

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden expressed confidence on Friday that momentum would shift back in favor of Democrats for the November midterm elections, despite polls favoring Republicans in races that will determine which party controls the U.S. Congress.

Fresh from a trip to Pennsylvania on Thursday to boost John Fetterman, the state's lieutenant governor and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Biden said legislative wins and economic trends would push Democrats towards a win.

"The polls have been all over the place," Biden told reporters at the White House after speaking about the U.S. budget deficit. "I think that we're going to see one more shift back to our side in the closing days."

Biden said "good news" on the economy included a drop in gasoline prices in 46 of the 50 U.S. states and record lows in state unemployment.

However, that good news isn't registering for many Americans, who continue to be unimpressed with Biden's job performance, and rank concerns about inflation and the economy above mass shootings, abortion or foreign policy.

Republicans have blamed Biden's policies for high U.S. inflation and increases in crime, seeking to make the midterm race a referendum on his presidency.

"The election is not a referendum, it's a choice," Biden said. "Look at what I've inherited and what I've done."

The president said Republicans wanted to make tax cuts from the Trump era permanent, repeal a 15 percent minimum corporate tax, and have multiple plans to cut Social Security benefit.

"It's mega MAGA trickle down," Biden said, referring to former President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan and so-called "trickle down" economics that cut taxes for the wealthy, tied to former President Ronald Reagan and Republicans.

Biden said such policies would lead to more riches for the very wealthy and higher inflation for the middle class. "That's the choice we're facing. That's why I think that we're going to do just fine."

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Heather Timmons and Diane Craft

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