Midterm voter inflation frustration | Washington Examiner
AAs voters prepare to go to the polls or mail or cast their ballots for the Nov. 8 midterm election, many will weigh the candidates in light of this year’s record high consumer prices.
A flood of new ones Survey shows that for the majority of residents, the state of the economy (and inflation in particular) matters most as election day fast approaches. Voter concerns follow months of high prices for everything from gasoline to groceries, as well as stock market volatility caused by multiple economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
in one New York Times/College of Siena opinion poll Released on October 17, the economy ranked as the top concern among likely voters, with 26% saying it was the country’s top concern. Next up was inflation, cited as the top issue by 18% of likely voters. Other issues such as abortion and crime were all at 5% or below.
GAS PRICES THREATEN DEMOCRATS’ MEDIUM-TERM HOPES
“The economy is the underlying issue in most national, midterm or presidential elections. This year is no exception,” said Frank Newport, Gallup’s senior researcher, who analyzes political polls, wrote End of September. “Data from Gallup and other polls shows that the economy — and inflation in particular — is the top concern for Americans ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
“We see this in open-ended questions that ask about the top issues,” Newport said. “And we’re seeing it in polls that ask voters directly about their voting concerns, all of which show that inflation and/or the economy are high on the list of potential problems.”
In another poll released this month, 82% of respondents rated inflation as either an extremely or very important issue for the federal government to address. “Economic issues play a bigger role in this year’s midterm elections than concerns about rights and democracy,” said researchers from Monmouth University wrote on the 3rd of October.
With inflation so far largely resisting Federal Reserve efforts to cool prices and a possible recession looming on the horizon, this could spell trouble for Democrats battling for a narrow majority in Congress. In the past, incumbent presidents have also lost seats in Congress in midterm elections.
“The midterms are widely viewed as a referendum on incumbent leadership,” said Michael Taylor, an analyst at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. wrote in August. “We believe voter discontent over persistent inflation and a slowing economy will likely turn against the majority party in November.”
While control of the Senate is seen as a pawn at the moment, polls show Republicans retain the lead in the House, and overall the party has a lead higher favor with the voters.
If the GOP wins a majority in both chambers, President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda would most likely grind to a halt, and Republicans are already planning to launch an investigation into his administration that could uncover damaging information ahead of the 2024 presidential race.
“Because the congressional map favors the GOP, Democrats must do more than ‘keep it tight’ to hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives. One obstacle they face is that the picture favors Republicans,” said Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University’s polling institute.
The GOP seems to have the edge when it comes to dealing with economic woes, recent polls show. In a September poll, Gallup found that voters have more confidence in Republicans’ ability to “keep the country prosperous” than Democrats. “The 51% of American adults who believe the GOP is the better choice agree with the highest scores for the party,” Gallup said said.
“Democrats control Congress and the Presidency, allowing Republicans to take the time-honoured position of blaming incumbents for the nation’s economic woes,” Newport, the Gallup analyst, recently wrote.
“This policy stance on the part of the GOP is supported by available data showing that despite the Democrat Anti-Inflation Act, the Democrats have not benefited from being widely regarded as the best party to handle the economy,” Newport wrote. “Republicans are coming out on top in a number of recent polls when voters are asked which party can do the best job on economic issues.”
In a recent Associated Press-NORC survey39% of registered voters said they trust Republicans to handle the economy better, versus 29% who voted for Democrats. Almost 20% said neither.
Inflation has hit consumers since earlier this year, when a combination of supply chain problems and the Russian invasion of Ukraine spurred demand and caused price increases for a wide range of goods and services. This year’s hot job market, as well as previous federal government pandemic stimulus checks, added fuel to the fire by giving people more money to spend.
In March, the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to dampen that purchasing power, and has followed through with several more aggressive hikes in the months since. US financial markets have reacted with volatility, enter Bear market territory in June as the Fed approved a rare 3/4 percentage point rate hike.
Although inflation showed signs of slowing down over the summer, it was still there stays highand the US Federal Reserve is expected to keep raising interest rates despite the risk of a recession.
Gas prices, which have fallen in recent months after hitting record highs in June, also appear to be recovering. The national average for regular gasoline was $3,854 on Oct. 19, almost 20 cents higher than the same time last month AAA. The recent surge followed that of OPEC+ decision earlier this month to drastically cut oil production, further restricting supply.
Polls show Biden’s approval ratings have fallen this year as consumer prices have soared.[f]further dampening Democrats’ prospects,” researchers from Monmouth University wrote. “Currently, 38% agree with Biden’s work while 54% disagree,” they said. “The president gets an 84% approval rating from his Democrats, but only 28% from independents and 6% from Republicans.”
Monmouth also noted that Biden received low marks from voters for his handling of inflation, which “isn’t helping the Democratic cause.”
“Only 3 in 10 Americans approve of the work Biden has done on the nation’s number one concern — inflation (30%) — as well as other concerns Republicans are focused on — ie crime (32%) and immigration (Dec %). ‘ Monmouth said.
In his analysis of Wells Fargo, Taylor noted that “President Biden’s current approval rating is a reflection of the President [Donald] Trump in 2018 when Republicans lost 40 seats in the House of Representatives.”
“High inflation and an economy teetering ahead of a recession could persuade disappointed voters to show up in November,” Taylor added.
While that doesn’t necessarily correlate with higher turnout on Election Day, voter enthusiasm this summer was higher than normal, according to a June opinion poll by Gallup. Almost half of all respondents (48%) said they thought about the election “quite a lot”. “By comparison, no more than 37 percent said the same thing in the summer months leading up to the 1998-2014 midterm elections,” Gallup said.
“The Gallup analysis found that the more enthusiastic party is not necessarily the one with the higher turnout, but tends to correspond to the party that ultimately wins the most seats,” Gallup said, adding that “the 10-point enthusiasm lead is the Republican this year is a generally positive sign for the GOP.”
Experts say that in the current economic climate, candidates from both parties need effective messaging on inflation and the economy to win over voters – particularly independents, who can determine the outcome of close elections and rank inflation among their top concerns in several polls.
Most Republicans say inflation, crime and immigration are top issues, while Democrats favor issues like climate change, gun control and abortion, according to Monmouth.
“However, the only issue that more than 3 in 4 independents attach great importance to is inflation,” noted Monmouth. “In addition, independents are more concerned about broader economic issues, as well as crime and immigration, than other issues.”
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“Democrats are everywhere when it comes to their most important issues,” said Murray, the leader of Monmouth’s election team. “This makes it difficult for the party to develop a coherent messaging strategy to motivate its base. Republicans, on the other hand, only need to hammer on rising prices and ‘the wolf is coming’ to piss off their constituents.”
“A big problem for Democrats is that their grassroots news isn’t as compelling to independents as the GOP issue agenda,” Murray added. “Although truly compelling independents are a rather small group these days, given the expectation that Congressional scrutiny will depend on a handful of very close contests, that small difference can make a big difference.”