The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 88% of Likely
U.S. voters are concerned about the economy, including 60% who are Very Concerned. Just 10% aren’t concerned about the issue.
No other issue matters to voters as much this year. Majorities in almost every demographic category – 61% of men, 59% of women, 63% of whites, 54% of black voters and 56% of other minorities – say they’re Very Concerned about the economy. However, fewer Democrats (47%) than Republicans (76%) or voters not affiliated with either party (58%) are Very Concerned about the economy.
While establishment media pundits and economists have been lowballing the inflation numbers to protect Democrats in advance of the 2022 midterm election The New York Post reported US inflation surged 8.2% in September — a steeper-than-expected increase as stubbornly high rent and food costs look poised to ensure another sharp Federal Reserve interest rate hike next month.
The September reading of the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, a closely watched measure of the costs of goods and services, showed a 0.4% increase compared to August — more than economists expected.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and gas prices, spiked 6.6% in September, up from 6.3% in August. The annual core increase was the largest of its kind since August 1982. On a monthly basis, core prices increased 0.6%.
Ahead of the September CPI report’s release, economists expected to show a monthly increase of 0.3%, up from 0.1% in August, according to Dow Jones data. On an annual basis, consumer prices were projected to increase 8.1%, down from 8.3% in August.
Thomas Barrabi, writing for the Post, reported food prices remained a key source of financial pain for US households in September. The food index increased 11.2% compared to the same month one year ago, or 0.8% compared to August.
The shelter index, which includes rent, jumped 6.6% and accounted for more than 40% of the increase to core inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The owners’ equivalent rent index posted its largest monthly increase since June 1990.
“Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the monthly seasonally adjusted all items increase. These increases were partly offset by a 4.9 percent decline in the gasoline index,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a release quoted by Mr. Barrabi.
The surging inflation stats are weighing heavily on the quality of life of America’s working families, and those concerns are starting to affect voter attitudes as well.
A Rasmussen Poll conducted at the end of September found that 57% of American Adults believe it’s likely that, over the next few years, the United States will enter a 1930s-like Depression, including 21% who think a depression is Very Likely. Thirty-two percent (32%) don’t think a depression is likely, and another 12% are not sure. These findings haven’t changed much since May, when 55% said a depression was likely in the next few years.
Similarly, CNBC reported economic issues like inflation are of top mind for midterm voters a month out from Election Day, giving Republicans a slight edge over Democrats in a recent poll by Monmouth University.
The Monmouth poll (which tends to skew Democrat) found for the first time since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision overturned the constitutional right to abortion, a majority of voters polled by Monmouth say they think Republicans should take back control of Congress.
The poll found 47% of voters want or prefer Republicans to control Congress compared with 44% who want or prefer Democrats. It’s a 4 percentage point gain for Republicans, up from 43% in August, and a 6 percentage point loss for Democrats, down from 50%.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 21 to 25 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Overall, 82% of Americans ranked inflation as an extremely or very important issue, compared with 56% who ranked abortion as a top worry and 32% who said the coronavirus pandemic was a big concern. More broadly, anxiety about the economy and cost of living supersede concerns about losing fundamental rights or threats to democracy 54% to 38% among all Americans.
Independents in particular are more than twice as likely to give preference to economic issues over threats to human rights and democracy, 61% to 29%.
Moreover, only 30% of voters approve of President Joe Biden’s handling of inflation. He similarly received low marks on issues of abortion, 31%, and immigration, also 31%.
Now, the big question is, will Republicans actually go on offense and use these disastrous inflation numbers to their advantage in the midterms, or will they run their usual content-free DC consultant-driven losing campaigns?
We urge CHQ readers to call their local Republican leaders and candidates to demand they go on offense, and, to paraphrase Newt Gingrich, make the first name of every Democratic candidate “Biden” and “inflation.”
Control of Congress
federal budget deficit
Chair Jerome Powell