October 18, 2022

Midterms Update

Republicans enter the final weeks of the contest for control of Congress with a narrow but distinct advantage as the economy and inflation have surged as the dominant concerns, giving the party momentum to take back power from Democrats in next month’s midterm elections, a New York Times/Siena College poll has found.” New York Times

Both sides agree that the state of the economy is likely to help Republican candidates:

“I’m not one of those political observers who believes it’s always ‘the economy, stupid’ that matters most. Indeed, you can make a very strong argument that cultural issues have mattered most in recent elections. But we are in an unusual economic juncture at present with a once-in-a-generation rate of inflation and terrible stock-market trends now compounded by recession fears. If the country isn’t yet in a ‘stagflation’ crisis, it is certainly in the shadow of one. And with early voting underway, time is running out for any sunny new trend that dispels the economic jitters…

“If a souring and even scary economy becomes more dominant in the news during the last three weeks of the campaign, Republicans are likely to get all the breaks and win some close elections. That’s not because Republican economic policies make more sense to voters than Democratic economic policies. It’s because voters tend to react when they fear they can’t make ends meet, won’t be able to borrow money to make up for lost purchasing power, and may lose their jobs. It takes a lot of luck for the party controlling the White House (not to mention Congress) to do well in any midterm. Democrats may be running out of luck on the economic front at the worst possible time.”
Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“This weekend President Biden went to a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Ore., and, while eating an ice-cream cone, declared, ‘Our economy is strong as hell.’ Biden’s rosy-eyed assessment came just days after updated figures showed the inflation rate at 8.2 percent… In the YouGov/CBS News Battleground Tracker poll, very few Americans share Biden’s opinion that the U.S. economy is as ‘strong as hell.’ Just 6 percent of respondents said that ‘things in America today’ are going very well, and just 5 percent rated the economy as ‘very good.’…

“If you take your usual Green New Deal-esque wish list and rename it the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ and pass it with great fanfare, then the electorate will expect inflation to go down. Expectations will get even higher after the president boasts that, ‘This bill cut costs for families, helped reduce inflation at the kitchen table.’ (Notice Biden’s use of the past tense there.) In mid August, Biden and the Democrats pushed almost all their chips to the middle of the table and bet that inflation wouldn’t seem quite so bad by the time voters went to the polls in November. They lost that bet.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review

Other opinions below.

See past issues

From the Right

From the Left

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at admin@theflipside.io if you continue to have issues!