Forget Trump! It’s the economy, stupid!

If the November election were held on the issues, there’s a good chance the Republicans would win.  But as it is, there’s a good chance the Democrats will win.

Click to enlarge

That’s what I conclude after reading a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll.

  • 30 percent of polled voters think inflation is the most important issue.
  • 40 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of independents agree, but only 13 percent of Democrats.
  • 62 percent of polled voters think the United States is in a recession.
  • 57 percent say President Biden’s decisions have hurt the economy, and 41 percent strongly disapprove of his job performance overall.
  • 39 percent think Republicans would do a better job of managing the economy, while 26 percent think Democrats would do better.

Concern about inflation is slowly declining.  I think that is because President Biden is helping to drive down gasoline prices by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

I don’t think most Americans realize how much of the price increases are due to blowback from the economic sanctions war against Russia.  Supplies of Russian oil and gas are being cut off from Europe, and this drives up the market price not only in Europe, but worldwide.

I don’t think the Republicans have a good plan, or any plan at all, for dealing with inflation.  The Federal Reserve Board’s plan is to slow down the economy, but that only works to slow down an overheated economy, not to bring down price increases due to scarcity.

The Democrats are the incumbents and the Republicans are the opposition, so the issue favors the Republicans.  Also, the Republicans talk more about deindustrialization, tariffs and other key economic questions, so they at least indicate concern, while Democrats are inclined to downplay these issues.

Click to enlarge.

The next most important issue is abortion.

  • 22 percent of the public think abortion is the most important issue.
  • 35 percent of Democrats think so, too, and so do 22 percent of independents, but only 10 percent of Republicans.

The repeal of Roe v. Wade has energized abortion rights advocates, but most voters take a middle position.  Only a minority support the extreme restrictions on abortions proposed by Republican state legislatures, but a majority are opposed to allowing abortions without any restrictions at all.

The poll also indicates that a lot of Democrats choose the Jan. 6 hearings as their top issue, but few Republicans or independents do.  A lot of Republicans choose immigration as their top issue, but few Democrats or independents do.  The other important issue is health care, but it’s a lesser issue than inflation or abortion.

All that would lead me to think that Republicans have the advantage, but the poll results indicate that the Democrats have an edge of 4 percentage points.  I think the Republicans are hurt by their internal conflicts and by the focus of news coverage on Donald Trump and his many battles.

I also think a lot can have changed between the time the poll was taken and the election on Nov. 8.


The 2022 Mid-Term Elections – NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist Poll – Sept. 8, 2022.

Abortion and inflation collide as top issues in midterm elections by Domenico Montenaro for National Public Radio.

Democrats don’t see the economy like everyone else right now by Laura Santhanam for PBS NewsHour.

New abortion laws are too extreme for most Americans, poll finds by Gretchen Frazee for PBS NewsHour.

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2 Responses to “Forget Trump! It’s the economy, stupid!”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    That graphic is a roadmap the Democrats would be wise to follow. Skip the “viewing ultrasound” question because it is a marginal issue and doesn’t actually affect the right to an abortion. Hammer on all the rest.

    “All about Trump” is not entirely unreasonable. It is still not impossible that he – or someone equally rabid on social issues – will be the next president and the consequences of him in the White House with a GOP controlled Congress and a Trump-appointed Supreme Court could possibly destroy the country.

    The Democrats’ problem (that they will NEVER admit) is that a lot of women support extreme restrictions on abortion. They are a minority but still a large minority. Women voting for socially conservative candidates hits the same blind spot as Hispanics voting for them. They believe they are the only possible party for women and of Hispanics and thinking any other way would cause their brains to explode.


  2. Louis Merris Says:

    Putin’s Oil&Gas, as well as Trump’s tarrifs play a large role in inflation, but the main (transient) cause is the end of the pandemic.


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