Thursday inflation numbers He said consumer prices rose faster than expected in September and the inflation rate hovered near 40-year highs, likely cementing voters’ concerns about the state of the economy as they head to elections. polls in November.
It was the last consumer inflation report voters will see before voting on Nov. 8, and election watchers said inflation appears to be a major issue for voters, even as other issues like abortion and democracy vie for your attention.
“It’s the kind of thing that affects everyone at every level of our social and economic status,” Matt Germer, elections resident fellow at the libertarian R Street Institute, told Fox News Digital.
“We all buy groceries, we buy gas, we pay our utility bills. And when they go up month after month, budgets are under pressure. And that’s the kind of thing that gets people motivated in November.”
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The Labor Department said Thursday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price of everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rent, rose 0.4% in September from the previous month. Prices rose 8.2% on an annual basis.
Those figures were higher than the 8.1% headline figure and the 0.2% monthly increase forecast by Refinitiv economists. In an even more worrying development that suggests underlying inflationary pressures in the economy remain strong, core prices, which exclude the more volatile measures of food and energy, rose 0.6% in September from a month earlier. Since the same time last year, core prices have risen 6.6%, the fastest since 1982.
Republicans have been attacking Democrats on the issue since last year and appear poised to continue pummeling their opponents on the issue well into Election Day.
“All Americans are dealing with runaway price increases caused by reckless spending by Democrats. That’s why poll after poll shows inflation is the number one issue heading into the midterms.” Mike Berg, a spokesman for the Republican National Congressional Committee, told Fox News Digital.
Democrats argue that they have moved through important legislation aimed at reducing inflation, including a bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, although Republicans dispute the claim that actually lower inflation.
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“The only party with a real economic plan is the Democratic Party,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tommy Garcia told Fox News Digital. “We’re going to spend every remaining day of this campaign reminding voters that despite Republican obstruction, Democrats have taken bold steps to cut costs, put millions of Americans to work, and protect Americans’ reproductive freedoms.” “.
Inflation remains high in the minds of voters, but recent polls have registered other issues that may be more favorable to Democrats.
In a Fox News poll conducted last month in Arizona, inflation was tied with abortion at 17% as the third most important issue for voters. Two issues tied for first place at 18%: border security and preserving American democracy.
A Fox News poll in Wisconsin found that inflation was the second most important issue among voters in that state, at 20%. The preservation of American democracy ranked first with 24%. Abortion lagged behind at 16%.
AFTER SEPTEMBER HIGHER-THAN-EXPECTED CPI REPORT, GOP LAWYER PREDICTS ‘EVEN HIGHER TURNOUT’ IN NOVEMBER
in Pennsylvania, inflation was tied at 21% for the most important issue, along with the preservation of American democracy. Registered abortion in 15%.
But Germer says that when voters go to the polls, inflation will likely be the main issue determining how they cast their ballots.
“For months, Democrats have been trying to make abortion the issue of the election cycle. And there are definitely some people who really motivate them. But that’s not most people,” Germer said.
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“I think the elections are important. I think there are some good ideas for reform,” Germer added. “I care a lot. But that problem isn’t what drives people. It’s inflation.”
Megan Henney of FOX Business contributed to this report.