Although strategists from both parties are "closely watching" as (what's claimed to be) "transitory" inflation plagues the U.S. economy, Republicans in particular consider rising prices a "potent" issue playing to their advantage ahead of the 2022 midterms, reports McClatchy.
"I believe the economic challenges the country faces, with inflation leading them, will be the single biggest concern to voters this cycle," said Don Conston, president of a super PAC with ties to House Republican leadership. "It's already there, and likely that it will only intensify further going forward."
Operatives are arguing that "the longer inflation remains a concern, the more likely voters are to naturally blame the party in power in Washington," writes McClatchy. Recent polling from Pew Research Center and Fox News found voters to be decently concerned about inflation and higher prices.
"If inflation continues to rise, I think it's very problematic for Democrats," said veteran Republican pollster Glen Bolger. "The longer this goes on, the more it impacts the economy and the mood of voters. Voters are nervous." Democrats have noticed public concern, but hope the issue is moot by November 2022.
Inflation has already taken center-stage in Republicans' early paid media campaigns, notes McClatchy. In fact, "The NRCC, CLF, and its associated nonprofit group, American Action Network, have all aired TV or digital ads over the last three months blaming vulnerable House Democrats and their policies for rising prices."
"This is going to be an issue all the way through to the midterms," said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer. "This will come back to bite them at the ballot box in 2022." Added Republican strategist and former aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) John Ashbrook: "You'll hear candidates talking about it over and over and over again." Read more at McClatchy.