As we enter midterm season, you’re already hearing a lot of messaging about the economy from both Democrats and Republicans. The latter claim that everything is horrible, as they go back to their 2016 habit of denying stock market records and low levels of unemployment. The important part, however, is whether or not voters – particularly those who identify as independent – will actually fall for the messaging. Fortunately, we have a good indicator that our messaging is either working or likely will be.
According to a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that polled families on their incomes and overall well-being, the Biden economy scored fairly well. In summary, the survey showed that out of 1,300 families, the majority had an increase in confidence over where they were at this same time last year. Only 35% of respondents predicted unemployment to be worse in a year and only 11.6% were worried about the future of their own jobs, a drop off by about a point since the consumer survey was conducted last November.
The most significant piece of data, however, is that the survey shows a steady drop in the number of people concerned about inflation, decreasing from November when they were at record highs – in both the short and medium term horizons. This suggests that despite the GOP amping up their rhetoric about supply chain issues and inflations, it’s not having much of an effect – and Democrats talking about the economy has a decent chance of resonating with voters. Of course, none of this means we get off easy – the midterms are likely to be very competitive this year regardless of who’s favored by the end of the summer. It does show, however, that if we put in the work and message about the economy, we have a chance of being in decent shape – at a time when the GOP is acting more anti-democratic than ever before.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making