Inflation is harmful to the economy, but it also poses a political threat to the party in power on an election day. In a survey of 94,293 voters conducted for nine days and ending when the polls closed on Tuesday, The Associated Press found that roughly half of voters were significantly concerned about inflation—and a slim majority said the Biden administration’s policies were to blame.
Despite these voter sentiments, the Democrats far exceeded expectations on Election Day. Although the voting has ended, a newly announced runoff election in Georgia on December 6 may wind up determining whether the U.S. Senate remains in blue hands. Speaking about inflation at a press conference yesterday, President Joe Biden pointed out a challenge, which is that “while we’ve made real progress as a nation, I know it’s hard for folks to see that progress in their everyday lives.”
Thankfully, a key development has arrived at the perfect time in the form of the October Consumer Price Index. Not only is this new set of data encouraging news for the U.S. economy, but it should help give Sen. Raphael Warnock a boost as he faces Herschel Walker once more in the upcoming runoff.
According to the new data released this morning by the U.S. Department of Labor, the annual inflation rate fell from 8.2% to September to 7.7% in October—even exceeding economists’ expectations by .2%. In addition, prices rose .4% in October, which is less than an expected .6% increase.
In a statement today, President Biden announced that the new set of data reflects the fact that “we are making progress on bringing inflation down, without giving up all of the progress we have made on economic growth and job creation.” Biden then connected the dots: “My economic plan is showing results, and the American people can see that we are facing global economic challenges from a position of strength.”
As the party in power, the Democrats have been the easy target for the GOP blame game over inflation. In the meantime, Biden’s efforts have, among other things, helped lower gas prices by around $1.20 less per gallon since the summer, given grocery prices a “much-needed break in inflation” ahead of the holidays, and saving millions of Americans $800 per year in health insurance. Biden also pointed out that his plan to lower prescription drug prices and energy costs takes effect in less than eight weeks.
The stronger the Democratic majority in the Senate, the better. However, if both the Nevada and Arizona Senate races fall into GOP hands, then the Georgia runoff will determine whether the Senate remains under the competent control of Democrats. As Warnock told an audience at a recent rally contrasting himself with Walker, “You actually have to know stuff to do this job.” The Democrats continue to prove that they “know stuff”—and they’re getting the job done.