Americans are also suffering from high inflation and increased prices. And it could cost Democrats dearly in the midterm elections, which determine who will run for Congress.
It is the defining day of Joe Biden’s presidency. The Democratic majority in Congress is at stake, and Biden is in danger of being out of power if the Republicans win.
‘Indicator of the mood in the country’
2 years ago, Biden promised a better economy and more jobs. The latter has succeeded, but due to high inflation, many Americans are unable to make ends meet, and they blame him.
“The midterm elections are always a gauge of the mood of the country. It shows how people are thinking and right now they are uncertain about their economic future,” said editor-in-chief John Micek of the Pennsylvania Capital Star, a Harrisburg newspaper. “Not surprisingly, the economy is at the top of their priority list.”
Everything is more expensive
Micek says that the high inflation of around 8 percent affects Americans directly: “They see that milk and meat in the supermarket have become more expensive, they pay more money for a full tank and, for example, young parents also suffer from the price. increases in the supermarket. diapers and powdered milk, which were already expensive.”
Many people blame Biden for making everything more expensive and they are struggling to make ends meet. Micek gets it. “He’s the president of the United States, ultimately he’s in charge.”
Biden needs to set the right tone
Still, according to the editor-in-chief, there are few resources that Biden can use to fight inflation. “Economic policy is mainly with the central bank, the Fed. They have raised interest rates. What Biden can do is mainly psychological, he has to strike the right tone so that the market gains confidence.”
Opinion polls have shown for weeks that the mood in the country about the sitting president is not good. If Republicans win majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives today, it will be nearly impossible for Biden to implement any new plans. So it is very important for the Democrats to limit the losses.
The swing state of Pennsylvania
One of the states where an important race for a Senate seat is taking place is Pennsylvania. It’s an important one swing modea state where neither party has a clear majority.
Pennsylvania went to the Democrats in the 2020 presidential election, but Donald Trump still won 4 years earlier. And in Pennsylvania they are also feeling the consequences of high inflation.
‘one in seven’
“We’ve seen an 82 percent increase in the number of calls we get from January to September because of inflation, so that’s huge,” said Chris West of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, a food bank that operates in 11 counties. in Pennsylvania. “In our region, one in seven people is affected by food insecurity.”
He says it’s a diverse group. “There are families here with working parents, but we also see a lot of people on fixed incomes who are not keeping up with inflation. For example, the elderly whose pensions are not increasing. Or people who get food stamps for a month and only have a few more . save a few weeks. It’s really worrying.”
Depending on food stamps
One of the people who first joined a food bank in recent months is Jessica Horvath, a single mother of 10-year-old twins. She moved to Pennsylvania with her daughters in June when life in Florida became too expensive. “The prices there are three times as high, with my salary I could no longer afford to live there.”
She had temporary access to someone in the basement, but was unemployed and dependent on food stamps. “I get coupons for a month, but because of inflation I can only buy groceries for 2 weeks. I try to make big portions so we can eat more often and visit different supermarkets,” says Jessica.
‘Busy to survive’
The prices of petrol, rent and clothes have also increased. “Inflation really hits your basic needs, which is why I understand it’s at the top of the agenda for a lot of people,” says Jessica. President Biden doesn’t blame them specifically: “I think all politicians have fallen short in recent years.”
She does not yet know whether she will vote: “I have been busy surviving and feel that politicians from both parties are more concerned with winning than with people.” Politicians too often make empty promises, she says: “Two years ago I voted for Biden and look what it has brought us.”
Not the only one
Jessica Horvath is not the only one affected by high inflation, more than half of Americans say they are affected by it. Today, the Democrats want to see what this means for voters’ voting behavior.
The question is whether Americans will vote on social issues they consider important, or whether the pain they currently feel in their wallets will be the deciding factor.