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The economy has slumped in recent months, and some political pundits are wondering how much that will affect the upcoming midterm elections in November, when inflation rises to four-decade highs and gas prices hit record highs.
The US inflation rate of 8.3% in April and May was among the highest in the developed world, far outperforming Japan, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Canada. President Biden’s administration has struggled to find a response to inflation and soaring gas prices, which remain around $5 a gallon nationwide.
To better understand how the economy will affect the election, or if it will at all, Fox News Digital contacted four policy experts for their take.
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Tulsi Gabbard, former US Congressman from Hawaii and 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee:
“I think the most important thing is that Americans are looking for solutions across the country. People already have enormous problems because of inflation, because of rising gas prices. People do not feel safe in their own communities. You know, the value of the dollar goes down as things get more expensive and people have a hard time making ends meet. I think what they’re looking for, regardless of political party, are leaders who bring solutions, and actually take action to address these issues.
“As I sit here in Washington, DC right now, I am acutely aware of the reality of how distant most of our political leaders are from this struggle and this frustrated reality that Americans across the country are already facing. … When people hear news from the White House like, “We may be entering a recession, but it really won’t be that bad,” things are already bad. Things are already difficult for many people, and it only adds to their lack of trust and trust in these people in Washington even know what they’re going through when they hear statements like this. People want solutions, so they’re going to look for them now and in the future.
“There’s way too much emphasis on the quotation marks or changing the message or improving the message or the narrative. What does that have to do with reality? You can say things are getting different or getting better, but unless people actually see action, unless people actually see progress toward progress and the resolution of those challenges, all they will continue to hear is a lot of lip service…”
Kellyanne Conway, former presidential campaign director and former White House adviser to President Trump:
“When it comes to the economy, Democrats want you not to believe what you see, but what they say. You see skyrocketing prices; they say, ‘I really doubt we’re going to see an inflationary cycle’; it is ‘temporary’. and a “high-class issue” that is “caused by ‘COVID’ and is “all supply chain related.”
“Inflation and recession fears have taken a toll on household finances, threatening overall stability and personal savings. US consumer sentiment plummeted in early June, falling to its lowest level on record, along with its highest inflation reading in 40 years. Recent polls from Fox News and CNN tell the same tale of woe: Well over three-quarters of Americans rate the economy as somewhat or very poorly, including 81% of independents and 76% of women. Biden blames Putin for American inflation, Americans blame Biden.
“The contrast between the Trump economy and the Biden economy could not be greater. Inflation was low, wages were high, baby formula was on the grocery store shelves and gas was cheap. There is a way out. A growing number of nervous voters know things were much better not long ago, and they want that back.
“Republican leaders and candidates and other influencers must formulate and present policies that benefit the job seeker, the job seeker, and the job holder. These include unlocking energy independence, lowering the tax burden, ending the regulatory assault on American businesses and workers, enforcing fair and reciprocal trade deals, and building supply chains that make Americans work — and put America first.”
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Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU):
“Regardless of what Secretary of State Yellen says, we are headed for a recession. The real question is not whether it will happen, but how serious it will be. It’s a similar situation for Democrats in the upcoming election. It’s not a question of whether or not they will lose, it’s a question of how bad their losses will be.
“Obviously, these situations are closely related. The poor economic policies of Congressional Democrats and President Biden have turned the difficult economic circumstances into an absolute disaster that will manifest itself at the ballot box in November. If Democrats are able to salvage positive things — like sticking the Senate — they’re going to need unforced errors from GOP candidates and a very shallow recession.
“In the meantime, Republicans just need to focus on economic issues while avoiding major slip-ups.”
Ari Fleischer, Former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush & Fox News contributor:
“The Democrats are in deep trouble, with or without a recession. But if there is a recession, many Democrats will lose safe seats. Recessions are devastating for the public, but they are even more devastating for politicians, especially those in power in the party.”
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The commentary made available to Fox News Digital in this article is part of a new weekend series in which strategists from across the political spectrum will be asked the same questions about hot political issues and given the opportunity to offer their perspective.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this article.