Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Oct. 18 downplayed polls showing that issues like inflation and crime are top issues for voters, opining instead that abortion is forefront on voters’ minds.
Since President Joe Biden took office, voters across the country have paid higher prices at the grocery store and gas pump amid record-breaking levels of inflation. Voters in major cities have also suffered from a record-breaking year of violent crimes, with some cities breaking records for murder rates.
Though Democrats have tried to shift the fault for these issues away from their party, Democrats’ domination of the White House, House, and Senate have driven GOP hopes to take back at least one chamber of Congress next year.
Predictably, these have been among Republicans’ most talked-about issues in the final sprint of the midterm cycle, and a handful of polls seem to suggest that voters agree that crime and inflation are their biggest concerns at the moment.
One poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris released to The Hill showed that voters three biggest issues were crime, inflation, and immigration.
Some 74 percent of Americans polled labeled inflation as a “very important” issue, compared to only 22 percent who downgraded it to “somewhat important.” Another 68 percent agreed that crime was a “very important” issue while 59 percent gave immigration the same importance.
By contrast, abortion—an issue which Democrats have emphasized in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade—only ranked fourth in the poll. Some 55 percent labeled it a “very important” issue, while 29 percent called it “somewhat important.”
A New York Times-Sienna poll showed the same trends.
According to that poll, 26 percent of likely voters labeled the economy the most important issue the country is facing. Inflation specifically came in at the number two spot, with 18 percent of those polled calling it the most important issue the country is facing.
By comparison, abortion and immigration were tied for the number three spot, with each being labeled the most important issue the country is facing by five percent of likely voters.
‘I Don’t Agree’ With Polls
During a sit-down interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchel, Pelosi said she “[doesn’t] agree” that inflation and crime are top issues for voters.
“Much of what you’ve said I don’t agree with,” Pelosi said Oct. 18. “The New York Times poll, I think, is an outlier poll.”
“It’s also the RealClearPolitics average is showing similar issues,” Mitchel retorted.
“No, but that was one that brought down the average, and it was an outlier,” Pelosi replied. “It wasn’t even that big a sample. So I dismiss that.”
She added, “I can tell you that women’s concerns about their freedom are very, very much still very significant in terms of how they will vote.”
“It’s a matter of who turns out to vote,” Pelosi opined.
Pelosi also indicated that she thinks current inflation is in fact a sign that the economy under Democrats is strong.
Democrats want to reduce inflation too, Pelosi insisted, “but some of the inflation in our country sprang from the fact that this president created nearly 10 million jobs, at least 9 million jobs.”
“When you’re talking about inflation, unemployment can be dangerously low. So they are not unrelated,” she added.
All in all, Pelosi said she feels “pretty good” about her party’s prospects.
Pelosi explained her optimism: “We want to give women freedom of choice. They [the political opposition] want to have a ban on abortion. We want to support and strengthen Medicare, Social Security, etc. They want to use a debt ceiling to cut that. We have lowered the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. They want to reverse that. We want to save the planet for our children in the future. They say that that’s a hoax.”