Crime, inflation: Key issues of the 2022 midterms

Rush Hour

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — Julia Manchester, a journalist at The Hill covering national politics as a breaking news reporter, is currently focused on this year’s midterm elections.  

Wednesday night, she joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour On The Hill” to discuss myriad topics relating to the upcoming vote, including Gov. Gregg Abbott (R-TX) delaying truckers at the southern border, busing immigrants to Washington, D.C, as well as the Texas governor’s upcoming election race against Beto O’Rourke.

Joined by NewsNation’s Washington bureau chief Michael Viqueira, Manchester also discusses solutions for inflation, as wholesale prices are up, the importance of the independent women vote and why crime is the sleeper issue of the 2022 misterms.

Q: The southern border has become a critical political battleground as we head into the midterms in this election year. As a matter of fact, when that bus pulled up … (with) about 30 migrants who had come from all over South America and Central America, there was no shortage of coverage.

The White House calls it a political stunt. You might call it political theater, for sure. But is it effective? Or isn’t it when it comes to the midterms and positioning and messaging?

A: Well, it’s certainly effective with Greg Abbott, who is really trying to send a message not only to voters around the country but voters in Texas, as he’s up for reelection in November. So this definitely is a campaign move, I would say, from Greg.

Q: Wholesale prices are up a record amount … 11.2% year on year. Beef up 16% over the course last year at 11%, chicken 12 and a half percent, not to mention the price of gas. You just recently wrote about a crucial demographic, very broadly speaking, half the population: Women and their concerns about inflation.

A: There’s a new poll out from a nonprofit women’s organization that shows that 52% of Republican women say that inflation and rising prices are a driving factor to get them to the polls.

Now that is huge, because we know that Republicans have really been working over the past couple of cycles to win women, not only to turn out their own Republican women base, but also to get suburban female voters.

Q: American politics has become rural as red, urban is blue and the battleground is in between. In the suburbs. So are Republicans now making inroads trying to win back that crucial vote?

A: What’s interesting about President Trump and suburban women in 2020, is that he lost suburban women, but a lot of down ballot Republicans — Senate Republicans, House Republicans running in 2020 — did well with suburban women. So suburban women were splitting their ballots when they voted for president and down ballot.

So I think you are definitely seeing Republicans trying to make inroads with these voters, and they’re talking about inflation.

I think you’re going to see them sort of try to cater their messaging towards women and talk about how it’s impacting women’s issues and that sort of thing.

Q: Another sleeper issue might not be a sleeper issue, and that’s crime. When you see the polling about crime as an issue, what does that tell you?

A: I think it tells you that Democrats are very concerned about how this is going to impact them, when you’re seeing crime erupting in cities and also across the country in general. So this is Democrats’ way of really pushing back against that.

You’ve seen other candidates like (New York City Mayor) Eric Adams, for example, in his mayoral bid very much focusing on that. Joe Biden very much leading the way too.

Q: you have some new information about one of the key barometers that tells us how this is going to go in the fight for the Senate, specifically and that’s campaign cash.

A: Democrats are raising boatloads — not only incumbents, but challengers.

So, for example, you have Mark Kelly in Arizona raising $11 million in just the first three months of this year. Then you have, of course, Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, both raising around $4 million and then Val Demings challenging Marco Rubio raising around $10 million.

So Democrats (are) doing very well in the Senate in terms of the cash game. Republicans (are) still raising a lot, too, but really have a problem — and that’s recruitment.

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