Inflationary politics: GOP messaging capitalizes on rising consumer prices
If monthly inflation reports continue showing less-than-favorable numbers, however, that may no longer be an option. Jonathan Bydlak, director of the Governance Program at the conservative R Street Institute, said the possibility of losing competitive districts in 2022 over inflation could deepen divisions between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party and imperil the reconciliation bill.
“It’s easy to be in favor of all these things when there’s no apparent impact on the economic well-being of Americans,” Bydlak said. “But as soon as [House moderates] look and think they may be in trouble electorally, it’s not implausible to see perhaps a rethinking of priorities.”
One messaging possibility for Democrats if inflation becomes a salient issue in the midterm elections could be placing the blame on former President Donald Trump. But, Bydlak pointed out, that strategy has its downsides.
“Theoretically, [Democrats] do have somewhat of an out, they could basically say, ‘This is Trump-flation,’” Bydlak said. “But they can’t really do that because they have the progressive part of the party that wants to see even larger amounts of spending.”