NEWS AND OPINION:
Voters are vexed. Very vexed.
“Even Democrats blame President Biden’s policies for inflation,” writes Nate Ashworth, founder of the Election Central news site.
“The country has reached a tipping point of frustration with the Biden administration that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Independent voters have peeled away from President Biden over the past year but now a new trend is sending shockwaves up and down the ballot less than five months out from the November midterms,” Mr. Ashworth says.
He points out that a new Issues & Insights/TIPP poll now reveals that voters “overwhelmingly” blame Mr. Biden’s policies directly for the nation’s runaway inflation.
“There is no ‘blame [Vladimir] Putin’ argument that seems to be deflecting criticism. It’s all Biden’s fault and the American people know it. The crux here, however, is that it’s not just Republicans and independent voters, Democrats as well are now blaming Biden for his policies leading to rampant inflation,” Mr. Ashworth advises.
Two-thirds of the respondents said Mr. Biden was responsible for causing the current inflation — that finding includes 88% of Republicans, 63% of independents and (drumroll please) 53% of Democrats.
“Indeed, of all the major demographic groupings, just one was below 50% overall: self-described ‘liberals.’ All the other groups, including blacks (61%), Hispanics (61%), men (68%), women (61%), along with every income group, every age group, and every education group, all felt Biden’s policies caused the current inflation mess,” noted an analysis of the findings from Issues & Insights editor Terry Jones.
“It’s hard to imagine a more sweeping repudiation of a president’s economic policies,” he said.
The poll of 1,310 U.S. adults was conducted June 8-10 and released Monday.
THE RECESSION PRESS
The possibility of a recession is the current press obsession, though the subject is open to interpretation among news organizations. A few headlines from the last 24 hours:
“Welcome to the recession, thank you Democrats” (Townhall); “Here’s what billionaires are saying about the next recession” (Forbes); “Americans are googling ‘recession’ more than in the last 18 years” (Market Insider); “Recession. Millions of layoffs. Mass unemployment, Hornet’s nest stirred up by Larry Summers’s forecast” (MarketWatch); “Recession-fearing bosses quietly abandon open jobs” (Bloomberg); “Elon Musk warns that recession is ‘inevitable,’ likely coming soon” (Fox Business); “What should you do with your money to prepare for a recession?” (CBS News); and “How Biden can convince us that recession isn’t ‘inevitable’” (The Washington Post).
THE PRICE OF FIREWORKS
Republicans are monitoring inflation and tracking the trends, and, more importantly, the increasing prices. Just the sudden increase in the price of fireworks may cause, well, fireworks.
“Traveling? Gas is set to hit $6 nationwide by August while airfares cost nearly 38% more than last year. Booking a hotel? That could cost you 22% more. Grilling? Meat is up 12%. Fireworks? Expect to pay 25-30% more than last summer. Sending the kids to camp? It’s so expensive that many parents are skipping it entirely. Traveling? Gas is set to hit $6 a gallon nationwide by August while airfares cost nearly 38% more than last year,” reports Kyle Martinsen, deputy director of rapid response for the Republican National Committee, in a report shared with Inside the Beltway.
“So why will your summer be so expensive this year? Two words: President Biden. But don’t expect Biden to stop blaming others and do his job. He comes up with a new excuse for inflation every month,” Mr. Martinsen says.
WATCHING THE WATCHES
Some activities of note continue, despite a recession, inflation, jittery stock markets and other financial concerns. We pause now to bring you the results of a recent online auction of 168 fine watches staged by Christie’s, the master auctioneer of New York City.
So behold, here are what a few of these watches fetched, in no particular order:
Patek Philippe Nautilus wristwatch, Ref. 5711/1A-101, ($113,400); Patek Philippe perpetual calendar, watch Ref. 397EP ($107,100); Breguet perpetual calendar watch, Ref. 5447, ($81,990); Rolex Daytona, Ref. 116520, ($40,320); Rolex Yacht Master II, Ref. 116668 ($37,800); Rolex GMT Master, Ref. 1675, “Pepsi” style ($27,720); Rolex Submariner, Ref. 11610LV, “Kermit” style ($20,160).
By the way, according to Guinness World Records, the most expensive watch ever sold at auction was a stainless-steel edition of the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime, Ref. 6300A, which went for $33,649,500 at a Christie’s auction in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 19, 2019.
During the week of June 13-19, Fox News triumphed over the cable news competition for the 70th consecutive week, according to Nielsen Media Research, earning a nightly average of 2.2 million primetime viewers. In contrast, MSNBC earned 1.4 million viewers and CNN averaged 511,000 during that period. This also marks the 44th consecutive week that Fox News has drawn more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined.
With 3 million viewers each, “The Five” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” led the way. Another standout was Fox News late-night host Greg Gutfeld, who averaged an audience of 2 million viewers, compared to ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with 1.8 million and NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” with 1.2 million. Fox Business Network, meanwhile, averaged a daytime audience of 261,000, compared to CNBC, which saw 216,000.
POLL DU JOUR
• 41% of U.S. adults say they have “health care debt” due to medical or dental bills for themselves, or for a child, spouse or parent.
• 24% of this group say the bills are past due or that they are unable to pay them.
• 21% say they are paying off the bills over time directly to a provider.
• 17% say the bills comprise a debt they owe to a bank, collection agency or another lender.
• 17% say the bills comprise a debt they have put on a credit card and are paying off over time.
• 10% say the bills comprise a debt they owe to a family member or friend for money they borrowed to pay the costs.
SOURCE: A Kaiser Family Foundation poll of 2,375 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 25-March 20 and released June 16.
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