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Erickson: Democrats' Sudden Hope Is a Direct Contradiction of Reality

  In the past week, various news organizations have run articles stating that Democrats suddenly have hope for November. In the words of one...

 In the past week, various news organizations have run articles stating that Democrats suddenly have hope for November. In the words of one Democratic strategist, “The vibe has shifted.”

To quote the television program “Ted Lasso,” it’s the hope that kills.

Democrats feel buoyant right now because their so-called Inflation Reduction Act is making it through Congress. The CHIPS Act has likewise passed. Democrats feel like they have some momentum. It is understandable. It also comes as late summer and early fall polling gives the traditional boost to Democrats.

Many Democrats believe the shift in polling is over the Supreme Court ending Roe v. Wade. They see Republicans nominating supposedly weak candidates. They see former President Donald Trump suddenly back on the front page with a federal search of Mar-a-Lago and think voters will steer clear of the GOP. They see a lot, and, with the polling boost, they have more emotional hope than rational belief.

Polling frequently shifts to the Democrats this time of year. In 2020, Democrats had a 6.8 percent edge over the GOP in the polling average for the generic congressional ballot. No one saw the GOP wave coming that nearly cost the Democrats the House. While the polling average was 6.8 percent, the reality came out to 3.1 percent more votes for Democrats.

After 2020, pollsters tried to assess what went wrong and came away with mixed reactions and no clue how to fix the problem. The consensus is Republicans are not responding to pollsters.

Now, in August, with the supposed “vibe shift,” the wind at their backs and a supposed surge in young voter support, Democrats are statistically tied with Republicans on the generic ballot, which is bad for Democrats. A tie tends to bode well for the GOP.

Then there is the real-world data Democrats prefer not to discuss. Despite President Joe Biden’s claim of 0 percent inflation in July, the actual number was 8.5 percent. Democrats passed their “Inflation Reduction Act” in the Senate and every news outlet in America has both dismissed its impact on inflation and covered it as a climate bill. The climate is not a priority for Americans.

Biden and his team may want to take credit for decreasing oil prices, but the reality is oil prices are down because economic activity is slowing and people are cutting back. One in two Americans cannot afford to fill up their car with gas. One in five Americans must put stuff back when they check out at the grocery store because they cannot afford their grocery bill.

Economists talk about an inflation problem. Americans increasingly realize they have an affordability problem. Since Democrats in Congress passed Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus plan in March 2021, real-world wages have declined every month. Americans can no longer afford things they once could.

Gas prices are down, but still higher than when Biden took office. Gas is up 44 percent. Meat, poultry and fish are up 9.3 percent. Milk is up 15.6 percent. Eggs are up 38 percent. Baby food is up 15 percent and there is still a formula shortage. Public transportation costs are up 19 percent. Airline fares are up 27.7 percent. Real average hourly earnings are down 3 percent.

Americans are falling further behind and seeing their savings wiped out just as a recession is forming. They cannot afford Biden and the Democrats remaining in charge. They may not like Republicans, but they do remember this situation did not exist under Biden’s predecessor.

Democrats can get their friends in the media to spin tales of vibes and momentum, but the data tells the real story. Democrats’ hopes will kill them like their policies have killed our economy.

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