'Absolute Explosion' of Inflation to Hit US in 13 Days, Affecting Mid-terms, GOP Pollster Warns
10:14 GMT 18.06.2022 (Updated: 13:36 GMT 06.08.2022)
As the US saw its largest inflation increase in 40 years in May, a number of factors have been cited, including pandemic-related shipping expenses, rocketing energy costs, and price gouging by commodity sellers and oil companies. Furthermore, the Biden administration has repeatedly blamed Russia’s special operation in Ukraine for its woes.
in the US could soon get much worse, Republican political pollster Frank Luntz has warned.
"We are 13 days away from an absolute explosion on inflation," Luntz said on CNBC's Squawk Box on 17 June.
The political consultant told host Joe Kernen that in his opinion the full impact of inflation will be felt during the upcoming 4 July weekend. He singled it out as one of the three American holidays, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the population of the country typically "buy more food than at any other time of the year".
“Everyone's going to be filling up their car 13 days from now, and they can't put $40 or $50 in their tank - they actually have to fill it up. And that's when the explosion hits… They have to fill their shopping carts for the barbecues and the cookouts. Thirteen days from now, the American people are going to come face-to-face with these higher prices and face-to-face with the fact that they can't afford it," predicted the pollster.
Recently released numbers for the consumer price index (CPI) showed the annual rate of inflation in May from a year ago hit 8.6 percent in the US - the fastest increase since 1981. In an attempt to tackle inflation
, the Federal Reserve on 15 June raised its benchmark interest rates by 0.75 of a percentage point - in its most aggressive hike since 1994. Experts were cited as hoping it would make consumers spend less because of higher interest rates, lowering demand and, eventually, inflation.
Officials also slashed their outlook for 2022 economic growth, anticipating just a 1.7 percent gain in GDP, down from 2.8 percent from March.
According to Luntz, America’s economic numbers haven't been as bad as they are now since 2009. However, the difference, he said, was that at present everybody is reeling under the impact.
"Now with inflation, no matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter how much you make, you're affected by it. And that impact will be felt shortly. Inflation touches everyone everywhere," he said.
Luntz claimed that the administration of President Joe Biden had been repeatedly warned of the impending “tragedy”, but “they've refused the presentation".
The GOP pollster offered another warning for Biden and the Democratic Party, saying:
"Unless he gets this inflation under control, where people are not exasperated and are not furious...this is going to affect the mid-terms."
As the Unites States gears up for the mid-term elections in November, the 46th POTUS has seen his popularity plummet in the face of rampant inflation and over-the-top gas prices.
Whereas spiking oil, gasoline and diesel costs - as well as price gouging by both commodity sellers and oil companies - have been blamed
for the soaring inflation, the Biden administration has persistently tried to shift the responsibility onto Russia’s special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine for the hike. Ultimately, though, polls show that a majority of Americans feel the Democrat’s administration is the cause of their woes.
The state of the economy
, along with key issues such as gun control and abortion laws, are also feeding into America's poll scene. Political analyst David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report last week forecast that the Republicans would gain between 20 and 35 House seats in the mid-terms.
According to a recent Monmouth University survey
, 26 percent of Americans say the economy is the top topic influencing their vote for Congress this November, and 25 percent say abortion is the big issue. The next-biggest issues are health care (16 percent), immigration (14 percent), gun control (9 percent), and taxes (8 percent).