As inflation has climbed to highs not seen since the early 1980s, Republican lawmakers have raised the topic more than six times more often than Democrats since the start of this year, newly compiled data shows.
Quorum, a public affairs software company, found that since Jan. 1, Republican lawmakers have mentioned the word “inflation” at least 8,158 times in press releases, speeches, newsletters, and social media posts, according to data reviewed by Axios.
Democrats, by contrast, only used the word 1,321 times in those same forums.
The data also found that Republicans mentioned inflation most often on March 1, the day of President Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress. The date of each month’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data releases also saw spikes in “inflation” mentions.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed inflation hit 8.5% in Marchthe highest annual rate of increase since December 1981.
In recent months, Americans have been hit with skyrocketing prices for gasoline, food and shelter – which the Labor Department has described as the largest contributors to inflation.
As of Monday, the average cost of gas was $4.09 per gallon, up from $2.87 this time last year. In March, the gasoline price index rose 18.3%.
Republicans in Congress, as well as local and state leaders, have used the rising inflation rate as a direct line of attack against the Biden administration and Democrats headed into the fall midterm elections.
“Inflation is at a 40-year high of 8.5% due to federal policies of borrowing & printing money at unfathomable levels & bad energy policy, which is hurting Floridians,” Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted last week. “Biden could unleash domestic energy production to provide relief. Instead, he is content watching people suffer.”
While Biden and several administration officials have blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for soaring oil and gas prices, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called on Biden last week to “look in the mirror.”
“If the Biden Administration truly wants to find the cause of record high inflation all they have to do is look in the mirror,” Graham said. “These dramatic, record-setting increases in inflation weren’t caused by Vladimir Putin, but by the bad choices of President Biden and the Democrats who control Congress.
“When they declare war on oil and gas, Americans end up with higher prices at the pump,” the senator added. “When they spend with no end in sight, they drive up costs for average Americans and allow inflation to take a larger and larger chunk out of Americans’ hard-earned wages. When they adopt a weak foreign policy that invites the bad guys to take action, we get a troubled and dangerous world.”
February polling conducted by Newt Polling Research found that 26% of voters in New York state view the economy as their top concern. The only issue that got more attention was public safety, which 32% saw as their top concern.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll from the same month found that 54% of Americans believed Republicans in Congress would likely do a better job of handling the economy, while just 35% thought the same of Democrats.