As Election Day approaches and inflation weighs on Americans' wallets, a phrase coined by strategist James Carville for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign is resonating again:
"It’s the economy, stupid."
Inflation has remained persistently high at 8.2%, and "being an inflation… denier has its costs politically," Mark Penn, the chief strategist on Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign, told Fox News Digital.
"President Biden, who was elected because of an image of being in touch with people, has lost that glow completely," Penn added.
A New York Times/Siena College poll out last week showed the economy and inflation climbed to become dominant concerns, potentially giving Republicans an advantage in the midterm elections. Likely voters who said economic concerns were the most important issues facing America grew from 36% to 44%, higher than any other issue with voters most concerned about the economy favoring Republicans by more than a two-to-one margin.
Former Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore told Fox News Digital the inflation numbers could be killing the incumbent party's chances because they hit Americans' wallets every day. He called it a "political poison pill for Democrats."
The poll found that 49% of likely voters plan to vote for a Republican to represent them compared with 45% who favor a Democrat, an improvement for Republicans since September, when Democrats held a one-point advantage of likely voters.
"I lived through this in the '70s, when Jerry Ford lost his election to Jimmy Carter because of inflation, and then Carter lost to Reagan because of inflation," Moore added. "A lot of traditional Democratic voters… are concerned about inflation… that's the bedrock of the Democratic voting bloc."
Maslansky & Partners President Lee Carter told Fox News Digital that inflation and the economy are the number one drivers of the vote, but for women voters, the needle will still move over secondary issues, including crime and abortion.
"When you look at key races, you look at Pennsylvania… you've got cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, other places where crime is really an issue... Georgia, another place where the race is really tight, crime is an issue there as well. When you think about those second-tier issues, it's going to be… Roe versus crime in the battle for the female vote."
The Times/Siena poll noted a sizable shift in female independent voters. Independent women now back Republicans by 18 points compared to September, when they favored Democrats by 14 points.
"When you're looking right now at the messaging out of the Democrats and specifically Joe Biden's tour that he's doing, it's got this big ‘Restore Roe’ sign behind him. He's trying to capture independent female voters by saying choice is on the ballot and trying to get them motivated to go out and vote on that issue, because they're losing on the economy," she shared.