In 2022 midterm elections, ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ still applies

In 1992, the infamous Democratic strategist and campaign adviser, James Carville, famously coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” as part of a campaign effort to win voters to Bill Clinton. 

It was a contentious presidential year. President George H. W. Bush was seeking re-election but given the prevailing recession and growing economic uncertainty, Carville identified the pain point that would ultimately deliver votes to secure the presidency for the Democrats. 

I was 4 years old in 1992, so I don’t remember much from that year, yet that phrase, and more so the strategy behind the phrase, has been taught and discussed in the decades following its birth. As we enter the home stretch in what has shaped up to be another contentious election, the strategy and the sentiment from 30 years prior remains the same today. 

The economy remains the top issue driving voters this election cycle. The New York Times released a survey that showed 26% of voters view the economy as the most important problem facing the country (the highest in percentage compared to any other issue), and broadly, 78% of voters, according to the Morning Consult, view the economy as a top issue when deciding who to vote for in November. On top of that, CBS News released a survey that found 65% of voters believe the economy is getting worse and 68% say the Biden administration could do more to combat inflation. 


In Nevada, a state with one of the most contentious Senate races this cycle, is being hit hard by inflation. As of August, the state saw a surge in inflation, hitting 15.4% (almost double than the national rate). Broken down and annualized, that’s roughly $9,975 per household, or over $800 a month for basic goods and services. On top of that, Nevada is seeing no relief at the gas pump. The statewide average for a gallon of gas is $5.20, compared to the national average of $3.87, making Nevada one of the highest gas price states in the union.

Colorado is seeing similar trends. The Consumer Price Index for all items less food and energy rose 7.7% over the last 12 months. Food prices have increased 11.8% and gas prices hover around $3.67 a gallon (compared to $2.17 two years ago). The state has seen housing prices skyrocket by 23.6% year-over-year, with a median home price around $600,000, which is 51% higher than the national average.

The incumbent Senate Democrats in both states face a big hurdle this November. Nevada’s Catherine Cortez-Masto and Colorado’s Michael Bennet, both Democrats and loyal Biden allies in the Senate, have contributed to the economic disaster we all are facing. In 2021, they passed the second-largest spending bill in American history – the American Rescue Plan – at a tune of $1.9 trillion. In August of this year, they voted for an additional $750 billion in government spending through the Inflation Reduction Act. With these two examples, Cortez-Masto and Bennet have authorized the U.S. government to spend over $2.65 trillion in a matter of 16 months. Not to mention the additional spending bills they’ve passed within the same time frame or during their tenure in Washington. 


Legendary economist Milton Friedman once said “inflation is an old, old disease. We’ve had thousands of years of experience of it.” And “the only cure for inflation is to reduce the rate at which spending is growing.” The cause of inflation, as Friedman would argue, “is made in Washington and nowhere else,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Since taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden has enacted policies through a series of legislation and executive action that have increased our nation’s spending by $4.8 trillion. While some would like to argue that this is a Democrat problem, it isn’t. Government spending transcends political party. For example, Donald Trump spent $6.7 trillion ($4.2 trillion of which to combat the effects of COVID-19) during his four years. 

Therefore, acknowledging the root cause of inflation and working to rein in our government’s spending habits is where the answer lies. This election is important, not only for you and me, but for future Americans. Are we willing to jeopardize America’s future solely for cheap political wins? Or is it more American to identify the disaster we are in and fight to fix it?

Government spending is a problem and we are witnessing its results. We cannot spend our way out of inflation nor can we afford to promote policies that increase the rate in which we spend. So, while in this election cycle we’ve heard from candidates on a range of issues, I’d remind you that when push comes to shove, “It’s the economy, stupid.”


Government spending is a problem and we are witnessing its results with sky-high inflation. James Carville once said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The same applies in 2022.

Go to Source