As we near Election Day, FOX 5 is breaking down the issues that matter most to voters, including a hot-button issue that is impacting almost every single American voter – inflation and the economy.
In the final inflation report prior to the November 8 midterm elections, the government reported that inflation continued to accelerate in September. According to the report, consumer prices rose 8.2 percent from 2021, and prices on goods increased 0.4 percent from August. The report also indicated that the rise in prices wasn't limited to just the volatile categories of food and energy, revealing that core inflation – which provides a clearer picture of underlying price trends – kept climbing in September and recorded it's biggest annual increase in 40 years.
The inflation induced price increases have impacted grocery bills, rents and utility costs, among other expenses, causing hardships for many and deepening pessimism about the economy despite strong job growth and historically low unemployment. A recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that roughly 46 percent of people now describe their personal financial situation as poor, which is up from 37 percent in March.
The continuation of rising inflation has led to higher prices for borrowing, as the Federal Reserve continues to aggressively hike interest rates at the fastest pace since the early 1980s. The increases are intended to raise borrowing costs for mortgages, auto loans and business loans and cool inflation by slowing the economy.
Adding to the issue, a recent study by WalletHub found that the D.C. and Baltimore regions are seeing some of the highest levels of inflation, which indicates that the issue will be particularly important to voters in the DMV heading into November 8.
Stacia Hall (R)
According to Hall's campaign website, she believes that the District's current leaders spend too much already, and she plans to reduce government spending. "With inflation spiraling out of control, we should be able to keep more of our own money. Taxes should be lower. Our government must learn to live within its means," Hall's site reads.
Muriel Bowser (D)
Incumbent D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser does not directly mention inflation on her website, but she details her previous work improving D.C. economy, including helping small businesses during the pandemic, providing rent relief, and lowering unemployment. The website also says that Mayor Bowser is "focused on allowing more residents get good-paying jobs to reducing income inequality."
Dan Cox (R)
Cox's website does not mention inflation or the economy. His top five listed issues include defending law enforcement, the Second Amendment, the right to life, the voice of the people, parental rights.
Wes Moore (D)
Moore's campaign says it is focused on "building a growing and thriving economy that lifts up every Maryland family." The campaign website indicates, Moore "understands how the economy works and knows how to increase economic opportunities through creating economic growth."
Barry Glassman (R)
Glassman does not directly mention inflation on his campaign website, but he touts his record of fiscal efficiency and protecting taxpayers and small businesses. The site adds that Glassman hopes to fund "education, public safety and create jobs through innovation and good government" and that he is a passionate advocate for the economy.
Brooke Lierman (D)
Lierman also does make direct mentions of inflation but her campaign website says that her long term agenda is focused on cultivating "a more financially resilient economy, in part by addressing systemic disinvestment and racial inequity in communities across Maryland." Lierman lists supporting fair and transparent taxes, helping small businesses and nonprofits, and tackling the racial wealth gap as some of her top priorities.
Michael Peroutka (R)
While Peroutka's campaign website did not have information on where the campaign stands on inflation or the economy, it mentions that some of his top priorities are prosecuting public officials who have exceeded their lawful authority, protecting the right to bear arms, defending the right to life, and restoring election integrity.
Anthony Brown (D)
Much like his opponent, Brown does not discuss inflation, but his campaign website did mention the importance of protecting and preserving the Chesapeake Bay for Maryland's economy. Among the other important issues Brown listed on his website are voting rights, cannabis legalization, protecting reproductive rights, and gun violence prevention.
Chris Chaffee (R)
According to Chaffee's campaign website, he hopes to quickly get to work on reducing inflation by "making America energy independent again." Chaffee says inflation is one of his top priorities, a problem which he says is hurting American families by forcing them to break the bank on necessities. In addition to tackling the inflation issue, Chaffee wants to lower taxes and reduce the national debt.
Chris Van Hollen (D)
Senator Van Hollen's campaign website says that he is focused on building "a stronger, more inclusive economy with more shared prosperity." As part of his commitment, Van Hollen says he has led the charge to "increase paychecks and benefits for working families and cut the costs of everything from prescription drugs to child care." Van Hollen also authored measures to end tax giveaways to the wealthy as part of President Biden's Build Back Better plan.
Congressional District 4
Jeff Warner (R)
Warner's official campaign website says he is firmly focused on lowering inflation and taxes, and wants Marylanders to keep more of their hard-earned money. Warner also says he believes "part of the role of government is to help promote a thriving economy," which he says he will accomplish by fighting for equal opportunities and fair wages for everyone.
Glenn Ivey (D)
In a campaign ad paid for by Glenn Ivey for Congress 2022, Ivey says that he understands that voters are having a hard time making ends meet, and as a result he is committed to lowering the cost of gas and food.
Congressional District 6
Neil Parrott (R)
Neil Parrott's campaign website says he is committed to fighting inflation. According to the site, Parrott "will work to lower inflation by reducing borrowing and spending less." The site also says Parrott aims to lower taxes, and he wants to lower energy costs by working to restore the U.S.'s energy independence.
David Trone (D)
Trone says on his campaign website that he wants "invest in the American people" by raising the minimum wage, giving equal pay, and providing a fair tax system." While Trone's website does not directly mention plans to fight inflation, it says that he wants to raise the minimum wage and tie it to inflation to help wages keep up with the cost of living.
Congressional District 8
Gregory Coll (R)
According to Coll's campaign website, he believes that the U.S. needs to maintain a balanced budget, reduce taxes and simplify regulations to improve the U.S. economy. Coll also says on the site that he wants to stop "stop runaway government spending and the worst inflation in 40 years."
Jamie Raskin (D)
On his website, Raskin doesn't directly mention his plans to deal with inflation, but his record lists several actions he has taken to help the economy, including fighting for affordable housing and securing funding to help grow Maryland's economy. Raskin's site says he is focused on reducing the income gap, and pushing for a transition to a green economy. Raskin's campaign site also lists confronting the climate crisis, protecting health care, and ending gun violence as issues important to him.
Congressional District 7
Yesli Vega (R)
Vega's campaign website says she is focused on tackling the inflation crisis by limiting government and being tough on spending. Vega says that "whatever short term benefit our families have seen from these big spending bills are being completely washed away by the increased costs of goods that deficit spending and debt from Washington has caused," and that a return to a constitutionally limited government is the way to fix the problem.
Abigail Spanberger (D)
Spanberger says she is committed to "addressing inflation head on," saying that she prioritizes getting products back on our shelves, lowering the costs of consumer goods, and fighting consolidation and price-gouging to help Virginians escape the economic squeeze they are feeling. Spanberger says she plans to invest in Virginia's infrastructure to help bring more business to the state and grow the economy. Spanberger also supports lowering healthcare and drug costs, according to her campaign website.
Congressional District 8
Karina Lipsman (R)
Lipsman's campaign website highlights the high prices of fuel, groceries, and utilities Virginians are paying due to inflation, and pledges that she will get the economy back on track. Lipsman says she will do so by limiting government spending, lowering taxes, and reforming social programs. Lipsman's site touts that she is the "only candidate (as of April 2022) to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is my promise to the people of Northern Virginia I will never raise your taxes."
Donald Beyer (D)
Beyer does not make direct mention of the economy or inflation on his website, but he lists several issues that are important to him. These include, climate change, education, federal workforce, foreign policy, gun violence prevention, healthcare, housing, immigration, racial justice, transportation, veterans, and women’s rights.
Congressional District 10
Hung Cao (R)
Cao's campaign website pledges that he wants to "unleash the power of the American spirit, allowing industry to innovate and small businesses to thrive." He believes to accomplish this, the government needs to stay out of the way of the people. Cao's site blames the Biden Administration for the country's rising inflation, and pledges he will help the problem by getting Americans back to work, cutting taxes, and balancing the government budget.
Jennifer Wexton (D)
Wexton touts her record of working hard to tackle the inflation issue and lower costs. Her campaign website says, "I was proud to pass our landmark Inflation Reduction Act which will save families money on everyday costs, reduce the deficit and ease inflation, and finally make big corporations pay their fair share and crack down on ultra-wealthy tax cheats." She also says that she will continue investing in America's workforce to help grow the U.S. economy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.