Pelosi says crime, inflation not top issues for voters, but abortion is

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has denied recent polls showing rising crime and rising prices are the top issues for voters this November — and joined President Biden in shifting focus to abortion rights.

A New York Times and Siena College poll released Monday showed that the economy and inflation were the top issues for a combined 44% of likely voters — part of a larger shift toward Republicans just three weeks before Election Day.

When MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell quoted the poll during an interview with Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday, the House Speaker had no idea.

“I don’t agree with a lot of what you’ve said,” Pelosi, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, told Mitchell. “The New York Times poll is an outlier poll in my opinion.”

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When Mitchell countered that “the Real Clear Politics average has similar problems,” the speaker didn’t back down.

“No, but that was one that brought the average down and it was an outlier,” Pelosi insisted. “It wasn’t even that big of a sample. So I reject that.”

Pelosi further claimed that based on her observations of “visiting five states a week” since the congressional recess in late September, abortion is one of the top issues in the midterm elections.

“I can tell you that women’s concern for their freedom is very, very important when it comes to how they are going to vote,” she said.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied polls that said rising crime and rising prices were voters’ top issues this November.
AP/Mariam Zuhaib

In contrast to paperback issues, abortion was the top issue for just 5% of likely voters in the Times Siena poll — and just 8% of likely voters who identified as Democrats.

Along the same lines, a CNN poll released last week showed that 93% of likely voters said the economy was “extremely” or “very important” in determining their vote. A relatively paltry 75% said the same about abortion.

A University of Monmouth poll released earlier this month had similar results: 82% said inflation was a “very” or “extremely” important issue, and just 56% said the same about abortion.

People hold signs on stage as President Joe Biden speaks about abortion
Activists on stage as President Joe Biden addresses abortion access in Washington on October 18, 2022.
AP/Evan Vucci
A poll by the New York Times and Siena College showed that the economy and inflation were the top issues for voters.
AP/Mark Lennihan

Despite the disheartening data, Democrats have sought to overturn the Supreme Court’s June ruling overthrowing Roe v. Wade to label Republicans as extreme supporters of abortion restrictions.

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At a campaign rally on Tuesday, President Biden pledged to include abortion rights in federal law if Democrats retain control of the House and Senate in January.

“I want to remind all of us how we felt when 50 years of constitutional precedent was overturned,” Biden said in a speech at Washington’s Howard Theater, “the anger, the concern, the disbelief.”

That’s probably an empty promise as Republicans are heavily favored to at least win the House of Representatives on November 8th. Meanwhile, an attempt to codify abortion law last May died in the Senate after failing to win even a single GOP vote.


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