What voters in four swing states say about inflation, abortion and extremism
(WASHINGTON) — As the final days tick down to Election Day, voters from Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania recently spoke about their concerns.
High gas prices: Biden’s solution?
Florida resident Justin Vega said that he had to sell his car because he can’t keep up with the price of oil and gas.
“It was either to live and groceries to eat or a car to drive,” he said.
On top of the gas prices, he said, he could no longer afford the insurance on his car because of high inflation.
With polls consistently showing that price increases and the economy are top of mind for voters, the White House maintains that inflation is a top priority. President Joe Biden’s administration last week announced the next tranche from the 180 million that Biden pledged this spring to release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Biden also said the administration is planning to buy oil to rebuild the stockpile once crude falls below $70 per barrel, to incentivize domestic oil production.
“It’s all about the election and it’s all about conniving the American public to vote for him,” Arizona voter Allen Nichols said in regards to Biden’s latest moves.
Nichols said he noticed grocery prices are getting higher and he blamed the high prices on the shelf on the oil it takes to get groceries to the store.
“The price of the food or the cargo inside triples in cost. And when you see eggs go from, what, 94 cents to $3.94. I mean, food is going to be scarcer,” he said, adding, “You’ll be at home, but you’ll be starving to death and you’ll be freezing to death.”
Adam, an independent voter from Arizona who did not give ABC News his last name, said that he drives a Tesla and a Toyota.
“I do support moving away from oil to a healthy working energy alternative,” he said. “I do understand that oil is destructive to the environment, and I do not want to see the carpet yanked out from underneath Americans.”
He said that everything relies on oil and the idea of a crisis scares him. He said that the U.S. needs a better transition plan to get off of oil, but the government is not there yet.
“My stepdad and my father both drive a lot for work and it’s certainly impacting them significantly and it’s already impacted their ability to retire,” Adam said of gas prices.
Ohio voter David Kissinger said that as a man of faith, he will never embrace abortion. But he said he does not have the right to tell others what to do — which has become a key debate in states across the country after Roe v. Wade’s nationwide guarantees were struck down.
ABC News polling has shown Roe was generally popular with the public.
“The opportunity for choice that that should be given to all citizens,” Kissinger said. “The choice when something so persona is being considered and is being discussed and being considered. No government should get in the way of that.”
Another Ohio voter, Lisa Sobecki, said she was a rape survivor and had an abortion. She said it’s important for others to have the same options she did.
“I had to make the decision for my own body if I was going to keep a child that was I impregnated with or not,” Sobecki said. “That was my choice between my family or my priest, and I chose to have that abortion.”
Pennsylvania voter Cindy Rogers said that she’s worried about what could happen to abortion in the future.
“I’m afraid again of the perception that they want to demolish abortion entirely. I’m not for that and I just think that the Democrats are more worthy of listening to the people who are out there,” said Rogers.
Ohio voter Elizabeth Enright said that she was disturbed by the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe.
“I don’t believe abortion should be used as a birth control but abortion, there’s good causes for needing an abortion,” she said. “That was very hurtful as a woman and I feel like this is the start our rights being taken away.”
Rogers said she believed that Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano would interfere in the election if he were voted in.
“He definitely is still in that [false] realm where 2020 was stolen and looking ahead that he definitely would do something in regard to our voting machines if he had to,” Rogers said.
Joseph, a veteran from Arizona who did not give ABC News his last name, said that he helped teach democracy in the Soviet Union. He said he sees far-right GOP candidates and voters as a threat to democracy.
“In the Soviet Union where I taught, the same tactics that we use there are now in vogue in the United States of America to divide us, to separate us to an end that I don’t know what is the greater end, to get people to believe in QAnon,” he said, referring to the online-based conspiracy theory.
Joseph said that part of the problem is that many people do not believe in the safety of mail in ballots anymore, or the safety of elections.
“I don’t see any greater good on the Republican side, or the MAGA side,” he argued.
Sobecki, in Ohio, said that what happened on Jan. 6 is affecting her vote.
“They [Republicans] know exactly who taunted, who supported, who cheered them along and I’ve yet to hear J.D. Vance come out strong against that,” Sobecki said, referring to the Ohio GOP Senate nominee.
David Lucier, a veteran and voter from Arizona, said that some of the GOP candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, are extremists.
“I’m just so sick and tired of listening to [DeSantis] drone on about how people cheat, lie and steal. And you know how people aren’t good and the government is bad. I’m through with it,” Lucier said.
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