The CPI does not reflect the true cost of living in Trump Country

Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index report showed a 9.1% year-over-year jump. After similar news last month, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points. This means a double trouble for middle- and low-income Americans: increased spending for the former and job losses for the latter. But the economic strain on these Americans is not a new phenomenon, a truth that voting models have revealed better than official inflation data.

Take the swing districts that decided the 2016 election. In Freeborn County, Minnesota, along the border with Iowa, Barack Obama dominated the vote in 2008, winning by a 17 percent margin and 14 % in 2012, only for Donald Trump to gain 17% in 2016 and 16% in 2020.


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