Voters say abortion, inflation among their key issues: Swing-state residents speak out on their views

Rent was top of mind for some -- and Trump was for others.

September 19, 2022, 4:30 PM

This is part of an ongoing series from ABC News reporting in battleground states across the country, as voters share their personal views on major issues.

Voters have said they have some key topics on their minds in the months before November's midterms -- issues like the economy and high inflation, gun violence and abortion access after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

ABC News recently spoke with some voters in various battleground states, including Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Texas, for their personal views. The voters' perspectives are not conclusive but do offer a window into individual opinions on subjects that ABC News/Ipsos polling shows is of importance ahead of the election.

Republicans hope to seize on President Joe Biden's general unpopularity and low marks on the economy.

Democrats -- especially after Roe and a string of economic and social spending wins in Congress -- have focused on the GOP's position on banning abortion while defending their record while in power.

Inflation

An inflation report released last week sent stocks tumbling as it showed still-high prices -- more than 8% growth year-over-year -- and all but ensured the Federal Reserve would consider again hiking the interest rate to cool demand, which has been a months-long problem that the White House insists is a major priority.

Voters said that they have felt the effects of inflation on their wallets.

"A loaf of bread is like $1.50 more. I'm definitely noticing prices at the gas, but it's not only the gas -- it's the food. And we need food. We need gas, and we are wondering when is this going to let up?" said Arizona resident Karla Terry.

Terry said that she blames Congress for the high prices.

"It's coming from the top and trickling down to the bottom," she said. "But what can we do but go to the pump and pay for gas, go to the store and pay for bread? We don't have a choice. We're rolling with the punches."

Miami resident Daniel Demillais said that he blames President Biden and Democratic leadership.

"We moved from the incredibly high cost, incredibly badly run state of California to the great state of Florida where we can at least still live decently thanks to the great [Gov.] Ron DeSantis and the Republican party," said Demillais.

Stock trader Jorge Martinez lives with his fiancé in Miami and said that inflation is affecting what he buys, but his biggest problem is with rent.

"I think it's gone up like $1,000 in one year," he said.

"I normally buy like thin sliced chicken breast, but now I'm buying like straight-up whole chickens and just kind of spending an hour at home just cutting them on my own cause I'm not gonna pay an extra $15," Martinez said.

Across the Gulf in Texas, one couple said that they were shopping with their parents at different stores to keep costs low.

"We are still backed up from all of the things that we've seen from all the delays in 2020. That didn't just fix magically because we are two years out," Katy Forbes said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that experts say has been one major factor in inflation, along with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and other developments.

"We stopped house-hunting," said Forbes' partner, Chris Wyant. That puts them in something of a bind.

"We just continue to rent while our rent just increases," Forbes said.

Abortion

Echoing what ABC News/Ipsos polling has showed, some voters said that the reversal of Roe by the Supreme Court, allowing individual states to ban abortion, impacted their choices. Gwenda Gorman, a Diné woman who works for the intertribal council of Arizona, said she had a difficult time putting her feelings about abortion into words.

"[Navajo Nation citizens] consider all our children as a gift from a creator," said Gorman. "It's really hard to say how people feel about that, especially depending on who you talk to you."

PHOTO: A voter checks in at Suffield Middle School on primary election day, Aug. 9, 2022, in Suffield, Conn.
A voter checks in at Suffield Middle School on primary election day, Aug. 9, 2022, in Suffield, Conn.
Jessica Hill/AP

Others did not share Gorman's struggle on the topic.

"How can somebody be 100% pro-life?" said Ohio farm owner Deb Boyer. "They don't care if a child is raped."

"Democrats are on the right side of the issue this year. I think the proposals coming out of the other side are a lot more extreme -- and I think that our state is a lot more moderate," said Phoenix resident Ginger Sykes-Torres.

Trump under investigation

Some voters wanted to talk less about the 2022 candidates than about 2024 -- and a potential presidential candidate: Donald Trump.

"I don't think that any presidential election has ever been fair," said 19-year-old Ohio State University student Kendall Mungo. "The Electoral College is bull----."

Mungo said that she feels like the nation is more divided than ever before. One of the reasons some feel that division is the FBI raid of Trump's residence at Mar-A-Lago over what the government says were highly classified and sensitive documents that were improperly stored.

Trump supporter Jennifer Sledge, from Queens, insisted that she became a supporter even though she did not vote for him in the last election because she "saw the tactics that the left would use."

Other voters like Susan Connors, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said that she does not know why Trump is not behind bars. (He denies wrongdoing.)

"My husband used to be the mayor of Scranton," Connors told ABC. "I said, 'If you ever did that, you've probably already been in jail.'"

ABC News' Libby Cathey, Miles Cohen, Abby Cruz and Paulina Tam contributed to this report.

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