AUSTIN, Texas - There is one week until elections, and President Biden is trying to boost Democrats in some tight races.
This comes after a new poll by The Wall Street Journal indicated more GOP voters are motivated to vote in the upcoming week.
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democrats, and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County GOP, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
MIKE WARREN: Katie, beginning with you, will the GOP take the House and possibly the Senate? What do you think the chances are realistically?
KATIE NARANJO: Well, it's a long tradition that when the president of one party is in office, that the other party does well, although there's been a number of things that happened in our country. Right. Whether it's the Supreme Court decision and women's rights being taken away to Bali autonomy or the economy and the continued playing political games. I think it will be more of a toss up than when folks had expected in previous cycles.
MIKE WARREN: Matt Mackowiak back talking about the Republicans. Is it really fair to blame Biden for all the inflation when there was inflation worldwide and in other places at higher rates?
MATT MACKOWIAK: Well, what's absolutely the case is that the Bush administration has had a war on the private sector from the very beginning. You look at the COVID bills, which passed on a bipartisan basis in the Trump administration years, including with congressional Democratic support. As soon as Biden took over, they passed massive spending bills that didn't work for the most part. And they were passed on a partizan basis. And yes, they directly affected inflation. They've made things far, far, far worse. Look at the price of energy, whether it's the kerosene shortage we have in the Northeast, whether it's gas prices remaining well above where they were when he took office. Food prices being up. All these things are affected. Supply chain has been affected by their policies. And so, look, this this this election, the Democrats have tried to make it about a lot of other things. It is about the economy and inflation, and it is about crime in our cities. And that is why Republicans are going to win the House majority. Absolutely.
MIKE WARREN: Katie talking about the crime issue. The New York governor just in the last couple of days has said that crime is worse in the red states and Republicans are kind of spreading a myth about the prime crop crime problem during this election. Is she right?
KATIE NARANJO: You know, I can't really speak to what the governor of New York was saying, but I do have a couple of points that I think are important for voters. Right. People are voting right now and can be voting, but early voting goes until 9 p.m. and Travis County on November 4th. You can decide President Biden has been the president for two years, whereas Governor Abbott has been in office for eight. Inflation did not start two years ago. The supply chain issues did not start two years ago. Do you believe and do you feel that your pocketbook, that that your livelihood is better off now than it was four years ago or eight years ago? The state continues to not fund education, to not fund health care, to forget workers. Texans who are working hard, whether it be during winter storm Uri, whether it be in our hospitals or out in construction and on our utility lines. Do you have the support and are you able to live a happy and prosperous life? And for many of us, we're paying higher property taxes. Our schools are not getting those taxes put into them. The state's decreasing the amount of funds that is put into our schools. Health care workers haven't seen pay raises in decades. And so what we need to do is invest in Texans. And that's what Democrats are looking to do, not just in Texas, but across the country.
MIKE WARREN: You know, Matt Mackowiak, something that Katie mentioned earlier, according to The Wall Street Journal survey, it suggests that abortion rights are less important in voting decisions than voters indicated in the summer. How much of an issue of abortion remains important in this election?
MATT MACKOWIAK: Yeah. We're going to learn a lot, I think, from exit polling in battleground states once the polls close on November 8th. But if you look at the Wall Street Journal poll you cite or The New York Times poll nationally a couple, maybe ten days ago, it showed I think only 5% of voters believed abortion was the number one issue in the country. So as I said before, whether Democrats want to accept this or not, this issue, this election is coming down the election, excuse me, down to the economy, inflation and crime in our cities. And so, no, the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, who is now in a very tight race in a very Democratic state, is not correct. Blue states and blue cities are where crime is rising. We said to modern homicide records in Austin just in the last two years, and that is because we have you have married defund the police with prosecutors in urban areas that are not prosecuting criminals. And that is why we are at the place that we're at.
MIKE WARREN: All right. We are at a time. Again, we've got one week till the election. Katie, Matt, thank you very much.