White House eager to promote dropping prices this Thanksgiving season amid campaign headwinds

The White House – and President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign – are eager to promote dropping prices on everything from gas to the cost of turkey this Thanksgiving as they look to convince skeptical Americans that the president’s policies are paying off for their pocketbooks.

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients and top economic and communications officials have been keyed in on touting the improved figures ahead of the holidays, two White House officials said, holding meetings on how to communicate the drop in prices to the public.

The White House is also putting economic surrogates out on regional television to push the message this coming week, one White House official said.

Zients, along with other economic and communication aides, has used social media to promote news reports on prices drops for gas, travel and turkey.

“Good news for families. More work to do,“ Zients posted Monday on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, alongside one story. It’s similar to a tactic used by his predecessor, Ron Klain, who would monitor and promote easing gas prices on a regular basis on social media.

The holiday push to highlight easing prices comes as the White House and Biden campaign have struggled to move the needle with voters who say they feel economic pain despite some improved economic indicators.

A new NBC News poll found only 38% of voters on the national level approve of President Biden’s handling of the economy. A recent New York Times/Sienna College poll conducted last month found 52% of registered voters in key swing states had a poor view of the economy.

And the economy is expected to be a prominent issue for voters heading into 2024 with 66% of registered voters on the national level saying the economy will be extremely important to their votes, according to a CNN poll, conducted by SSRS.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that while he and other administration officials are focused on highlighting these positive economic indicators, he also argued that while Americans feel there’s more to be done they “agree” with the path Biden is taking.

“That doesn’t mean you can go around saying that everything’s perfect. And we recognize that. American’s have had a rough few years, especially when you think about Covid,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash on “Inside Politics,” adding: “We’re not out there saying that all of the work is done, we’re out there pointing to the good work that we’re doing.”

As Americans gather around their Thanksgiving tables this year, the price of the average meal is down from a historic high, signaling some relief from rampant inflation. The average cost of the feast is down approximately 4.5% compared with last year, according to the American Farm Bureau’s annual survey.

A Thanksgiving meal of 12 classic items for 10 people will cost $61.17 on average, compared to last year’s record high average of $64.05.

Gas prices have also fallen just in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush. The national average price of regular gasoline is down by 55 cents a gallon over the past two months to $3.33, according to AAA. This exceeds the typical seasonal drop in gas prices during the fall and leaves the national average at a 10-month low.

US consumer price inflation last month cooled more than expected, after rising for the last two months. The Consumer Price Index rose 3.2% for the 12 months that ended in October, down from 3.7% in September, and clocking in at the lowest annual rate since March 2021, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released last week.

CNN’s Betsy Klein, Matt Egan and Sam Fossum contributed to this story.

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