Supply chain expected to be U.S. election issue

by Emily Atkins

In several key U.S. states supply chain is going to be a deciding issue in the 2022 midterm election, according to new survey data from the U.S.-based Consumer Brands Association.

In Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire, Consumer Brands/Morning Consult polling found that voters expect their elected officials to act on solutions to prevent the next supply chain crisis. 

“Once invisible to consumers, the pandemic and holiday shipping crunch have unmasked the supply chain and made it kitchen table conversation,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of Consumer Brands.

Voters have exhausted their patience with years of government inaction, and elected officials can’t afford to lose sight of the supply chain after New Year’s Day.”

Consumers everywhere are experiencing challenges with product shortages due to supply chain slowdowns. Across all four states, a majority of voters say that supply chain issues have had a major or big impact on their ability to get products they need and still more have experienced shortages in grocery stores recently: New Hampshire residents reported the highest rate (75 percent), followed by Georgia (73 percent), Arizona (70 percent) and Nevada (65 percent).

There has been significant attention on the ports in recent months, offering a playbook for how government can play a role in easing supply chain pressure,” said Freeman.

“However, too much focus on one link in the chain only serves to relocate bottlenecks, not solve problems.”

According to Consumer Brands’ polling, overwhelming majorities in New Hampshire (92 percent), Arizona (89 percent), Georgia (89 percent) and Nevada (89 percent) feel it is important to expand trucking capacity next year to meet supply chain demands.

They also support a variety of options to grow capacity. When asked about their likelihood of voting for candidates who support key solutions to remove supply chain bottlenecks, voters in all four states offered majority support for every solution. 

More likely to vote for candidates who support…

AZ

GA

NV

NH

Creating “air traffic control” to match empty trucks with available loads

67%

69%

68%

72%

Offering Hours of Service flexibility to truck drivers

69%

70%

77%

66%

Allowing reasonable increase in truck weight limits

57%

59%

60%

54%

In Arizona and Georgia, 69 percent of voters are more likely to back candidates who support options to increase trucking capacity. The same holds true for 68 percent of voters in Nevada and New Hampshire. 

“Elected leaders have an opportunity to act on the supply chain’s lessons or face challenges at the ballot box,” Freeman concluded.

“Weathering this crisis is difficult enough — we shouldn’t have to confront a future crisis that forces consumers to question why their representatives didn’t do more when they had the chance.”