Supply chain crunch will be a top midterm issue: poll

Voters in battleground states are feeling the effects of supply chain bottlenecks and expect lawmakers to tackle the issue ahead of the 2022 midterms, according to a new Consumer Brands Association survey conducted by Morning Consult.

The poll, which questioned voters in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire, found that roughly 7 in 10 respondents have experienced shortages at grocery stores, and around half said that supply chain issues have had a “major” or “big” impact on their ability to get critical products.

“Once invisible to consumers, the pandemic and holiday shipping crunch have unmasked the supply chain and made it kitchen table conversation,” Consumer Brands Association President Geoff Freeman said in a statement. “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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Nine in 10 voters in the battleground states said it is important to expand trucking capacity to help fix supply chain issues, and nearly 70 percent said they would be more likely to back candidates who support measures to boost trucking capacity. 

The poll found that around 7 in 10 voters support a federal system to ensure that trucks don’t travel without locally available loads, a concept floated by the Consumer Brands Association, which represents companies like PepsiCo, Campbell Soup and General Mills.

Voters largely backed providing more hours of service flexibility for truck drivers and “reasonable” truck weight increases. They were less supportive of lowering the truck driver age, with just 42 percent of New Hampshire voters backing the idea. 

The survey comes as business groups lobby Congress to take action to alleviate supply chain issues, starting with addressing the truck driver shortage. Safety groups have pushed back on measures to lower the truck driver age or expand truckers’ hours.

Experts say that the global supply chain crunch could ease up in the second half of 2022, but the emergence of the omicron variant has the potential to upend that timeline.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 24 to Dec. 8 among 692 registered voters in Arizona, 693 registered voters in Georgia, 589 registered voters in Nevada and 398 registered voters in New Hampshire. It did not provide a margin of error.