Inflation, economy top of mind for Americans heading into midterms: poll

The top two most important issues on American voters’ minds heading into the 2022 midterm elections are inflation and the economy according to a new poll, and President Biden’s marks on handling the issues could be a bad sign for congressional Democrats.

The latest ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday showed that inflation is the single most important issue to voters in determining how they will cast their ballots for Congress in November, with 80% of voters responding that it was either “extremely important” or “very important.”

Inflation rising (iStock / iStock)

Respondents said they disapproved of the president’s handling of inflation, which is hovering around a 40-year-high, by a 71% to 28% margin. An even higher number, 72%, said they disapproved of how Biden has addressed record-high gas prices, while 27% said they approved.

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Another 83% of voters responded that the state of the economy would be an extremely or very important factor in dictating their vote. Sixty-one percent said that they disapproved of how the president is handling the economic recovery, compared to 37% who said they approved of the job he is doing.

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The polling also found that Republican voters are more motivated to show up at the polls this fall, with 57% saying they are very enthusiastic about casting their votes compared to 44% of respondents who identified as Democrats.

Biden has insisted in the past that he does not look at polling in making his decisions, but his numbers on economic conditions are becoming more difficult to ignore.

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President Joe Biden (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)

As the public has become more disenchanted with prices that are expected to continue rising through the rest of the year, his party is at risk of losing the narrow majorities it has in both the House and the Senate.

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The White House has sought to place the blame for inflation on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, and has shifted responsibility for tackling rising prices to the Federal Reserve.

The president has, however, attempted to ease surging gas prices by releasing a record 180 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve over six months starting in March. So far, that move has made little impact. The average price for a gallon of gas hit a fresh high of $4.865 a gallon on Monday, according to the latest numbers from AAA.