• Polling

Americans Want Biden and Democrats to Focus on Inflation, Jobs and the Economy

Friday, May 27, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • When presented with a range of recent news items, the shooting in Buffalo and the leak of the draft decision of Roe v. Wade are the two Americans say are the biggest deal to them personally.
  • A majority say inflation is one of their top four most important issues and a quarter say it is their number one issue; only a quarter see Biden and Congress focused on it and Republicans hold an 8-point trust advantage.
  • Americans report feeling frustrated, uneasy, and angry about politics; among those who feel “hopeful” or “engaged and interested in taking action,” abortion is their top priority.

Americans Feel the Draft Decision on Roe and the Mass Shooting in Buffalo Are the Biggest Deals for Them Personally

Democrats are more likely to rate news on the Roe draft decision, recent mass shootings, and coronavirus news as “very big deals” to them than Republicans by at least 15+ point margins.

A Majority of Americans Rank Inflation as a Top Four Issue, While Just a Quarter Say Biden and Congress Are Focused on It

There is a 28-point gap between the share who feel Biden and Congress are focused on inflation (26%) and who want them to be (54%).

• Since early May prior to the leaked draft decision, there has also been an 11-point increase in the share who say abortion is a top issue (from 10% to 21%), and a 23-point increase in the share who say Biden and Congress are most focused on it (from 12% to 35%).

Inflation Is Americans’ Top Priority, Followed By Jobs and the Economy With Other Issues Ranking Notably Lower

There has been an 11-point increase since February in the share who say inflation is their number one issue (from 14% to 25%) while there has been a 10-point decline in the share saying the pandemic is their number one issue (from 18% to 8%).

While Biden and Democrats Are More Trusted on a Range of Issues, Republicans Have an Edge on Top Two Priorities

The Republican Party is more trusted on inflation (net +8) and jobs and the economy (+3), which remain Americans’ top two issues; Biden and Democrats are more trusted on issues including the pandemic (net +10), health care (+6), and Social Security/Medicare (+8).

Americans Report Feeling “Frustrated,” “Uneasy,” and “Angry” About Current Politics

Six in ten independents feel “frustrated” with politics (61%).

• At the same time, Democrats (58%), Black Americans (52%), and AAPI Americans (40%) are most likely to feel “hopeful” about politics since Biden was elected.

Thinking of Their Emotions and Politics, Americans Still Place Inflation as Their Top Concern

For those feeling positive emotions about politics, those who are “hopeful” (41%), “relieved” (43%), “engaged and interested in taking action”* (42%), and “excited” (35%) say abortion is a top issue.

Biden’s Approval Ratings See Decline in Most Recent Survey

Biden has seen a worsening of his approval ratings on a range of issues since May 2nd: his economic approval has declined by 6 points (from -16 to -22) and his approval on his handling of the situation in Ukraine has declined by 9 points (from -1 to -10).

One in Ten Americans Report Voting for Biden in 2020, But Disapprove of His Handling of the Economy

The 12% of Americans who report voting for Biden in 2020 but now disapprove of his handling of the economy are overwhelmingly

Democrats (80%), are more likely to be non-college educated (56%), and identify as liberal (41%) or moderate (47%).

• On the issues, this group overwhelmingly supports Biden and Democrats’ new economic plan (80% support), they are pro- choice (73%), and they don’t think Washington has done enough on gun violence prevention (77%).

Americans Believe Biden Values Hard Work, But Most Do Not Believe He Is Reaching Across the Aisle

For those who voted for Biden in 2020 but disapprove of his current handling of the economy, while they feel he “values hard work” (71% describes well), “is trying to do what’s best for the country” (61%), and “shares my values” (56%), fewer say he “stands up for the middle class” (44%) or “is reaching across the aisle to get things done” (34%).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 998 registered voters from May 19-
May 23, 2022. 102 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 62 additional interviews were
conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 105 additional interviews were conducted among
African American voters. 102 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org