• Polling

Americans Want Government to Do More to Address Costs

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 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

  • American families are deeply concerned about increased costs of living, difficulty paying bills, and stagnating wages.
  • Two in three say it is more difficult to afford things since it was last year, while just two in five said the same in July of 2018.
  • Majorities support the government doing more to make things like healthcare, utilities, gas, groceries, and housing more affordable.

Americans Continue to Express More Pessimism About the Economy Broadly Than Their Personal Financial Situation

Republicans are the most likely to rate the economy as “not so good” or “poor” (80%) and to say they feel uneasy about their personal financial situation (56%).

Costs, Bills, and Wages Now Reported As Biggest Financial Problems

When the same question was asked in July of 2018, most cited healthcare, retirement, and taxes; now, the focus has shifted towards the inability to pay bills, inflation and the rising cost of living, stagnant wages, and not having enough money to make ends meet.

Two in Three Americans Say It Is More Difficult to Afford Things Than Last Year

The greatest increases in the share who say it has gotten more difficult are independents (25-point increase), Republicans (37-point increase), and white Americans (25-point increase).

  • Democrats (68%) and Republicans (73%) earning less than $50,000 are most likely to say it is more difficult.

Four in Five Agree the Government Can Take Actions to Create Jobs and Reduce Costs for Middle-Class Families

More than three in four independents believe government can take actions that both create jobs and reduce everyday costs for middle class families.

Bipartisan Majorities Support Government Doing More to Make Healthcare, Utilities, Gas, Groceries, and Rent Affordable

Sine July of 2018, support has increased the most for government making groceries (+26), utilities (+16), housing (+16), and childcare (+15) more affordable.

Calling out Republicans For Blocking Plans to Ease Costs on Working Families Is Most Effective Rebuttal to Spending Attacks

Citing Republican efforts to obstruct plans that would help ease the cost burden on working families strengthens a progressive argument that focuses on specific policies like lowering prescription drug costs; both messages are more compelling than Republican criticisms of Democratic spending.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Continues to Be Popular

Two in three Americans continue to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (66%), including 86% of Democrats, 62% of independents, and 46% of Republicans.

About The Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted July 29-August 2, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 110 Hispanic voters, 105 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 79 Asian American and Pacific Islander 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