• Polling

Concerns About Inflation Soar Among Americans

Wednesday, June 1, 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
  • The vast majority of Americans remain pessimistic about the national economy, while unease about their personal financial situation has hit an all-time high since the beginning of Biden’s presidency.
  • Growing majorities of Americans show concerns about inflation broadly and feel the costs of gas and groceries have increased“significantly” or “a lot” recently.
  • An overwhelming and growing majority of Americans blame inflation on corporations being greedy and raising prices to make record profits.

Americans Are the Most Pessimistic They Have Been About Their Personal Finances Since Biden Took Office

Nearly two in three (64%) say they are uneasy about their personal financial situation, the highest share since Biden’s inauguration.

• Nearly nine in ten independents (86%) rate the state of the U.S. economy negatively, and two in three (65%) feel uneasy about their personal financial situation over the next few months.

A Growing Majority Are “Very Concerned” About Inflation and See Range of Items Getting More Expensive

Since May 2nd, there has been a 5-point increase in the share who say they are “very concerned” about inflation, with the greatest increase coming from independents (9-point increase, from 51% to 60%).

Intensity of Feelings that Gas and Groceries Are Increasing in Price Is Universal and Growing

Since early May, there has been a 14-point increase in the share who say the price of gas is going up “a lot” (from 75% to 89%) and a 7-point increase in the share who say the cost of groceries is going up “significantly” (from 77% to 84%).

Americans Increasingly See Corporations Being Greedy and Raising Prices to Make Record Profits as a Cause of Inflation

Since January, there has been an 8-point increase in the share who say corporate greed is a cause of inflation (from 73% to 81%).

• Increases in blame for greedy corporations have been universal: there has been a 7-point increase among Republicans (from 64% to 71%), a 13-point increase among independents (from 67% to 80%), and an 8-point increase among Democrats (from 82% to 90%).

On Oil and Gas, “Price Gouging” Is Most Descriptive, While on Big Pharma, “Corporate Greed” Is Strongest

Two in five Americans say a statement about oil and gas companies making $35 billion in profits while Americans pay more for gas is best described as “price gouging” (44%), while a majority describe pharmaceutical companies increasing revenue while Americans pay more for prescription drugs as “corporate greed” (54%).

• In both cases, language about corporate “profiteering” is least likely to resonate with Americans.

Americans Are Not Hearing “A Lot” About New Economic Legislation from Biden, Though Seven in Ten Support It

Just half (51%) report hearing “a lot” or “some” about Biden and Democrats’ economic plan, but majorities of Democrats (89%), independents (57%), and every racial group support it, along with a plurality of Republicans (47%).

Strongest Rebuttals on Baby Formula Shortage Criticism Emphasize What Biden and Democrats Have Done to Fix It

When testing a range of arguments against a Republican hit on Biden and Democrats for the shortage of baby formula, the best

responses focus on what Democrats have done to address the problem – including increasing production. Weaker arguments highlight that shortages were a problem before Biden entered office.

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