• Polling

Far More Americans Are Hearing Negative News About Inflation Than Positive News About Job Creation

Thursday, April 21, 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
  • Americans want more focus on jobs, the economy, and inflation, while they see Biden and Congress focusing on the pandemic and Ukraine.
  • There are signs of optimism on the pandemic: most feel the worst is over, say they feel the pandemic is mostly over for themselves personally, and are less worried about a range of issues related to the pandemic.
  • Few Americans are hearing news about economic progress, but support for Biden and Democrats’ new economic plan is at an all-time high.

Biden’s Ratings on the Economy Remain Underwater, Though He Remains Positive on the Pandemic

Since Biden’s State of the Union, his handling of the pandemic has remained net positive (net +7 in this survey).

The War in Ukraine and Economic Sanctions Dominate Positive News about Biden

While 77% of Democrats say they are hearing “mostly positive” or an “equal mix of positive and negative” about Biden, 50% of independents and just 26% of Republicans say the same.

While Americans See Biden and Congress Prioritizing Ukraine and the Pandemic, They Want Focus on Economy and Inflation

There is a 20-point gap between the share who feel Biden and Congress are most focused on the economy (29%) and who want them to be most focused on the economy (49%); there is a 23-point gap on inflation (25% want focus on it, 48% see focus on it).

  • On the economy, there is an 18-point gap for independents (33% to 51%) and 24 points among Hispanics (29% to 53%).

Most Remain Optimistic the Worst of the Pandemic is Over

Majorities of Republicans (67%) and Democrats (52%), and a plurality of independents (46%), agree the worst of the pandemic is over.

  • A plurality of Black Americans remain more pessimistic (44%) than optimistic (36%) about the state of the pandemic.

For the First Time in Tracking, Half of Americans Now Say the Pandemic Is Over for Them Personally

Half of Americans now say the pandemic is “mostly” or “completely” over for them personally, up from 47% in early April.

  • There has been a 12-point increase in independents saying the pandemic is over for them since our last survey (from 37% to 49%).

Worries on Pandemic Are Down Compared to January, While Highest on Potential Recession

There has been a 9-point decline in worries about new variants (75% “worried” to 66%), a 12-point decline in worries about returning to “pre-pandemic normalcy” (from (77% to 65%), and a 13-point decline in worries on worker shortages caused by coronavirus (81% to 68%).

Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Additional Funding for Coronavirus Maintenance Efforts

Majorities of Democrats (86%) and independents (64%) are supportive, while Republicans are split (net -1 support).

By Nearly 30-Point Margins, Americans Hearing “A Lot” More About Inflation Than Job Creation or New Coronavirus Cases

Far more Americans report hearing about Will Smith hitting Chris Rock (67% “a lot”) compared to those hearing about economic news. And, while almost half of Americans are hearing “a lot” about negative news on inflation (45%), just 17% are hearing “a lot” about positive news on the falling unemployment rate and only 18% are also hearing “a lot” about a new surge in coronavirus cases.

Only Three in Ten Believe the U.S. Created More Jobs Than It Lost in the Last Year

Pluralities of economically persuadable Americans believe more jobs were lost in the last year (41%) compared to just 21% who say more jobs were created (21%).

Inflation Remains a Sore Subject for Americans, Both on Groceries and on Gas Prices Specifically

Nearly four in five Americans say the cost of groceries are going up “a significant amount” (78%) and that the price of gas is “going up a lot” (76%).

Personal and National Views of Economic Situation Remain Pessimistic

Independents and Republicans are equally pessimistic on their personal financial situation (net -26 “confident”).

Support for Biden’s Economic Agenda Hits All-Time High

Independents support the plan by a 55-point margin and Republicans by a 10-point margin.

Perception of Biden Keeping Promises Increases if New Economic Plan is Passed

Passing the economic plan leads to a net 16-point increase in the share saying Biden has mostly kept his campaign promises (from net 0 to net +16), including net 22- and 20-point increases among independents and Republicans, respectively.

About The Study

This release features findings from national online surveys of 997 registered voters conducted April 14 - 18, 2022. Additional interviews were conducted among 100 Hispanic voters, 101 African American voters, 100 independents without a partisan lean, and 76 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