• Polling

Two in Three Battleground Constituents Blame Corporations for High Costs

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 By Maryann Cousens
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Poll: Blame for High Costs

This Navigator Research report contains polling data exploring perceptions of the state of the economy, who battleground constituents blame for rising costs, and how those in the battleground rate elected officials on their handling of the economy. Battleground districts include House districts where constituents are closely divided along conservative and progressive ideological lines.

Battleground constituents are still down on the state of the economy, but their outlook has improved. 

The share of battleground constituents who believe the economy will be worse next year has declined by 16 points since last October. 50 percent of battleground constituents say the economy will be better a year from now (23 percent) or that it will be the same (27 percent); 31 percent say the economy will be worse a year from now, down from 47 percent who said it would be worse in a year in our October survey. 

  • A majority of battleground constituents have a positive outlook about their personal financial situation (56 percent positive) while 44 percent rate their situations negatively. 
  • While two in three rate the state of the national economy negatively (net -35; 32 percent positive – 67 percent negative), battleground constituents are slightly more positive about the economy in their local community (net -21; 39 percent positive – 60 percent negative).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Most Battleground Constituents Are Positive About Their Own Personal Finances
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Most Rate the U.S. Economy Negatively, But Are More Positive About the Economy in Their Local Community

At least two in three battleground constituents blame corporate greed for high costs.

72 percent agree that “corporations raising prices during the pandemic when costs went up but haven’t brought them back down as costs have decreased” is to blame for high costs, including more than four in five Democrats (84 percent), seven in ten independents (70 percent), and three in five Republicans. Two in three constituents also blame “corporations being greedy and raising prices to make record profits” (66 percent) and “corporations raising prices on consumers because they can” (64 percent) for high costs. By comparison, a smaller share of battleground constituents blame spending on government programs for rising costs (54 percent). 

  • Our national research has shown a 15-point uptick in the share of Americans overall who blame “corporations being greedy and raising prices to make record profits” as a “major” cause of inflation over the past two years.

Republican lawmakers in battleground districts have worse approval ratings on the economy than Democratic lawmakers in battleground districts. 

While people have net negative economic job ratings for both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Democratic lawmakers are underwater by 11 points (29 percent positive – 40 percent negative) compared to Republican lawmakers who are 18 points underwater among their constituents (25 percent positive – 43 percent negative). While Republicans have held advantages nationally on handling the economy, specifically-named Republican lawmakers trail Democratic lawmakers on economic approval.

  • Party trust to handle a variety of economic issues is split among constituents in the battleground, with the Democratic Party holding narrow advantages on “protecting consumers” (net +8; 39 percent Democrats – 31 percent Republicans), “looking out for people like me” (net +4; 37 percent Democrats – 33 percent Republicans), and “growing the middle class” (net +3; 39 percent Democrats – 36 percent Republicans), while Republicans hold high single-digit advantages on “handling the economy” (net -8; 35 percent Democrats – 43 percent Republicans) and “fighting inflation” (net -8; 33 percent Democrats – 41 percent Republicans).
  • By a near two-to-one margin, a majority of battleground constituents believe that Republicans in Congress are more focused on economic policies that benefit the wealthy and corporations (55 percent) than middle and working class people (29 percent). In our July 2023 battleground research, 64 percent of those in the battleground believed that Republicans’ economic policies focus too much on helping the wealthy and corporations.

Four in Five Support Cracking Down on Rent Gouging

Polling data on housing, including the share who blame greedy landlords for rent gouging, and what policies Americans would like to see enacted to lower housing costs.

More Than Four in Five Say Cracking Down on Corporate Greed Should Be a Priority

Polling data on how government should deal with inflation, and support for recent labor and consumer protection actions implemented or proposed by the Biden administration.

Two in Three Blame Oil Companies for Rising Gas Prices

Polling data on which industries are seen as most prone to corporate greed and who Americans trust to decide tax rates.

About The Study

Impact Research conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,500 likely 2024 general election voters from March 14-21, 2024. The survey was conducted by text-to-web (100 percent). Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the 61 congressional districts included in the sample across a variety of demographic variables. The margin of error for the full sample at the 95 percent level of confidence is +/- 2.5 percentage points. The margin for error for subgroups varies and is higher.

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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