More Americans Struggling; Inflation, Gas Prices Top Family Concerns – Poll

More Americans Struggling; Inflation, Gas Prices Top Family Concerns – Poll
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Majority say federal government actions are hurting them

Islam News – The number of Americans who are financially struggling has increased by double digits in the past year as inflation and gas prices top the list of problems faced by the nation’s families. The Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll finds a majority say the federal government’s actions are hurting them and that President Joe Biden’s policies are not benefitting the middle class. Preference for party control of Congress remains divided, with no real movement since the spring.

More than 4 in 10 Americans (42%) say they are struggling to remain where they are financially. This is the first time since Monmouth started asking the question five years ago that the number topped 3 in 10 – the range in prior polls was 20% to 29%. Just under half (47%) say their current financial situation is basically stable and only 9% say it is improving. The high point for improving was 25% in April 2019. The number of people who say they are struggling has increased by 18 points since last year (from 24% to 42%), with that increase being fairly across the board when examining key demographic groups, including income, race, and partisanship (* see note). Currently, reports of struggling financially come from 58% of those earning under $50,000 (up 18 points from June 2021), 35% of those earning $50,000-$100,000 (up 15 points), and 28% of those earning over $100,000 (up 18 points).

Nearly half of the public names either inflation (33%) or gas prices (15%) as the biggest concern facing their family right now. The economy in general (9%) and paying everyday bills (6%) are among other financial concerns mentioned. Abortion, which has registered less than 1% on this question in prior Monmouth polls going back to 2015, is currently named by 5% – predominantly among Democrats (9%). Inflation and gas prices are the top two family concerns across a wide variety of demographic groups, including income, race, and partisan identity. Inflation as a top concern emerged in Monmouth’s July 2021 poll at 5% and then grew to 14% in December, before more than doubling in the current poll. The current poll is also the first time that gas prices are mentioned by more than a handful of Americans as their predominant issue. One year ago, the poll registered a wider variety of top issues, including the pandemic (17%), the economy (11%), everyday bills (11%), health care costs (7%) and job security (7%).

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