A CBS poll showed that 63 percent of voters billed the U.S. economy as bad, and a whopping 66 percent said that rising inflation has been difficult in their personal lives.
The majority of Americans say the economy is not doing well, which could hurt Democrats in the lead-up to November's midterms.
"Perceptions of the economy are one of the most powerful influences on voters. When they think the economy is doing well, they reward the party in power. When they think it's bad, they punish the party in power," Christopher Galdieri, assistant professor at Saint Anselm College, said.
A CBS poll released earlier this week showed that 63 percent of voters billed the U.S. economy as bad, and a whopping 66 percent said that rising inflation has been difficult in their personal lives. What's more, among those who deemed the economy as bad, 86 percent said it was due to inflation - which is the highest in four decades - and 82 percent pointed to gas prices.
Half said the reason was because they did not trust the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden. A CBS/Yougov poll released in recent days also found that 69 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden's handling of inflation, with 31 percent approving.
All this could bode ill for Democrats in November's midterms, at a time when Biden's polls stand at record lows, with 41.4 percent approval, according to the average of polls of RealClearPolitics, an American political news website and polling data aggregator.
Indeed, strong recent jobs reports have not been sufficient to change the views of many Americans that the economy is faring poorly. While wages have climbed amid inflation, the rise has not been enough to offset the impact of inflation.
LIFE Magazine runs a story on the rocketing meat prices in the United States, caused by inflation, which are angering customers at the grocery checkout. pic.twitter.com/qw1YLJ7AXP— 1972 Live (@50YearsAgoLive) April 14, 2022
The White House blames price hikes on the war in Ukraine, although inflation started long before that conflict. The White House has also accused oil companies of price gouging - a charge they deny.
"Americans hadn't experienced any significant inflation in decades before now, while they have experienced many ups and downs in the job market. So price increases are top of mind for many people," said Clay Ramsay, a researcher at the center for international and security studies at the University of Maryland.
Noting that while wages have increased, they haven't kept pace with the prices for things people buy, Ramsay said. "The Democrats would be in trouble even without this, because they couldn't pass their agenda," due to division within the party. "Inflation makes their situation worse," he added.
Galdieri said Democrats "need a sharp turnaround in the state of the economy, as reflected by worries over inflation and gas prices, if they want to have any chance of avoiding the traditional 'midterm curse' for the party controlling the White House." Typically, the party in control of the White House loses seats in the midterms.
The United States has the largest prison population of more than 2 million and the highest prison population rate of 629 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants. pic.twitter.com/s7fytQ9H6w— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) March 14, 2022