Poll finds Americans overwhelming believe the economy is worsening

A new poll spells bad news for President Joe Biden and the Democrats.

The poll comes from ABC News/Ipsos, and it shows that a clear majority of Americans believe that the nation’s economy is only getting worse. 

The poll was conducted, in English and Spanish, during a period from August 5 to 6. A random national sample of 665 adults was used, and the margin of error is 4.2 percentage points.

Some key findings

One is Americans’ perception of the U.S. economy.

ABC reports:

More than two-thirds (69%) of Americans think the nation’s economy is getting worse — the highest that measure has reached since 2008, when it was 82% in an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Currently, only 12% think the economy is getting better and 18% think it is essentially staying the same.

On top of this, only 37% of those surveyed indicated that they approve of the way Biden is handling economic recovery, and only 29% indicated that they approve of the way Biden is handling the four-decade-high inflation rate. The corresponding disapproval ratings on these issues are 62% and 69%, respectively.

On a broader level, the poll found that Americans trust Republicans to do a better job at handling economic issues than the Democrats, generally by a margin of about 10 percentage points.

Background

Americans have good reason to hold these opinions. The fact of the matter is that the American economy has been in extremely bad shape under Biden and the Democrats’ leadership. The country witnessed two consecutive quarters of negative growth to start the year, which is an indicator of a recession, and it has also seen backbreaking inflation, which is at a four-year high.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new, positive report that showed that the U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July and that employment is down to 3.5%. It is unclear whether those polled were aware of this report.

It is also unclear how Americans are going to respond to the passage of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which many experts, given the current state of the U.S. economy, believe to be a bad idea. The act was passed after the poll was taken.

Cause for hope?

The poll was not all negative for the Democrats. Roughly half of those surveyed indicated that they would vote for a candidate in the midterm election who is in favor of providing access to abortions. Democrats also beat Republicans on the COVID pandemic.

But, in addition to the economy, the Republicans scored better on crime and immigration. One would have to think that these areas – particularly the economy – are enough to give Republicans the edge in the midterms. Time will tell.

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