Given a list of eight issues, 31% of registered voters say the economy is the most important to them in deciding who to vote for in the presidential election, the survey results show. Preserving democracy in the United States was important among 29% of registered voters.
The economy was a focal point of 2022 midterm messaging as inflation remained stubbornly high following a rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. It reached a peak of 9% last summer but has been on steady decline since: June’s 3% reading was the lowest since March 2021.
President Joe Biden has been pointing to easing inflation as proof that his so-called “Bidenomics” plan is working for Americans. But the message isn’t exactly resonating.
The president’s job approval rating is sitting around 42%, according to a RealClearPolitics average.
About 38 percent of survey respondents in the Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday said they approve of the way Biden is handling the presidency, and 37% approve of the way he’s handling the economy.
Many economists have said that Biden’s stimulus package in March 2021 intensified the inflation surge. At the same time, though, inflation also jumped overseas, even in countries where much less stimulus was put in place. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also caused a spike in energy and food prices globally.
Now, though, gas prices have fallen back to about $3.50 a gallon on average, down from a $5 peak last year. And grocery prices are rising more slowly, with some categories reversing previous spikes.
Still, the cost of services, including restaurant meals, car insurance, child care and dental services, continue to rise rapidly. Auto insurance, on average, now costs 17% more than it did a year ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.