Americans are nearly twice as likely to identify inflation as a threat to society as they are to point toward racism or illegal immigration.
Violent crime, gun violence, the budget deficit, public school quality, infrastructural decline, climate change, healthcare, and COVID-19 all take a back seat to concerns over the erosion of the dollar, according to surveys conducted by the Pew Research Forum.
Seventy percent of Americans identified inflation as a very big problem and a combined 93% said that it is a very big or moderately big problem.
Americans also expressed a marked decline in concern on the issues of COVID-19, unemployment, and racism between 2021 and 2022. “The share of adults who say racism is a very big problem for the country has declined by 10 percentage points since last April, from 45% to 35%,” Pew said.
Respondents to this year’s survey said the affordability of healthcare was a very big problem in 55% of cases — a four-year low from a high of 70% in 2018.
Pew’s findings concur with a CBS/YouGov poll in which 66% of respondents described the increase in prices to be difficult or a hardship and 86% of those who thought the economy was performing poorly blamed inflation.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that they disproved of President Biden’s handling of rising inflation and 63% disproved of his handling of the economy as a whole.
These numbers also shed light on whether President Biden’s attempt to pin rising costs on Russia, declaring it “Putin’s price hike,” has been accepted by the public. An Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll showed that just 39% of Americans approve of how Biden has handled the presidency.
These numbers display a dramatic increase from a similar poll conducted by Gallup back in March — just 17% of Americans cited a concern for inflation and 68% of Americans said their primary concern was something unrelated to the economy.
Gallup’s polling on inflation traces back to 1980 when 52% of respondents indicated that inflation was their greatest concern. The poll conducted by Pew indicates this is the greatest number of Americans to consider the rising cost of goods and the weakening of the dollar to be the chief economic concern facing the United States since Gallup began asking the public.
Republicans benefit most from these concerns according to a poll conducted by ABC News/Washington Post. The GOP enjoys leads over the Democrats on the issues of crime (12 points), the economy (14 points), and inflation (19 points).
That poll, which only questioned Americans on their feelings about inflation, found that 94% of Americans were “upset” or “concerned, but not upset” about the issue.