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Biden's Handling of the Economy Criticized as Voters Feel the Pinch of Inflation

Biden's Handling of the Economy Criticized as Voters Feel the Pinch of Inflation

May 13, 2024

Biden's Handling of the Economy Criticized as Voters Feel the Pinch of Inflation

A new poll conducted for the Financial Times suggests that President Joe Biden is facing diminishing support from the electorate due to ongoing concerns about inflation. The FT-Michigan Ross poll indicates that 80% of voters consider high prices to be a significant financial burden, which marks a setback for Biden, who had seen an improvement in public opinion regarding his handling of the economy in previous months.

According to the survey, disapproval of President Biden's economic policies is on the rise, with 58% of voters expressing dissatisfaction, increasing from 55% last month. Only 40% of those polled approved of his economic management. Furthermore, the percentage of voters who believe Biden has positively impacted the economy fell to 28%, a decrease of four points compared to the previous month.

The upcoming consumer price index numbers and a key index of US consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, which recently hit its lowest level since November due to worsening inflation expectations, are eagerly awaited as they will provide more insight into the direction of prices.

The poll results are of particular concern for the White House as they arrive less than six months before the presidential election in November, where Biden is expected to compete against former President Donald Trump. The data suggests that voters are attributing the high cost of essentials, such as petrol and food, to the current administration.

Recent federal data revealed that the personal consumption expenditures index rose to 2.7% in the year to March, up from 2.5% the previous month, surpassing the Federal Reserve's target of 2%. This has dampened some expectations of significant interest rate cuts later this year, leaving borrowing costs for mortgages and other loans at heightened levels.

The economy remains the primary concern for voters as elections approach, with inflation fears being a significant factor. The FT-Michigan Ross poll also found increased concern over income levels, with 49% of voters worried, up from 45%, and concerns about housing costs rising to 32% from 27% in April.

In a notable trend, the survey consistently shows that voters trust Trump over Biden in handling the economy. Currently, 43% of voters prefer Trump, a slight increase from 41% last month, while 35% support Biden, and 16% trust neither candidate.

The poll reveals a stark division among voters regarding which candidate better represents the interests of blue-collar workers, a key demographic both Trump and Biden are targeting. While 40% of registered voters feel Biden does a better job in this regard, the same percentage favor Trump. The division is more pronounced based on educational attainment, with 52% of university graduates favoring Biden compared to only a third of non-college graduates.

Overall, the survey highlights the challenges President Biden faces in appealing to working-class Americans, a group that significantly contributed to Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump is perceived as aligned with Wall Street and big corporations, whereas Biden enjoys more favorable views from labor unions, another important voter bloc.

The FT-Michigan Ross Poll

Financial Times Article


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