Poll: Inflation, Gas Prices Top Concerns for American Families

President Joe Biden arrives at the White House, in Washington, from his Asian trip, Tuesda
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Manuel Balce Ceneta

Inflation and rising gas prices remain the top two concerns for American families, a Monmouth University survey released Tuesday found.

A plurality, 33 percent, identified inflation as the biggest concern facing their family. That reflects a 19 percent increase from the 14 percent who said the same in December 2021. 

Gas prices came in second place, as 15 percent identified it as the top concern facing their family. No other issue saw double digits, as the economy came in third with nine percent, followed by everyday bills, groceries, etc. (six percent), and abortion/reproductive rights (five percent). 

Notably, just one percent identified the Chinese coronavirus as their top issue of concern, down from the 18 percent who chose it in December 2021 and 39 percent who chose it in August 2020:

Most Americans, 57 percent, said federal government’s actions —  specifically over the last six months of Biden’s presidency — have hurt their family “when it comes to their most important concern.” Only eight percent said Washington policies have helped them regarding their top concerns:

Nearly half of the public names either inflation (33%) or gas prices (15%) as the biggest concern facing their family right now. The economy in general (9%) and paying everyday bills (6%) are among other financial concerns mentioned. Abortion, which has registered less than 1% on this question in prior Monmouth polls going back to 2015, is currently named by 5% – predominantly among Democrats (9%).

Inflation and gas prices are the top two family concerns across a wide variety of demographic groups, including income, race, and partisan identity. Inflation as a top concern emerged in Monmouth’s July 2021 poll at 5% and then grew to 14% in December, before more than doubling in the current poll. The current poll is also the first time that gas prices are mentioned by more than a handful of Americans as their predominant issue. One year ago, the poll registered a wider variety of top issues, including the pandemic (17%), the economy (11%), everyday bills (11%), health care costs (7%) and job security (7%).

“Economic concerns tend to rise to the top of the list of family concerns, as you might expect, but the singular impact of inflation is really hitting home right now,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said, noting that “Americans are blaming Washington for their current pain.”

That does not bode well for Democrats as the midterm elections approach, as they have had complete control of Washington D.C. with a majority in the Senate, House, and a Democrat in the White House.

“We had the greatest economy in the history of the world…especially just prior to COVID, or the China virus coming in, we had the greatest ever,”  former President Trump said during a June appearance on Eric Bolling The Balance.

“I actually had the stock market higher than it was even before COVID. And then they destroyed it,” he continued.

“I think we’re in a recession,” Trump continued. “This is not something that’s going to happen in two years…We’re in a recession, and you’re driving people into a recession. And people aren’t working and it’s not a good time.”

The survey was taken June 23-27, 2022, among 978 adults and has a +/- 3.1 percent margin of error. 


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