Swing-state voters concerned about Build Back Better’s impact on inflation: poll

Associated Press/Andrew Harnik

A new poll of voters in six potential swing states and states with senators up for reelection in November found significant concern about the issue of inflation, with a majority of voters worried about how President Biden’s signature spending proposal might worsen rising process.

The survey, which was commissioned by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, a business group that is lobbying lawmakers to abandon the bill, and which was obtained first by The Hill, found 57 percent of respondents believe Build Back Better, when described as a multitrillion-dollar spending package, will worsen inflation, while 63 percent of those surveyed believe now is not the time to pass major spending bills.

The poll, which was conducted by Remington Research Group, surveyed voters in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada and West Virginia.

New Hampshire and Nevada are home to two hotly contested Senate elections in November, with Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan (N.H.) Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) up for reelection.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D) is also up for reelection this year, and Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) are frequent targets of conservatives attempting to sway them against supporting Biden’s spending plan.

The poll asked respondents what Congress’s top priority should be in 2022 in the lead up to the midterm elections, and the most frequent response was immigration and border security at 28 percent, followed by combating inflation at 26 percent. Addressing climate change was the third most common answer, at 14 percent.

Inflation appeared to be a persistent issue for many respondents, with 65 percent saying they were “very concerned” about rising prices.

The poll was conducted on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 and surveyed an average of 1,145 likely 2022 voters per state. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

The Biden administration and congressional Democrats have been working for months to pass Build Back Better, the president’s signature policy proposal that includes funding for child care, family care, climate change, education and health care programs. But resistance from Manchin in particular seemed to kill the roughly $2 trillion proposal in late 2021.

Thursday’s poll found support for the bill roughly split among respondents in the six states, with 47 percent saying they either strongly or somewhat support it, compared to 50 percent who strongly or somewhat oppose the legislation.

Talks appear to be at a standstill, but some Democrats and White House officials are hopeful a more targeted package can get enough support to pass with Democratic votes.

White House officials have cited economists who believe the Build Back Better Act would not have a tangible affect on rising prices, and may actually help lower prices in the long run by investing more in the economy. But one of Manchin’s chief concerns was passing additional spending at a time when inflation is such a key concern for many Americans, something Republicans have amplified to oppose the bill.

Tags 2022 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms Arizona Build Back Better Build Back Better Act Build Back Better agenda Catherine Cortez Masto Colorado Joe Biden Joe Manchin Jon Tester Kyrsten Sinema Maggie Hassan Michael Bennet Montana Nevada New Hampshire West Virginia
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