43 percent in new poll say they’re worse off financially than two years ago

People shop at a grocery store in Glenview, Ill., Monday, July 4, 2022. The problems have hardly gone away. Inflation, still near a 40-year high, is punishing households. Rising interest rates have derailed the housing market and threaten to inflict broader damage. And the outlook for the world economy grows bleaker the longer the war in Ukraine drags on. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Forty-three percent of respondents say their family’s financial situation is worse than two years ago as inflation remains near a 40-year high, according to a new ABC News-Washington Post poll.

The survey, released on Sunday, indicates that share has doubled since President Biden took office, marking the latest sign of how inflation and economic discontent has jeopardized Democrats’ political chances in the upcoming midterm elections.

While 43 percent said their family’s financial situation has worsened, 39 percent said it has remained the same in the past two years while 18 percent said it is better.

Just 2 in 10 voters said their financial situation had worsened at the time of the 2020 election compared to four years earlier when former President Trump was elected, according to exit polling.

Annual inflation hit a 40-year high earlier this year. The annual inflation rate has since declined to 8.2 percent in the year ending in September, based on the consumer price index, but monthly inflation has risen for two consecutive months to 0.4 percent in September.

The new poll found the economy clocked in as voters’ top issue, followed closely by inflation itself.

Those results are in line with other recent surveys that show cost of living is top-of-mind for voters in the midterm campaign season’s final days, with the political environment shifting toward Republicans in key Senate battlegrounds.

The pollsters found that 52 percent of registered voters said they trust Republicans more to do a better job handling the economy, compared to 38 percent who trusted Democrats more.

When asked about inflation specifically, Republicans were trusted more by half of voters, compared to Democrats’ 38 percent.

Fears are also growing over a potential recession in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes.

Those hikes, meant to stymie price growth by increasing borrowing costs to cool off demand, make it more difficult for businesses to expand and individuals to take out loans, like mortgages, slowing down the economy and potentially tipping it into a recession.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and other progressives have responded to recent polling data by chastising Democrats for not focusing enough on the economy and inflation during the campaign, arguing the party has not effectively responded to Republican attacks on the issue.

Democrats have looked to court voters on issues they are trusted more on, like abortion and threats to democracy.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 30-Nov. 2 with 1,005 adults, including 881 registered voters, who were reached by landline and cellphone. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

Tags 2022 midterms Bernie Sanders Donald Trump financial hardship inflation Joe Biden

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