Biden policies, Ukraine war get most blame for inflation: poll

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden arrives at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Americans primarily blame President Biden and the war in Ukraine for high inflation in the U.S., according to a new poll from Morning Consult and Politico.

In response to a question on how responsible the Biden administration’s polices are for high inflation, 40 percent of Americans said the president’s policies were “very responsible” for high inflation, according to the poll conducted from May 13 to May 16.

When asked if Russia’s war in Ukraine was very responsible for high inflation, just 25 percent of Americans agreed that it was. Only 15 percent of Americans agreed that returning to pre-pandemic behaviors was very responsible for high inflation, the lowest consensus on the list.

Inflation has lingered around a 40-year high this spring, with the consumer price index, a measure of the cost of goods in the U.S., climbing 8.3 percent in April when compared with the same period last year. Americans are paying near-record prices at the pump and extra dollars for food at the grocery market.

Biden has suffered from low approval ratings, in part because of inflation. In the Politico and Morning Consult poll, Biden earned a 44 percent approval rating, which is higher than previous polls that showed around 39 percent of Americans approve of how he is doing his job.

Americans ding the Biden administration for high spending, including the COVID-19 relief bill passed last year — the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan act. The war in Ukraine has also been considered a factor, as Ukraine and Russia are major wheat producers, while Russia is the third-largest oil producer.

With the economy consistently the most pressing issue for American voters, the public’s Biden-blaming is likely to hurt Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. Republicans have seized on inflation as a campaign issue.

About 43 percent of Americans say Republicans would do a better job of handling inflation than Democrats, while 38 percent of Americans say Democrats would do better, according to the poll.

Most Americans in the new poll said Biden has the most control over inflation management, with 37 percent saying the president’s office has a lot of control on inflation.

They also said the Federal Reserve and Congress are most responsible for managing high inflation. About 34 percent said Congress has a lot of control over inflation management, the same number that says the Federal Reserve has a lot of control over inflation.

Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve raised its interest rates by half a percentage point, the highest jump in more than 20 years, in a bid to combat rising prices.

At a Wall Street Journal conference on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said he would “keep going” until inflation comes down.

The poll was conducted from May 13 to May 16 among 2,005 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Tags Economy inflation Joe Biden Politico President Joe Biden Russia Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine

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