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Majority of Americans believe federal government is hurting middle class families: poll

The percentage of Americans who say they are struggling financially has jumped by double digits since last year, according to a new national public opinion survey, which also indicates inflation and gas prices top the list of problems faced by the nation’s families.

A majority questioned in a Monmouth University Poll say that the federal government’s actions are hurting them and that President Joe Biden’s policies are not helping the middle class.

Forty-two percent said they are struggling to maintain their financial situation, which is a surge of 18 points since last year and the highest level since Monmouth University started asking that question five years ago. The poll spotlighted that the increase is coming “fairly across the board when examining key demographic groups, including income, race, and partisanship.”

A third of those surveyed named inflation as their biggest concern, with gas prices at 15%, the economy in general at 9% and 6% said paying everyday bills was their top concern. 


Fifty-seven percent — the highest ever in Monmouth polling — said the actions of the federal government over the past six months have hurt their family when it comes to their top concern, with just 8% saying Washington’s actions have helped them and three in 10 saying it has had no real impact. 

The poll also indicated that 54% said the middle class has not benefited from the president’s policies, a jump from 36% last year. 

“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. And most Americans are blaming Washington for their current pain,” Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said.

Abortion, which had registered at less than 1% in Monmouth polls dating back to 2015, ranked at 5%. The survey was conducted in the wake of last month’s opinion by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which sent the combustible issue of legalized abortion back to the states.


The president’s standing in the survey remains well underwater, with 36% approving of the job Biden’s doing in the White House and 58% disapproving. Just 10% of those questioned said the country is headed in the right direction, an all-time low in Monmouth polling.

However, the poll indicates the public remains divided on whether they prefer the Republicans or Democrats in control of Congress. Democrats are defending their razor-thin majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate in November’s midterm elections.

“The state of the economy has Americans in a foul mood. They are not happy with Washington. However, that has not changed the overall picture of whom they want in control of Congress. The question is who actually shows up to vote in the fall,” Murray said.

The Monmouth University poll was conducted June 23 through 27, with 978 adults nationwide questioned. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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