An examination of the inner workings of the poll reveals just how universal feelings about the economy are. It’s the top issue for every single one of the over 20 demographic and political groups we report out in our crosstabs. It’s as important to White Americans (50%) as it is to people of color (49%). It matters as much to people age 45 and under (51%) as to those 45 and older (48%). The list goes on.
I look at polls for a living, and you rarely see that type of universal agreement across groups.
What makes this especially amazing is how rapidly this concern over the economy developed and how rapidly it’s become more important to more Americans.
A year ago, 54% of Americans said the economy was good. Just 45% said it was bad.
Today, 23% say it is good, and a super majority of 77% believe it is bad. You’d have to go back a little over 10 years to find as many Americans saying the economy was in as bad shape.
But something else has also happened that speaks to the toxicity of the issue politically: the blame game.
Biden’s approval rating is at 41%, with a disapproval rating of 59%, according to our CNN poll.
But what’s different today is that a clear majority (55%) of Americans, according to our latest poll, believe Biden’s economic policies have worsened the shape of the economy.
Unfortunately for Biden and the Democrats, the problem is getting worse. In December, 45% believed Biden’s policies had worsened things. You could imagine a universe in which that percentage was survivable politically. But when 50% think the economy is the top issue and 55% think your policies have made things worse, that’s very difficult to overcome.
You’ll notice that the 14-point edge for Republicans over Democrats on handling the economy is very similar to the 10-point gap between those who say Biden’s policies have hurt the economy (55%) and those who say they have either improved it (19%) or had no effect (26%).
There will no doubt be other political battles over the next six months until the midterm elections. The battle over abortion rights could end up being front and center, for example.