WSJ Poll: Majority Hit With ‘Financial Strain’ of Rising Cost of Living

WSJ Poll: Majority Hit With 'Financial Strain' of Rising Cost of Living WSJ Poll: Majority Hit With 'Financial Strain' of Rising Cost of Living (Dreamstime)

By Eric Mack | Tuesday, 07 December 2021 08:49 PM

A majority of voters are feeling the "financial strain" of a rapidly rising cost of living under President Joe Biden and even more of those who have not yet, ultimately expect to, according to the results of the latest The Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday.

Just 11% of registered voters are "not concerned with the cost of living" causing a financial strain on their family.

A combined 56% report at least some strain on their family finances, broken down equally in 28% reporting "major" strain and another 28% at least a "minor" strain. Then, another 32% said inflation is not a problem for them right now, but expect it to "become one if costs keep going up."

The "main" inflation blame lies with the "Biden administration policies," according to a plurality of registered voters polled (39%). Another 24% responded "supply chain problems" are the main cause to rising inflation – a common Republican refrain pinning that on the mishandling of the Biden administration.

Another 17% blame pent-up demand from the pandemic and 17% blame "corporations unnecessarily raising prices."

Among the inflated prices that were the "biggest concerns" for consumers were (when asked to name two):

  • Groceries 55%.
  • Gas 54%.
  • Utility bills for electricity or water 25%.
  • Housing 24%.
  • Prescription drugs 15%.
  • Used or new cars 7%.
  • Electronic products or appliances 3%.
  • None of the above 4%
  • Don't know / Refused to answer 1%.

A majority of voters polled expected the rising prices to get worse in the next year:

  • Worse 52%.
  • Better 23%
  • About the same 20%
  • Don't know / Refused 5%.

There was also a plurality of voters, nearly a majority, who are pessimistic the economy will get worse in the next year (46%). Just 30% were optimistic the economy would improve in the next year, while 20% were pessimistic it would remain the same.

And, finally, voters choose Republicans over Democrats in Congress to "get inflation under control" by nearly a 2-to-1 margin:

  • Republicans in Congress 44%.
  • Democrats in Congress 26%.
  • Neither 17%.
  • Both Equally 8%.
  • Don't know / Refused 5%.

The poll also found President Joe Biden sinking on approval among voters: 57% said they disapprove of Biden's job performance, with 46% strongly disapproving, and more voters said they would vote for a Republican (44%) than a Democrat (41%) if they election were held today. Notably, the sample included a plurality of voters (47%) who voted for Biden and just 41% that voted for former President Donald Trump.

The Wall Street Journal poll was conducted Nov. 16-22 among 1,500 registered voters. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.