By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Americans are feeling the pain of inflation and many blame President Joe Biden for rising prices, new polling shows.
Soaring gas prices have brought that issue home for most Americans with the average price per gallon rising more than a dollar in the past year. An Emerson College March national poll found that the vast majority of Americans are feeling the pain of higher prices.
“Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters say they are experiencing some hardship due to increased prices on everyday items, with 40% reporting significant hardship, and another 43% reporting some hardship,” the poll said. “Seventeen percent (17%) report experiencing no hardship. When asked about who they blame for an increase in gas prices, a plurality (39%) blame the Biden Administration, 21% blame the sanctions on Russia, and 18% blame gas and oil companies.”
A poll released by Rasmussen Reports Monday found a similar trend.
“President Joe Biden’s policies have increased inflation, according to a majority of voters, who expect the issue to be important in November midterm elections,” Rasmussen said. “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the policies of Biden’s administration have increased inflation, while only eight percent (8%) think Biden’s policies have reduced inflation. Another 25% say the Biden administration’s policies have not made much difference in inflation.”
Aside from gas prices, Americans are seeing rising mortgage prices and interest rates. Mortgage rates rose above 4% for the first time since 2019 and the Federal Reserve indicated last week that there will be several new rate hikes this year.
Experts are worried as well. The National Association for Business Economics released a survey this week asking 234 economic experts about the U.S. economy and found inflation is top of mind.
“Inflation continues to be of prominent concern for a majority of the NABE Policy Survey panel,” said NABE Policy Survey Chair Juhi Dhawan of Wellington Management. “More than three out of four (78%) panelists expect inflation to stay above 3% through the end of 2023. When asked about what can be done to mitigate high gasoline prices, 31% recommend releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and almost a quarter (24%) believe no response is necessary.”
Republicans have hammered Democrats on this issue. With economic experts saying inflation will likely remain elevated for months to come, Republicans hope to make it a defining issue of the midterm elections.
“Nobody is buying Democrats’ weak attempts to avoid responsibility for rising gas prices,” said Mike Berg, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.