American voters are more concerned about inflation than COVID-19, with most disapproving of President Biden’s handling of the pandemic, according to a new poll.
The survey, commissioned by the national cable news network NewsNation and conducted by Decision Desk HQ, found that 60.1% of registered voters said they were “very concerned” about inflation, while 45.6% said they were “very concerned” about COVID-19.
The poll also gave Mr. Biden a 42% approval rating, with 55% of Americans disapproving of his handling of the pandemic.
“The population does not have a positive outlook on COVID or the economy, and it appears they blame Joe Biden,” said Scott Tranter, an adviser for Decision Desk HQ.
When asked about the biggest problem facing the country, 45.4% said inflation, which has hit a 40-year high, 40.9% said the coronavirus, and 13.5% said unemployment.
And 40.4% of voters said they are “worse off” financially than they were a year ago, compared to 19.5% who said “better off” and 39.9% who said “neither better nor worse off.”
The poll, released Thursday, also suggested trouble for Mr. Biden and Democrats in this year’s midterms, with 45.2% of respondents favoring a Republican candidate on the survey’s generic congressional ballot compared to 39.7% who favor a Democrat.
The midterm election cycle historically favors the party not occupying the White House, and Republicans need a net pickup of just five House seats to win the majority in November.
The poll also found that most Americans don’t trust the federal government or the White House for COVID-19 information, preferring to turn to their doctors.
Almost two-thirds of respondents, or 63.2%, said they trust their doctor, while 49.8% said federal health authorities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food and Drug Administration. Another 30.8% said they trust Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 15.5% said they trust President Biden, and 10.2% said they trust the news media.
More than half of respondents, 51.8%, said they believe the pandemic “will never be over.”
Pluralities of respondents said COVID-19 restrictions are “not strict enough,” that they are “very concerned” about the omicron variant and that they always wear masks outside of the house.
Among those polled, 73.9% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 56.2% believe adults should be required “to show proof of vaccination in public places” and 73.4% of voters favor indoor masking requirements.
The majority of respondents were college-educated. Politically, 35.4% identified as Republicans, 32.6% as Democrats, 24.6% as independents, and 7.3% as “another party.”
Decision Desk HQ surveyed 1,013 registered voters on Jan. 10 through an online voter panel.
The outlet said the margins of error in the survey varied per question because the number of people who answered each question differed. The questions that asked voters about their level of concern with COVID-19 and inflation had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
NewsNation, formerly known as WGN America, is owned by Nexstar Media Group and promotes itself as a nonpartisan news network of 6,000 local journalists in 110 newsrooms across the country.