Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in a decade, and that could be a problem for Biden | So Good News


US President Joe Biden speaks at the DNC meeting in Miami Gardens, Florida, US, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Concerns about the rising cost of living and the state of the economy could cost President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats money in Tuesday’s election.

Recent surveys show that consumer sentiment has risen slightly and remains below where it was a year ago, as concerns about rising prices began to grip policymakers, consumers and business leaders.

A report released on Friday described the problem of the ruling party in Washington. The University of Michigan, which releases its most-viewed opinion polls every month, asked respondents who they believed to be most about the economy and what would be best for the economy.

The result: more Republican.

The survey of 1,201 respondents found Republicans by a 37%-21% margin on the question of which party is better off on the economy. Although this left a large margin – 37% – of consumers who do not think it makes a difference, the difference in preferences is large. (The survey did not distinguish whether respondents were voters.)

In fact, among the entire population, the only group that favored Democrats was the only group. Whether it was age, household income or education, all other groups favored the GOP.

For the overall sentiment, the Michigan survey read 59.9 in October, 2.2% higher than September but 16.5% below the same time a year ago. Readings just dipped in June 2022 and are approaching their lowest level in more than 11 years, dating back to 1978.

“It’s a big problem” for Democrats, said Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy analyst at AGF Investments, who focuses on the politics of financial markets. “They’ve seen enough evidence since Labor Day to show how the economy is shrinking every other issue, but they didn’t do anything about it. They didn’t say the right thing, they didn’t show enough compassion. To me, that was really sad.”

Valliere thinks that the problem could become so serious that Mr. Biden should soon announce that he will not seek a second term in 2024.

“I think the Democrats have a lot of problems right now,” he added.

Consumer confidence in housing also hit an all-time low, with only 16% of respondents saying they think now is a good time to buy, according to a Fannie Mae survey going back to 2011.

Such a reading did not go down well with the party in power.

Former President Donald Trump lost his re-election in 2020 when Michigan’s vote was close to its lowest point. In contrast, Barack Obama won the election in 2012 when the survey was at a five-year high. George W. Bush won his second term in 2004 when the polls were in the middle, but Bill Clinton won in 1996 when the Michigan gauge was at a 10-year high.

As for the congressional movement, in the 2010 mid-term elections, when the Obama-Biden administration lost an incredible 63 House seats, the largest margin since 1948, the reading was 71.6. This was slightly better than a year ago when the economy was still recovering from the financial crisis.

Today, people are very worried about inflation.

Majority of voters dissatisfied with economy: NBC Poll

After two consecutive months of decline, October’s one-year inflation stood at 5%, up 0.3 percent from September and the highest reading since July. The five-year outlook rose again, to 2.9%, and was tied for the highest level since June.

A University of Michigan survey also found that respondents trusted Republicans more when it came to their finances.

The GOP held a 15-point lead over Democrats in the poll, including a 19-point edge among independents.

The poll showed expectations are rising that Republicans will win Tuesday’s election and wrest control of Congress from Democrats.

On both the economy and the economy questions, Republicans did best among those with a high school diploma or less, with 25 points on both questions. Those with a college degree gave the GOP an 8th place on the economy and a 10th place on the economy.


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