- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 5, 2022

People are losing faith in Washington’s ability to tackle their top concerns four months out from the 2022 midterm elections when Democrats are defending their slim majorities in the House and Senate.

The public, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, has soured on President Biden and both parties in Congress as they grow more and more concerned with inflation, rising gas prices and the economy.

The Monmouth survey showed that 57% of adults say the actions of the federal government over the past six months have hurt their families when it comes to the most pressing issues. 

That compares to 8% who say the federal government has helped them and 34% who say the federal government has no real impact on the challenges they face.

It marks an erosion in public opinion from December when 46% said the actions of the federal government have hurt them, and 25% said the actions of the federal government have helped them.

Abortion, meanwhile, is more on the mind of the voting-age Americans following the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, though the issue ranks at the bottom of their list of concerns.

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The Monmouth poll shows the top issues for Americans are inflation (33%), gas prices (15%), the economy (9%), groceries (6%) and abortion (5%).

“Economic concerns tend to rise to the top of the list of family concerns, as you might expect, but the singular impact of inflation is really hitting home right now,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “And most Americans are blaming Washington for their current pain.”

The analysis noted the issue of abortion had registered below 1% on this question in prior Monmouth polls going back to 2015.

Democrats are leaning in on the issue of abortion after the Supreme Court decision, hoping it will energize the base of the party and help beat back the GOP’s push to take control of the House and Senate.

Republicans want to keep the focus on the economy and tap into voter angst over soaring energy, housing and food prices.  

That could prove to be fertile political ground. Close to 9 in 10 adults say the nation is on the wrong track. 

Mr. Biden’s approval rating also remains underwater. By a 58% to 36% margin, respondents said they disapprove of his job performance. 

The pollsters pointed out that Mr. Biden has not had a net positive approval rating for a year.

The public is less pleased with Congress. By a 78% to 15% margin, adults disapprove of the job the House and Senate are doing.

The public is split over who should run Congress, with 36% saying Republicans, and 38% saying Democrats. The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from June 23-27 with 978 adults in the United States.  The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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