Inflation is the most urgent concern of voters as they cast ballots in next week’s midterm elections, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
The survey showed that 36% of Americans cited inflation as their top concern, up nine percentage points from the same poll in August.
Inflation hit a 41-year high of 9.1% in June and was 8.2% in September, while the national average price of gas topped a record $5 per gallon last summer before retreating slightly.
“What issue concerns Americans most? It’s not even close. Inflation: the price of putting food on the table, paying for gas at the pump and the diminishing value of the money they earn runs away with the ranking,” said Quinnipiac University pollster Tim Malloy.
More than half of Americans (54%) said the price of gas and consumer goods is the economic issue that worries them most, while 25% cited the cost of housing or rent, 12% said the stock market, and 5% cited their job situation.
Among independent voters, 41% rated inflation as their biggest concern. No other issue hit double digits with independents.
Among Republican voters, 57% said inflation was their top worry. Immigration was next at 15%.
Abortion was the top concern of Democratic voters (19%), followed by inflation (15%), gun violence (14%) and climate change (10%).
The survey comes as the Federal Reserve is expected to raise a key interest rate Wednesday for the sixth time this year in an effort to curb inflation. The interest-rate hikes are raising the costs of home mortgages, credit-card debt and other consumer loans in an effort to cool down an overheating U.S. economy.
The Quinnipiac poll also said 48% of registered voters now want the Republican Party to win control of the House, while 44% want the Democratic Party. That’s a shift from the same poll in late August, when 47% wanted Democrats to control the House and 43% wanted Republicans.
“Who wants it more? It may come down to a tried-and-true sports axiom,” Mr. Malloy said. “The hungriest team wins the game, and the Republicans seem to have the edge.”
The survey pegged President Biden’s job-approval rating at 36%, dismal but still higher than his 31% rating in July. It showed that Republican voters are more motivated to vote than Democrats, 60% to 51%.
• Dave Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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