10 charts show Americans’ biggest worries broken down by party

tippinsights Editorial Board

The latest Golden/TIPP Poll completed on Friday reveals that the top concerns of Americans are Covid; rising prices of Food and Gasoline; paying bills and making ends meet; rising prices in general; Climate change; and immigration at the Southern border.

James Golden hosts “The Bo Snerdley Show” on 77-WABC/New York.  The poll is a joint effort of Golden and TIPP.  Future polls will focus on issue-specific surveys of public opinion involving emerging political policies.

The survey of 1,306 Americans gave 24 choices and asked Americans to pick their top 3-concerns.  More than one in five (20%) chose the following responses.  They are:

  • 28% Covid
  • 27% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
  • 25% Paying bills and making ends meet
  • 24% Rising prices in general

The chart below shows the tally of the results.

Chart 1

Top concerns varied by party alignment.  Top concerns cited by Democrats are:

  • 36% Covid
  • 28% Climate change
  • 23% Paying bills and making ends meet
  • 20% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
Chart 2

For Republicans, immigration at the southern border is an important concern. Here are their top-4.  Both climate change and covid did not finish in the top-4 positions.  Republicans’ top items are:

  • 36% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
  • 31% Immigration at the Southern border
  • 26% Rising prices in general
  • 22% Paying bills and making ends meet
Chart 3

The top concerns of Independents are financial. Covid takes the fourth spot.

  • 27% Rising prices in general
  • 26% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
  • 26% Paying bills and making ends meet
  • 23% Covid
Chart 4

The table below summarizes concerns by ideology and party.  We highlight the top four concerns for each group in yellow.  Note that Democrats and liberals share the same concerns. Similarly, Republicans and conservatives share the same concerns.

Generally speaking, paying bills and rising prices are concerns shared by nearly all groups.

Table 1

COVID

Covid related deaths were on a downtrend since the beginning of the year. However, deaths started to spike in August and September, deepening concerns due to the Delta variant.  As of today, Russia is in lockdown, and reports of new variants are impacting China. The virus is playing cat and mouse, keeping its future trajectory in suspense.

Chart 5

Inflation

A separate IBD/TIPP Poll conducted in early October showed that eighty-two percent of Americans are concerned about inflation. By recent estimates, each American household spends an additional $175/month because of inflation.  Here are the year-on-year percentage increases on the CPI for selected items for September.

Chart 6

The following three charts show the trends for CPI increases overall, food, and energy.

Chart 7
Chart 8
Chart 9

Financial Stress

Inflation and concerns about paying bills are causing financial stress for Americans. Before covid, the IBD/TIPP Financial Stress Index level was below 50. Since covid, the index has stayed above 60 for most months except for a brief period between April and June.

Chart 10

Directly and indirectly, the pandemic continues to affect our lives. Even as we eagerly get back to the pre-pandemic normal, the emergence of new variants, the possibility of another outbreak, and rising fatalities remain a cause for worry.

Rising prices worry Americans across the board. Coupled with low growth, many financial analysts foresee the country slipping into protracted ‘stagflation.’

To shake off the pandemic blues, American businesses must find their momentum once again. Let us hope that lesser travel restrictions and planned festivities during the Christmas season will infuse the economy with some much-needed cheer and vigor.

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