Most Popular Answer to Cause-of-Inflation Poll: Biden Administration’s Policies

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
December 20, 2021 Updated: December 20, 2021

A new poll from a North Carolina policy non-profit probing public opinion on the causes of inflation found that the most popular answer by far was President Joe Biden’s policies.

The poll, conducted by progressive group Carolina Forward on a sample of 835 registered voters, found that 45 percent of respondents said the Biden administration’s policies were the biggest cause of inflation, which in the year through November hit a 31-year high of 6.8 percent.

The impact of COVID-19, which has been widely reported as a key factor behind supply-side bottlenecks, came in second at 30 percent. Corporate greed was picked as the biggest cause of inflation by 18 percent of respondents, while 7 percent said it was “something else” or were unsure.

There were strong partisan undertones to the responses, with a whopping 87 percent of Republicans blaming the Biden administration’s policies for inflation, compared to just 14 percent of Democrats.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times on the findings of the poll.

Carolina Forward posted the results of the findings on Twitter, combining the two less popular responses to conclude that, “most voters believe the impact of COVID-19 and corporate greed are to blame for rising prices,” prompting a critical take from some netizens—and North Carolina Republicans.

“But you forgot the #1 cause…Let’s Go Brandon!” a Twitter user with the handle @cperl1987 wrote in a comment, prompting Carolina Forward to respond that “most people disagree,” before muting the user after a back-and-forth that saw the user accuse the group of making a “very misleading” statement by adding the two less popular responses together in its topline recap of the poll.

North Carolina Republicans weighed in on the exchange, saying in a Twitter Post: “Progressive outfit conducts poll on what/who people blame for inflation. The most popular answer by far, among all but diehard Dems? ‘Biden’s policies.'”

“Progressive outfit tries valiantly to ignore this fact, gets owned in comments,” they added.

The poll follows an earlier ABC/Ipsos survey indicating that 69 percent of Americans disapprove of how Biden is handling inflation. That figure was higher among Republicans and independents, with 94 percent and 71 percent, respectively, disapproving of the president’s handling of inflation.

Surging prices have emerged as a key concern among Americans, whose wages have grown more slowly than inflation, eroding their purchasing power.

Two-thirds of U.S. consumers don’t expect their personal finances to improve in 2022, according to Bankrate’s December Financial Security Index, which also found that more than half of this group blamed inflation for their pessimistic view on their future money situation.

“Inflation worries have dragged consumer confidence to a decade low and is the top reason Americans don’t expect their finances to improve, and particularly to get worse,” Bankrate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride said in a statement. “This feeling goes far beyond gas prices, as inflation has broadened out and consumers see higher prices at every turn.”

Inflation has become a key worry among U.S. consumers, more so than unemployment, according to Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan’s closely watched Consumer Sentiment Index.

“When directly asked whether inflation or unemployment was the more serious problem facing the nation, 76 percent selected inflation while just 21 percent selected unemployment,” Curtin said in a statement accompanying the latest Michigan University survey reading for early December, which showed a slight uptick in consumer confidence compared to November’s decade low.

Much of the modest rise in overall consumer confidence in December was driven by a sharp increase in sentiment among the bottom third of earners, which was lifted by their expectations for future wage gains, Curtin said.

“This suggests an emerging wage-price spiral that could propel inflation higher in the years ahead,” Curtin said, with his remarks recalling a period in the 1970s when future inflation expectations became deanchored, sending wages higher and fueling an upward inflationary spiral.

Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'