CBS News Survey: In economic terms, inflation outweighs jobs

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Positive work report this week and the strongest employment rate is not entirely lost on Americans – it is simply weighed when they value the economy.

Many say the job market is good and jobs have grown over the past year – but it is still inflation that boosts views, and even those who say the job market is okay still do not appreciate the economy well. Americans are basing this on personal experience: two-thirds say higher prices have been tough or even a hassle, and have now forced many to make cuts.

And while the White House has often highlighted the number of jobs, people’s focus on prices continues to bring negative assessments of both the economy and the president’s treatment.

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Most assess the job market in their community favorably and just over half say the number of jobs in the US has increased in the last year.

But even those who evaluate the labor market positively are a little more inclined to say that the national economy is bad and attribute this to high prices.

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When people say the economy is bad, it’s not because of jobs. Only 17% give this as a reason. Negative judgments are largely based on inflation and gas prices.

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Higher prices are making people say they are making cuts, especially for cheaper items like entertainment and travel. (This, of course, could have a wider impact on the economy later.) About half are cutting down on food and groceries, and this is especially the case among those on lower incomes.

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Partizan plays a role in people’s views on the state of the national economy, as it has been for years. Since the beginning of President Biden’s presidency, Republicans have held more negative economic news than Democrats. (This is not unique to this president. During Donald Trump’s presidency, Republicans were more positive about the economy than Democrats.)

However, the reasons they give, when assessing it as bad, are common to all parties. Everyone blames mostly the higher prices. Then, for Republicans, they also say they do not trust the Biden administration, and that also ranks at the top of the reasons they say the economy is bad.

Mr Biden has the lowest approval ratings for the economy and inflation. And especially for gas prices, most think he can do more to lower them. Almost all Republicans share this view. They believe his policies are doing “too much” to contribute to higher gas prices.

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Democrats are more likely to blame oil and gas companies, the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia than Mr. Biden, but nearly 4 in 10 Democrats think he can do more, especially those with lower incomes.

That said, views of what a president can do about gas prices have historically included partisanship as much as any institutional office view: it is usually those who oppose a president who have been most likely to think a president has too much control over gas prices at a certain point.

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These pocket issues – the economy and inflation – are ranked as top priorities for Americans, and Mr. Biden continues to receive low marks in addressing them.

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And the overall approval rating of the president’s work is 42%, which is one point less than last month; he has been staying in his low 40s for months and this point marks its lowest point so far.

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In addition to the economy and inflation, immigration and crime are also of concern (especially to Republicans), along with the situation with Russia and Ukraine, for which Mr. Biden receives relatively better ratings.

Immigration: A High Priority Issue for Republicans

The Biden administration has drawn some criticism from both the right and the left for its treatment EMIGRANTS. Republicans, for whom immigration is a more important issue than Democrats, want the administration to be tougher on those trying to cross the border into the U.S. and say those who show up at the border should be expelled from the U.S. immediately.

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Most Democrats approve of the president’s general treatment of immigration in general, but are more mixed on how the administration is treating immigrants trying to cross the border. About half think they are handling it properly, the rest split whether the administration should be tougher or lighter on those trying to get through. Liberal Democrats are more inclined than moderate Democrats to say that Biden’s administration should be easier, while moderate Democrats are more inclined than liberals to say harsher.

Most Democrats, along with independents, think those trying to cross the border should have a chance to pass legal proceedings in the U.S. rather than be deported immediately.

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The way people view immigrants and the impact of immigration directs their views on border policy. Those who think immigrants make American society worse in the long run (a view expressed by most Republicans) think the administration should take a tougher approach to the border. People who think immigrants have a positive impact on society in general are less likely to think there should be a tougher approach.

Crime: Partizan is divided on how to help prevent it

Views on crime are also shared by partisans – along with differences in priority. Three in four Republicans say this is a high-priority issue – topping the list slightly above immigration – and they largely give Mr. Biden low marks for dealing with it. Democrats, who rank it near the bottom in terms of the priorities of their issues, generally think Mr. Biden is doing a good job in this regard.

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In efforts to prevent violent crime, most Americans would like to see more mental health and treatment services and more jobs and economic opportunities for people. But Democrats and Republicans differ in the ways they handle the issue. Republicans are much more supportive of tougher sentences for violent offenders and more funding for the police. Democrats are more inclined to prioritize treatment services and economic opportunities. And most of them would also like to see fewer weapons available to people.

Few Americans from each camp think less funding for the police is the answer.

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Despite concern about crime as a general issue, most Americans feel safe in the areas where they live and work. This is true even for those who consider crime a priority issue. Three in four Americans say they themselves feel at least somewhat secure and the vast majority feel that way regardless of their political affiliation or whether they live in urban, suburban or rural areas, although lower-income Americans have more unlikely to say they feel very safe. than wealthier Americans.

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Ketanji Brown Jackson

In the middle of Senate confirmation of the first woman of color in the U.S. Supreme Court, more Americans support Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation than oppose it. Views break down along party lines, with a majority of Democrats in support (along with an independent majority) and a majority of Republicans opposed. Republicans expect Jackson to be very liberal, while Democrats think she will be right.


This CBS News / YouGov survey was conducted with a representative national sample of 2,062 adult U.S. residents interviewed between April 5-8, 2022. The sample was weighted by gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey of The US Census and the current Population Survey, as well as for the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 2.8 points.

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