As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Americans are closely scrutinizing the state of the economy, and many are expressing dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden’s approach.
According to a recent survey conducted by Bankrate, half of Americans believe that their financial situation has worsened since the 2020 election.
Of those who reported no improvement in their situation, 45% placed at least partial blame on President Biden. Congress received blame from a little over a third of respondents, while 27% pointed fingers at the Federal Reserve. Surprisingly, almost four in 10 participants did not attribute the lack of improvement to any federal leaders.
The survey revealed that factors such as the rising cost of living and diminishing short-term savings contribute to the financial challenges faced by Americans.
Interestingly, regardless of their own financial circumstances, an overwhelming majority of respondents emphasized the importance of the economy’s trajectory in their decision-making process for the 2024 election. Nearly 90% agreed that how the economy is handled will significantly influence their choice.
“The next 12 months will play a crucial role in determining if President Biden’s ‘Bidenomics’ brand proves to be wise or not,” expressed Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate.
This new survey aligns with recent reports indicating that, despite robust economic growth and increased spending during the third quarter, Americans maintain a pessimistic outlook on the economy.
It is evident that Americans are seeking significant improvements in their financial situations and will keep a close watch on the economy’s performance as the election approaches.
Consumer Sentiment Drops, Posing Challenges for President Biden
The University of Michigan’s recent survey revealed a significant decline in consumer sentiment during October, reaching its lowest level since May. This shift in attitude indicates that despite an anticipated surge in retail sales during the holiday season, consumers are uncertain about their own financial well-being leading up to the festivities.
The political implications of this sentiment cannot be ignored, particularly for President Biden. A recent poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College indicated that he is trailing former President Donald Trump in five crucial battleground states. Additionally, the Bankrate survey discovered that Republicans were more than twice as likely as Democrats to report a decline in their financial situation since the last presidential election.
Opinions about the economy often align with partisan lines, often reflecting sentiments about who occupies the White House rather than actual economic conditions. In August, a CBS News poll revealed that 52% of Democrats deemed the economy as “good” compared to only 15% of Republicans.
Notably, at the start of 2023, Democrats expressed more optimism than Republicans regarding positive developments for the U.S. economy, as per a Gallup poll. Around 36% of Democrats predicted “economic prosperity” in the year ahead, while just 4% of Republicans held the same view.
This pattern continues from previous years. In 2017, shortly after Donald Trump assumed office, Democrats’ expectations for the next six months hit a nearly historic low, whereas Republicans’ expectations soared to near-record highs according to a University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey.
With a staggering three-fourths of Americans reporting that their personal finances have either worsened or remained stagnant, there is a risk that President Biden will bear the brunt of blame for the state of the economy, without receiving due credit for any improvements. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that there is still a considerable amount of time before the next election day, and circumstances may change.