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Nearly half of Americans struggling because of higher prices, poll finds

Nearly half of Americans report that the recent spike in inflation is making it harder to make ends meet, according to a new poll.

Monmouth University released a poll Wednesday showing 46% of Americans are “currently struggling to remain where they are financially.”

That figure is the highest point recorded by this pollster since President Joe Biden took office and far higher than during his predecessor’s term.

“In polls conducted between 2022 and 2023, this number ranged between 37% and 44%,” Monmouth said in its report. “In prior polls from 2017 to 2021, this sentiment was much lower at 20% to 29%.”

Prices have risen about 20% since Biden took office, a huge increase across all kinds of goods and services. Now, inflation is rising much slowly than the breakneck pace earlier in Biden’s term.

“Even with a declining inflation rate, prices continue to be much higher than they were four years ago,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in the report. “That’s the metric that has really mattered to many Americans over the past two years. Economic concerns may not be the top motivating factor for all voters but it defines the contours of this year’s election.”

However, prices continue to rise faster than economists would like. Inflation slowed last month, a reprieve after months of elevated inflation. Whether that slowing is a blip on the radar or a turning point remains to be seen.

For now, Biden has to grapple with the major price increase during his term this election cycle.

The polling does show an equal percentage of Americans think either Biden or Trump cares about their economic woes.

“The overwhelming narrative is that a large segment of the American public feels it is financially behind the eight ball,” Murray said. “It is true that voters who feel more comfortable with their economic situation are likely to support Biden. But despite continued Democratic efforts to tout rosy economic indicators, the tactic of telling financially pessimistic voters they should feel differently does not appear to be working.”

The poll surveyed 1,106 adults from June 1 to June 6.

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