Financial Times-Michigan Ross Poll Shows Biden’s Hopes Fall As Prices Rise

Joe Biden is in trouble. His policies are not working. Voters believe his policies are not helping the economy, according to the Financial Times-Michigan Ross Poll.

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Just 28% of respondents said they believed Biden’s economic policies had helped the country, compared with 49% who thought they had made things worse. In fact, 35% believe that Bidenomics had hurt the country “a lot.”

Even more telling, “more than half of respondents — 51 percent — believe they are worse off since Biden became president,” according to the Financial Times.

“Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” asked Ronald Reagan of Jimmy Carter’s economy. Voters answered with a resounding “no.” 

The poll, conducted between May 2 and May 6, finds that — after a slight uplift in April — Biden’s approval ratings on the economy fell back to levels that will make for depressing reading among the White House’s incumbents. That comes after price data showed US inflation might prove stickier than anticipated at the start of the year.

The findings add to the sense that the Biden administration’s messaging on the economy — much of which has been focused on gains US workers have seen to their wages — is not convincing voters.

While economists and investors are trumpeting the stellar performance of US growth over the past 18 months, voters are not.

The poll shows 71 per cent of the 1,000 respondents believe economic conditions are negative. The figure is in line with earlier months, signalling that it has little to do with the news that growth slowed to an annualised rate of 1.6 per cent, down from 3.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.

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Forty-three percent of voters preferred Trump to better handle the economy, up from 41% last month, compared to 35% who thought Biden would be more competent. 

One worrying sign for Trump: 40% of voters saw Biden as better able to represent blue-collar workers.

However, the poll also showed a significant split depending on voters’ level of education. Fifty-two 52 per cent of university graduates said Biden better represented blue-collar interests, compared to just a third of non-college graduates.

The poll underscores Biden’s challenges as he seeks to win over working-class Americans. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 in part by winning over white, blue-collar workers and shoring up support from voters without a university degree.

The survey also found Trump is widely seen as representing the interests of Wall Street and big corporations, while Biden is viewed more favourably by labour unions — another voting bloc targeted by the candidates in recent months.

Inflation numbers will be released this week, but it won’t matter that much. People judge the economy based on their own personal financial situation. But prices are still going up and every month, the voters’ paycheck covers less and less of the food bill.

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This is what Biden and all the Democrats who are saying the economy is fantastic don’t understand. People see their own situation as worse than it was in 2021 when Biden took office. The biggest reason for that is that whenever they go to the grocery store or buy anything online, the massive increase between 2021 and 2024 has created anger and perhaps a little fear among Americans.

Biden isn’t speaking to that uneasiness. Trump is. And that’s why Trump is the odds-on favorite to win.

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