Here are the main takeaways on voter attitudes toward the economy and the banking system from the latest Fox News national survey.
— An overwhelming majority remains worried about inflation – there is no bigger concern.
Fully 90% of voters are worried about inflation, putting it above other top concerns like higher crime rates across the country (87%) and political divisions (83%). And 61% are “extremely” concerned about inflation, which is at least 15 points higher than any other issue.
Fox News Poll on what America’s concerns are (Fox News Poll)
— More than seven in 10 say inflation has caused their family hardship, and many couldn’t make ends meet if they missed more than two paychecks.
About three-quarters say inflation has caused them hardship over the last six months, including 32% who describe it as a serious hardship. Those sentiments have held steady over the last few months.
Fox News Poll on inflation difficulties (Fox News Poll)
Over half, 54%, couldn’t miss more than two paychecks before falling behind on their bills. That’s identical to the 54% who said the same under the Trump administration in 2019. In fact, four years ago, 20% couldn’t afford to miss even one paycheck, and that’s improved a touch to 17% now.
Fox News Poll on American’s budgeting status (Fox News Poll)
Some 68% of those living in households earning less than $50,000 annually could only miss two paychecks before having trouble paying bills. It’s 44% for those earning $50,000+.
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— By more than 3-to-1, voters say the economy is in bad shape.
A large majority of 77% rates the economy negatively (only fair/poor), and yet that makes this one of the best ratings in the last year. At the same time, it’s worse than at the end of the Trump administration, when 66% said the same. Today, 23% rate conditions positively, down from 33% in December 2020.
— Views are divided over the government’s response to recent bank failures, and most dislike how President Biden is handling the economy, including a sizable number of Democrats.
The president’s job rating on the economy is upside-down by 29 points: 35% of voters approve, 64% disapprove — with 35% of Democrats and 68% of independents giving a thumbs-down.
Overall, more disapprove (48%) than approve (44%) of the government bailing out Silicon Valley and Signature banks after their March 10 collapse, although that’s largely driven by partisanship. Two-thirds of Democrats approve, while two-thirds of Republicans disapprove.
Fox News Poll on government response to Silicon Valley Bank (Fox News Poll)
— Nearly seven in 10 are concerned about the U.S. banking system, but far more than that feel confident in their own bank.
Even after this month’s failures, nearly nine in 10 feel confident in the stability of their bank. However, only 43% are very confident, down from 60% who felt that way in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis.
Fox News Poll on America’s feelings about bank stability (Fox News Poll)
When asked what they would do with $10,000 to invest, more would put it in the bank (37%) than gold (17%), the stock market (16%) or crypto (5%). Nearly one in five feels safest with their money under the mattress (18%). That means that while more pick the bank than any other individual alternative, a majority goes with a non-bank option (gold, market, crypto, or mattress).
Sixty-nine percent of voters worry about the U.S. banking system. That’s on par with concern over their tax bill and book banning (71% each), as well as border security, gun laws, what’s taught in schools (69% each) and possible war with China (68%) or Russia (66%).
Biden’s overall job rating has mostly held steady for over a year and currently stands at 44% approve vs. 56% disapprove. That’s net negative by 12 points. The last time he was in positive territory was September 2021, and that was by 1 point (50%-49%).
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“Americans see a dismal economic outlook, but that isn’t pulling Biden down,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News poll with Republican Daron Shaw. “The fact that his numbers have stayed stable or improved over the last year is impressive to me.”
Biden is at near-record low approval among women (43% now vs. 42% low), suburban voters (41% vs. 39% low) and Democrats (81% vs. 78% low) — Democratic men, in particular (79% vs. 78% low).
And majorities of voters disapprove of Biden’s performance on each of these issues: 53% disapprove on national security, 54% on foreign policy, 60% on border security and 64% disapprove of how he’s handling the economy.
Yet Biden is also doing things that voters like. Most, 74%, approve of his executive order requiring criminal background checks on gun buyers, and 54% approve of the administration moving forward with the Willow Project, an oil drilling plan in northern Alaska.
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Fox News Poll on President Biden’s executive order requiring background checks on gun purchases. (Fox News Poll)
There is rare partisan agreement on these actions. Over half of Democrats (51%), independents (53%) and Republicans (57%) approve of the Willow Project. There’s a wider difference on the criminal background check executive order, but still, majorities of Democrats (94%), independents (76%) and Republicans (53%) approve of that, too.
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Conducted March 24-27, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,007 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.