The cost of living and the economy are the most important issues for Americans ahead of this year’s midterm election, still outpacing abortion despite the leak of a draft majority of opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Twenty-two percent of Americans ranked cost of living as the most important issue to them as the midterms near, with jobs and the economy coming in second place at 18%, according to the results of an NBC News poll released Sunday.
The poll is a potentially worrying sign for President Biden, who has scored low approval numbers in both categories. Only 33% of those polled approve of the president’s handling of the economy, while just 23% approve of Biden’s handling of the cost of living.
The two top issues have remained unchanged since the last NBC News poll in March, despite some speculation that the leaked draft ruling potentially overturning Roe would lead to a boost for Democrats ahead of the election. Abortion did see a bounce in those that indicated it is the most important issue to them, but still ranks behind Russia’s war in Ukraine, voting rights and election integrity, climate change, taxes and spending, border security and immigration, and coronavirus.
Biden’s overall approval rating also fell to 39%, which marks the lowest of his presidency in the NBC News poll. Fifty-six percent of Americans say they disapprove of the president’s job performance.
Perhaps even more troublesome for the president is the amount of Americans who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, with 75% of respondents saying the country is on the wrong track. It was only the fifth time in the 34-year history of the NBC News poll that the number has reached 75% or higher.
“It is a flashing red light when you see a number like this,” Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican pollster who conducted the poll alongside Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, told NBC News.
“Americans are telling us this is as bad as 2008,” McInturff added.