According to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, nearly 90 percent of American registered voters believe that the cost of housing has moved in the wrong direction. This is despite the fact that rent prices have fallen and mortgage rates have decreased over the past year. The poll, which surveyed 1,500 registered voters, including 600 Republican primary voters, highlights President Joe Biden’s struggles in reassuring Americans about the state of the economy. Despite some positive economic data, such as falling rent prices, the economy remains the top concern for voters when thinking about who to vote for in the 2024 presidential election.
In the United States, typical rent is currently around $2,000, which is slightly over 3 percent higher than a year ago. However, this is much lower than the 16 percent increase that was seen in February 2022. Data from Zillow also shows that year-over-year rent growth has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate, the most common loan term, has decreased slightly to 7.12 percent. Although still higher than it was in January 2021, when it was under 3 percent.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed confidence that the country’s fight against record inflation will be successful without causing too much damage to the economy and job market. However, the August Survey of Consumer Expectations revealed that households’ perceptions about their current financial situations and expectations for the future have deteriorated. This adds to the growing concerns among Americans about their economic prospects.
While President Biden has made progress with some sections of the electorate, with increased approval ratings among Democratic-party affiliated voters and independents, a significant portion of voters are reluctant to credit him for his handling of the economy. Nearly 60 percent disapprove of his performance on the economy, and 53 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation.
The Wall Street Journal poll also found that 74 percent of voters believe inflation has moved in the wrong direction, and there were mixed opinions on whether the job market has improved or worsened. Additionally, 54 percent of respondents said their personal financial situation had moved in the wrong direction.
Overall, 40 percent of voters believe that the U.S. economy has either improved or stayed the same over the past two years, while 58 percent believe it has gotten worse. When asked to rate the strength of the U.S. economy, 63 percent responded that it was not so good or poor.
The White House has not yet responded to requests for comment on the poll.