Most Americans are not panicking about rising inflation, according to a new Vox and Data for Progress poll.
Only 26% of respondents said the high cost of living or inflation is the most important economic issue facing the country, Vox reported Tuesday.
Still, inflation received the highest percentage among 12 choices when asked about the most important economic issue.
Among party affiliations, more Republicans (31%) and independents/third party members (29%) thought inflation was the most important economic issue than Democrats (19%).
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said in a recent appearance on CNN that the U.S. has "serious inflation" right now.
"There is a question about how long it lasts," Toomey told CNN. "And I’m just worried that the risk is high, that this is going to be with us for a while."
Many Democrats, economists, and members of the Federal Reserve insist the current levels of inflation are temporary and will slow.
The poll found that 58% of likely voters believe price increases mainly are due to temporary bottlenecks and shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 76% of Democrats believe that to be true, compared to 56% of independents, and 39% of Republicans.
People with incomes of under $50,000 a year (27%) were slightly more concerned about inflation than those who make upward of $100,000 (26%).
Poll results show that people with incomes below $50,000 are much likelier to be worried about the cost of food and housing than people making over $100,000. Higher-income people are likelier to be worried about the cost of medical care and higher education or student loans, Vox said.
"Poorer people are just more concerned about prices, and you have to separate what’s a general concern about how much things cost versus what’s a concern about you actually perceiving things getting more expensive," said Ethan Winter, a senior analyst at Data for Progress.
Television viewing habits also result in a difference in results – 34% of Fox News viewers say costs and prices are the most pressing economic issue, compared to 22% of non-Fox News viewers, Vox reported.
"There are a lot of partisan signals in the air," Winter said. "Republicans are being told by partisan outlets that inflation is a cause for concern and are responding to that, while we see much lower rates of concern with Democrats — even though real economic conditions are the same."
Respondents overall also said they worried about the economy in general (19%), the gap between the rich and the poor (14%), unemployment and jobs (10%), and national debt (10%).
The Vox-Data for Progress poll found that 55% of likely voters support a "broad infrastructure package," while 36% oppose a sweeping package and believe it will lead to a dramatic price increase.
The Vox-Data for Progress poll was conducted July 23-26 among 1,245 likely voters.
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