Nearly half of registered voters believe that President Donald Trump’s policies are making the economy worse, polling has shown.
A new poll from CBS News/YouGov, which was conducted from July 21 to 24, showed that 48 percent of respondents said they see the Trump administration’s policies making the economic situation in the country worse, not better. Just 44 percent of respondents said they believed the president’s policies were helping to improve the situation.
Meanwhile, when those surveyed were asked about the policies put forward by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, 47 percent said they believed they would help the economy recover while just 43 percent said they’d make the situation worse. Additionally, 84 percent of voters said that the economy was a major factor in their decision about who to vote for in November, while 59 percent said that they’d rate the economy as “fairly” or “somewhat” bad right now.
The survey found that Biden, who served as vice president under former President Barack Obama, was backed by 51 percent of voters. That’s a lead of 10 points over Trump, who was supported by just 41 percent. That aligned with the current polling average compiled by Real Clear Politics, which shows Biden leading Trump by an average of 7.4 points nationwide.
The polling was carried out before the Thursday release of a Department of Commerce report, which showed the sharpest economic contraction in modern U.S. history, with a nearly 33 percent decline in the annual gross domestic product (GDP) rate in the second quarter. Also on Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that the insured unemployment rate remained in the double digits – at 11.6 percent for the week ending July 18. That marked an increase of half a percent over the previous week.
More than 17 million Americans, overall, remained on unemployment benefits as of July 18. Additionally, new unemployment claims have been on the rise over the past two weeks, with an additional 1.43 million new claims during the week ending July 25. As the Economic Policy Institute pointed out in an analysis, last week marked “the 19th week in a row that unemployment claims have been more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession.”
The historic economic downturn came as a result of measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But more than six months after the outbreak began in the U.S., new infections continue to surge and the seven-day average of new daily deaths has risen above 1,200. The country continues to confirm more than 60,000 new cases of the virus daily. In total, the U.S. has seen more than 4.6 million infections and nearly 155,000 deaths
“It was an epically bad second quarter and we got our first look at just how bad,” Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride said in an email to Newsweek about the Thursday Department of Commerce report.
“The virus spread and economic rollbacks in the weeks since do not bode well for the labor market in the weeks and months ahead,” McBride warned.