In 10 Charts:  What Are Americans' Biggest Worries As They Vote On Tuesday?

In 10 Charts: What Are Americans' Biggest Worries As They Vote On Tuesday?

The chart story reveals Americans' top concerns.

tippinsights Editorial Board

The latest Golden/TIPP Poll completed on Friday reveals that the top concerns of Americans are Covid; rising prices of Food and Gasoline; paying bills and making ends meet; rising prices in general; Climate change; and immigration at the Southern border.

James Golden hosts “The Bo Snerdley Show” on 77-WABC/New York.  The poll is a joint effort of Golden and TIPP.  Future polls will focus on issue-specific surveys of public opinion involving emerging political policies.

The survey of 1,306 Americans gave 24 choices and asked Americans to pick their top 3-concerns.  More than one in five (20%) chose the following responses.  They are

  • 28% Covid
  • 27% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
  • 25% Paying bills and making ends meet
  • 24% Rising prices in general

The chart below shows the tally of the results.

Chart 1

Top concerns varied by party alignment.  Top concerns cited by Democrats are:

  • 36% Covid
  • 28% Climate change
  • 23% Paying bills and making ends meet
  • 20% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
Chart 2

For Republicans, immigration at the southern border is an important concern. Here are their top-4.  Both climate change and covid did not finish in the top-4 positions.  Republicans’ top items are:

  • 36% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
  • 31% Immigration at the Southern border
  • 26% Rising prices in general
  • 22% Paying bills and making ends meet
Chart 3

The top concerns of Independents are financial. Covid takes the fourth spot.

  • 27% Rising prices in general
  • 26% Rising prices of Food and Gasoline
  • 26% Paying bills and making ends meet
  • 23% Covid
Chart 4

The table below summarizes concerns by ideology and party.  We highlight the top four concerns for each group in yellow.  Note that Democrats and liberals share the same concerns. Similarly, Republicans and conservatives share the same concerns.

Generally speaking, paying bills and rising prices are concerns shared by nearly all groups.

Table 1

COVID

Covid related deaths were on a downtrend since the beginning of the year. However, deaths started to spike in August and September, deepening concerns due to the Delta variant.  As of today, Russia is in lockdown, and reports of new variants are impacting China. The virus is playing cat and mouse, keeping its future trajectory in suspense.

Chart 5

Inflation

A separate IBD/TIPP Poll conducted in early October showed that eighty-two percent of Americans are concerned about inflation. By recent estimates, each American household spends an additional $175/month because of inflation.  Here are the year-on-year percentage increases on the CPI for selected items for September.

Chart 6

The following three charts show the trends for CPI increases overall, food, and energy.

Chart 7
Chart 8
Chart 9

Financial Stress

Inflation and concerns about paying bills are causing financial stress for Americans. Before covid, the IBD/TIPP Financial Stress Index level was below 50. Since covid, the index has stayed above 60 for most months except for a brief period between April and June.

Chart 10

Directly and indirectly, the pandemic continues to affect our lives. Even as we eagerly get back to the pre-pandemic normal, the emergence of new variants, the possibility of another outbreak, and rising fatalities remain a cause for worry.

Rising prices worry Americans across the board. Coupled with low growth, many financial analysts foresee the country slipping into protracted ‘stagflation.’

To shake off the pandemic blues, American businesses must find their momentum once again. Let us hope that lesser travel restrictions and planned festivities during the Christmas season will infuse the economy with some much-needed cheer and vigor.


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TIPP Takes

G20 Leaders Endorse Global Tax Rate Deal, Wrangle Over Vaccines, Climate Change

G20

Leaders of G20 nations endorsed a landmark deal to establish a global minimum tax rate.

On Saturday, heads of the world's leading economies began the G20 summit in Rome and endorsed a crucial agreement to establish a 15% global minimum corporate tax for the biggest multinationals. The reform plan aims to deter big corporations from using complicated accounting to evade taxes by using low-tax havens.

The proposal has been backed by nearly 140 countries and is expected to be included in the G20 communique on Sunday. After the formal approval, nations would enact the minimum tax on their own.

The first day of the G20 summit was also the eve of the key COP26 conference slated to be held in Glasgow on Sunday. However, there was no consensus yet on Saturday on a collective pledge on climate change.

Italy wants the G20 to collectively advocate the United Nations target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

South Korea, China F.M.s Discuss End-Of-War Declaration, Cultural Issues In Rome

China - Korea

The top diplomats of South Korea and China met in Rome and discussed ways to revive the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and boost cultural ties, Seoul's foreign ministry said Saturday.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed again that the two Koreas and the U.S., with the possible addition of China, issue the declaration. Moon and his aides say it can effectively build confidence and reinvigorate the peace process.

The two sides also agreed to step up efforts to promote exchanges in the cultural sector, as 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of establishing their diplomatic relations.

South Korea has expressed hope for China's cooperation in promoting cultural content exchanges. Since its 2016 decision to host a U.S. anti-missile system called THAAD, Beijing has put regulations on Korean cultural exports and businesses.

Biden To Warn Erdogan On' Impulsive Actions' In Sunday meeting - Reuters

Biden-Erdogan

In the latest bout of tensions earlier this month, Erdogan ordered ten envoys, including the U.S. ambassador to Turkey,  to be declared "persona non grata."

The meeting, set to take place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, will also cover Turkey's request to purchase F-16 fighter jets and the defense relationship between the NATO allies, the agency said.

The meeting between the pair arrives against a backdrop of numerous issues plaguing Turkey-U.S. relations, including Turkey's expulsion from the joint production of the fifth-generation F-35 aircraft in 2019, following Ankara's decision to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

Earlier this month, Erdogan said that the United States had proposed selling Turkey upgraded F-16s to offset its investment in the F-35 program. Washington canceled the sale of F-35 jets over claims that it could expose military secrets to Russia. The U.S. State Department, however, denied the existence of any F-16 deal.

Finnish Scientists Create 'Sustainable' Lab-Grown Coffee

Coffee

Latte drinkers may in the future be sipping on java sourced from a petri dish rather than a plantation.

Researchers at the Finnish technical research institute VTT believe their coffee would avoid many environmental pitfalls associated with the mass production of one of the world's favorite drinks.

The coffee is not ground from beans but instead grown from a cluster of coffee plant cells under closely controlled temperature, light and oxygen conditions in a bioreactor.

The Finnish team used the same principles of cellular agriculture used to produce lab-grown meat.

"Compared to regular coffee, the cellular coffee is less bitter," which may be due to slightly lower caffeine content, Researcher Heikki Aisala told Agence France-Presse, adding that fruitiness is also less prominent in the lab-produced powder.

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