ST. LEO, FL – Concern among Americans about inflation quadrupled since the fall, a new Saint Leo University Polling Institute (polls.saintleo.edu) survey shows.
Polling was conducted online February 28 through March 12, among 1,000 total respondents nationally. The resulting margin of error for the results is 3.0 percentage points in either direction. In Florida, where Saint Leo’s residential campus is located, 500 additional people were polled. The margin of error for the responses is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Saint Leo University’s poll asked all respondents to name the most important issue facing the nation today. In addition to inflation, the most important issues were reported to be the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs and the economy, health care, government spending, and immigration.
Inflation is the top issue for 8.8 percent of respondents in the first Saint Leo poll of 2022, compared to 2.8 percent in the October 2021 poll. In the poll of Florida residents, inflation was the second on the list of concerns with 12.4 percent of respondents saying it is a top issue. In October 2021 polling, only 2.8 percent of respondents listed it as a concern.
Jobs and the economy continue to be top of mind for poll respondents with 23.4 percent saying it is the top issue facing America, but concern has dropped from 26.3 percent in October 2021. Among Florida poll respondents, 20.8 percent report jobs and the economy as the highest priority issue, compared to 21.6 percent in October 2021, and 26.4 percent in February 2021 polling.
“Clearly the impact of inflation is being felt, most visibly in gas prices, but also at grocery stores, rent, and new home prices,” said Frank Orlando, director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and political science instructor. “Just as COVID-19 rates have declined to some of their lowest in the pandemic, inflation is filling its void in our collective anxiety.
“Unlike unemployment which may affect a sizable minority of the population, inflation affects everyone in the country,” Orlando continued. “Democrats and the Biden administration know that this is an issue, and even though they may be powerless to rein it in in the short term, they’d be wise to be seen as trying to do something to confront it.”
The table below presents the national results. All respondents were asked to name the most important issue facing the nation today. Results are presented in the following table in declining order by importance based on the composite national data from March 2022. Two issues, election/voting laws and race relations/social justice, are new.
|Issues Most Important
National April 2019 – %
|National November 2019 – %||National February 2020 – %||National October 2020 – %||National February 2021 – %||National October 2021 – %||
National March 2022 – %
|Jobs and the economy||14.4||14.4||15.1||22.8||23.0||26.3||23.4|
|Government spending / federal budget deficit||8.3||8.7||9.5||4.3||6.0||7.5||4.5|
|Global climate change||3.6||9.3||8.6||3.9||2.4||6.3||4.3|
|Homeland security and anti-terror policy||5.6||4.8||4.4||2.1||1.7||2.5||3.9|
|Declining U.S. status worldwide||3.7||4.3||3.0||1.0||2.0||2.2||2.6|
|Race relations/social issues||—||—||—||—||—||—||2.6|
|Some other issues||2.8||3.7||3.6||3.7||3.3||2.8||2.5|
|Gun control / Second Amendment rights||3.4||3.2||2.7||0.6||0.7||1.2||0.8|
|International trade imbalance||0.3||0.5||0.9||0.7||0.2||0.2||0.3
|Internet / data security||0.6||0.6||1.2||0.4||0.3||0.5||0|
About the Poll
METHODOLOGY: This national survey was conducted February 28 – March 12, among a base of 1,000 respondents nationally, using an online instrument. The national sample has an associated margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence for questions asked of all 1,000 respondents.
A statewide survey was also conducted during the same time period, among a base of 500 Florida respondents, using an online instrument. The sample has an associated margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence for questions asked of all 500 respondents.
The Saint Leo University Polling Institute conducts its surveys using cutting-edge online methodology, which is rapidly transforming the field of survey research. The sample is drawn from large online panels, which allow for random selections that reflect accurate cross sections of all demographic groups. Online methodology has the additional advantage of allowing participants to respond to the survey at a time, place, and speed that is convenient to them, which may result in more thoughtful answers. The Saint Leo University Polling Institute develops the questionnaires, administers the surveys, and conducts analysis of the results. Panel participants typically receive a token incentive—usually $1 deposited into an iTunes or Amazon account—for their participation.
The Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey results about national and Florida politics, public policy issues, Pope Francis’ popularity, and other topics, can also be found here: http://polls.saintleo.edu. You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls.
About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering 62 degree programs to more than 15,800 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks and sisters, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing a values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 16 education centers in five states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 100,000 alumni. Learn more at saintleo.edu.
Media contact: Mary McCoy, Saint Leo University, University Writer & Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, (352) 588-7118 or cell (813) 610-8416.