They’re better off but not feeling it—which could be a really big political problem.
“Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” That question, first posed by Ronald Reagan in a 1980 presidential-campaign debate with Jimmy Carter, has become the quintessential political question about the economy. And most Americans today, it seems, would say their answer is no. In a new survey by Bankrate published on Wednesday, only 21 percent of those surveyed said their financial situation had improved since Joe Biden was elected president in 2020, against 50 percent who said it had gotten worse. That echoed the results of an ABC News/Washington Post poll from September, in which 44 percent of those surveyed said they were worse off financially since Biden’s election. And in a New York Times/Siena College poll released last week, 53 percent of registered voters said that Biden’s policies had hurt them personally.