US Independence Day clouded by inflationary pressures, declining public confidence

NEW YORK, Jul 04 (APP): Americans are celebrating their Independence Day Monday amid soaring inflation, deepening divisions, and a recent set of polls showing that the vast majority of people across party lines are unhappy with the state of affairs in the US.

In an AP-NORC poll, 85% of US adults say that things in the country are headed in the wrong direction, with just 14% believing things are going in the right direction. That’s a more pessimistic reading than in May, when 78% said things were headed the wrong way and 21% that things were generally moving in the right direction.

Currently, both 92% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats are dissatisfied with the direction of the country — the highest number among Democrats since President Joe Biden took office last year.

Only 20% of Americans describe the nation’s economy as good, with 79% calling it poor, according to the AP-NORC poll. This sentiment, too, is relatively bipartisan, with both 90% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats describing the economy as poor.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll finds rising discontent, specifically among Democrats, in the days following the US Supreme Court ruling that there was no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. In that poll, 62% of Democrats say that things in the country are off on the wrong track, up from 49% the prior week. By contrast, 86% of Republicans say things are on the wrong track, down slightly from 94% a week earlier.

Americans’ views of President Biden, meanwhile, remain underwater. A CNN Poll of Polls average of surveys taken in the second half of June finds that 38% of Americans approve of the job he’s doing, with 57% disapproving, similar to his ratings earlier in the month.

In the AP-NORC poll, 28% of US adults approve of Biden’s job performance on the economy — his lowest rating on the issue to date in that survey — 36% approve of his performance on gun policy and 53% approve of the way he’s handled the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, President Biden, in an upbeat message, said, “Our best days still lie ahead.”

“The Fourth of July is a sacred day in our country – it’s a time to celebrate the goodness of our nation, the only nation on Earth founded based on an idea: that all people are created equal. Make no mistake, our best days still lie ahead,” the president said in a tweet.

“Happy Fourth of July!!!” former President Donald Trump said, also noting that “it’s not looking good for our Country right now.”

The former president pointed to high inflation, the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine and stock market turmoil, saying “none of these terrible events would have happened if I were President!!!”

Former President Barack Obama used his July 4 post to urge Americans to “recommit” to fighting for democracy.

“Happy Fourth of July! As we celebrate today, let’s thank our armed forces and their families for their service to our country. And let’s recommit to fighting for our democracy—there’s still so much work to be done to perfect our union,” Obama tweeted.