Half of Americans report gas prices causing financial hardship

New ABC News/Ipsos poll finds continued support for Ukraine, mixed approval for President Biden

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that half of Americans are experiencing financial hardship due to high gas prices, with one in five reporting “serious” difficulties. Americans blame lots of actors for the current prices including Russian President Putin, oil companies, and President Biden and the Democrats. These pressures potentially explain President Biden’s continued low marks on handling inflation, gas prices, and the economic recovery, even as the public is giving Biden better marks on the pandemic.

This poll also finds that the American public continues to support sanctions on Russia and providing Ukraine with weapons and supplies. However, there is very little public support for measures that may trigger a wider conflict such as a no fly zone or American troops in Ukraine.

Image shows 2 different charts of Americans' opinions on "Have recent gas price increases caused financial hardship" "and "How much do you blame the following for gas price increases"

Public approval of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has improved over the last month, as the Omicron wave has subsided, but that positive movement has not translated to other aspects of his job performance, which are uniformly underwater.

  • Almost three in five (58%) of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of the response to the coronavirus, up from 50% in January.
  • However, approval of his handling of the situation with Russian and Ukraine (45%), inflation (29%), or gas prices (31%) are all statistically unchanged over the last three months.
  • Just over a third (39%) of Americans report that they are very enthusiastic about voting this November. In this poll, Republicans have a significant enthusiasm advantage with 55% of self-identified Republicans saying they are very enthusiastic compared to only 35% of Democrats.

The American public continues to support Ukraine in the war with Russia, but does not want to see the conflict expand to direct engagements between the U.S. and Russia.

  • Large majorities support placing tighter sanctions on Russia (79%) and sending additional weapons and equipment to Ukraine (70%).
  • A majority of Americans also support taking in Ukrainian refugees (63%) and sending U.S. troops to nearby European countries (53%).
  • However, Americans do not support direct engagement, including only 27% who support a no fly zone and 17% who support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine.

Half of Americans say that recent increases in gas prices have caused financial hardship in their household, and they have plenty of blame to pass around.

  • Half of Americans (49%) say recent gas price increases have caused financial hardship for them or someone in their household, including 21% who describe that as “serious” hardship. People with a high school education or less (29%) and minority Americans (28%) are most likely to cite serious hardship.
  • Americans blame many players for recent gas price increases including Russian President Vladimir Putin (71% great deal/good amount of blame), oil companies (68%), Democratic party policies (52%), and Joe Biden (51%).

About the Study 

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted April 8 to April 9, 2022, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 530 adults age 18 or older.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS) from the US Census Bureau. Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.33. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. Sampling error is only one potential source of error. There may be other unmeasured non-sampling error in this or any poll. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.


About Ipsos 

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com


The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs