Looking back on a year when coronavirus began to subside but inflation took hold, just more than half of voters say 2022 was a bad one for them and their family. Still, almost 4 in 10 believe it was good – a boost from 2020 when less than a quarter felt positive.
The new Fox News Poll, released Monday, finds that 52% feel 2022 was a bad year for them and their family, a notable improvement since 2020 when 67% had a bad year and slightly better than 2021 (55% bad).
On the flip side, 37% feel 2022 was a good year, up from a 23% low two years ago and the best number so far this decade (31% said good in 2021).
Before 2020, Americans gave the years from 2013 to 2019 positive ratings, peaking in 2014 at 57% good to 33% bad. Before the low recorded in 2020, the previous low was 2009, when 34% said they had a good year and 50% said bad.
Americans think the country overall had a worse year than they did personally. Nearly 7 in 10 (67%) feel it was a bad year for the country, while 23% say it was good. This was also an improvement from 2020, when 78% said it was a bad year compared to just 13% who said it was good.
Democrats are largely responsible for the more positive outlook. In 2020, Democrats were much more likely to say it was a bad year for them personally vs. good (71% bad, 20% good). When it came to the country, they were negative by a whopping 70 points (82% bad, 12% good).
Today, it swings in the opposite direction, with more Democrats positive about 2022 for themselves personally (36% bad, 55% good) and for the country (47% bad, 42% good).
Republicans remain just as negative now as they did in 2020, if not a little more so. Sixty-two percent said it was a bad year for them in 2020 vs. 63% now. For the country, 74% said things went badly two years ago, and it’s up to 83% today.
Independents are a little more optimistic but not by much: 20% said 2020 was a good year for them (67% bad) compared to 25% giving 2022 a thumbs-up today (59% bad). In 2020, 9% said it was a good year for the country (79% bad) and today it is at 13% (73% bad).
“It’s important to keep in mind that if the baseline is 2020, almost any non-apocalyptic year will look like an improvement,” said Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll along with Democrat Chris Anderson. “The ebbing of the pandemic and the infusion of partisan politics into appraisals of rising prices and other issues seem to be driving increased Democratic optimism.”
The economy is the No. 1concern for voters, with 42% putting it at the top of the list. Immigration is the only other issue that gets double digits (13%).
And with 74% saying inflation has been a hardship for them and their family the past six months, and 81% rating the economy negatively (including 49% saying poorly), it’s not surprising voters are concerned about holiday shopping.
Three-quarters say inflation will have a great deal (44%) or some (33%) effect on their shopping this year. Only 23% say it will have little to no effect (15% not much, 8% not at all).
Republicans (83%), Hispanic voters (81%), voters under age 45 (80%) and women (79%) are those most likely to be worried about the effect inflation will have on their holiday spending, while men (73%), Democrats (70%), Black voters (70%) and voters ages 65 and over (65%) are less likely.
When it comes to spending time with family this year, 76% say they will not try to avoid family they disagree with politically, though 21% say they will.
Democrats are more likely to try to avoid family they disagree with (26%) than Republicans (17%). Independents fall in the middle, with 23% saying they’ll be doing the dodging.
Still, 53% of voters are hopeful for the future of the country – up 10 points since last December.
Conducted Dec. 9-12 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,005 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.