USA: Which data from surveys and economics are shaping the election campaign

With the primaries in New Hampshire, the race for the White House is finally gaining momentum: the most important figures about the election campaign between Democrats and Republicans – and the issues that will shape the decision.

The second US Republican primary in the state of New Hampshire could bring an important decision. If former President Donald Trump wins here against his last remaining party rival Nikki Haley, then there will be little standing in the way of his nomination as the party’s official candidate for the presidential election. Haley has collected a lot of money from donors and in the past few days has once again sharpened the tone regarding Trump and his statements, which sometimes border on the senile. However, only a miracle could lead to the 52-year-old winning the race in the end.

The emerging duel between Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden is accompanied by a wealth of data and information. Survey values, mood images, economic factors. Capital collects important data and organizes it.

Unpopular president

Joe Biden is – one thing is certain – a decidedly unpopular incumbent. In a highly politically polarized society like the USA, this is initially not unusual. However, Biden’s values ​​have steadily deteriorated over the course of his term in office so far. This may be due to the fact that many Democratic voters also consider the president to be too old to last a second term. This is bad news for Democrats at the start of the election year.

Problematic economic situation

One of Biden’s problems is that he is blamed for the poor economic situation in the USA. Although the Democrats have launched a spending program of historic size with the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden can hardly benefit from the previous successes of this package, which is primarily focused on green energies. But it is economic issues that play the greatest role for voters, as the opinion research institute Pew Research finds in its regular surveys.

Biden’s government is fighting economically on several fronts – and his record is not bad everywhere. The situation on the US labor market has largely stabilized, with the Democrats also benefiting from the fact that they were able to govern right in the middle of the upswing after the corona pandemic. However, the situation has deteriorated slightly in this respect in recent months. A lot will likely depend on whether the USA can slide into a recession or avoid one.

Fight against inflation

A topic that particularly concerns Americans beyond jobs is the development of prices. Even if the rise in energy costs has not hit the USA as hard as Germany, the almost two years after the Russian attack on Ukraine have not been an easy time on the other side of the Atlantic in this regard. With corresponding consequences for goods prices. The American central bank responded by raising interest rates and in this way managed to get the problem under control again.

The price decline even applies to an area where US citizens have traditionally been particularly sensitive – fuel. Donald Trump, who usually gets away with a lot from both voters and the media, recently received a lot of ridicule when he claimed in a speech that the price of a gallon of gasoline (3.8 liters) at the gas station was as high as eight dollars. Although fuel costs more than it did during Trump’s term in office, the price has recently fallen significantly, according to data from the US Energy Agency.

Sentiment beyond the pure economic situation is harder to measure, but one issue plays an important role for American voters: illegal immigration. Things are not looking good for the Biden government in this area, as an increasing number of attempts at unauthorized entry have been registered in recent months, especially at the southern border of the USA. It’s an issue that Republicans routinely exploit in relevant House committees.

Overall, it can be said: The situation for Joe Biden looks anything but good at the beginning of the election year. Although some economic problems have diminished under his leadership, a real recovery looks different. In addition, the incumbent receives little recognition even for a historic spending program like the Inflation Reduction Act, and the mood towards his government is and remains bad. And this is ultimately also reflected in the direct polls that anticipate a possible race between Biden and Trump: Trump has, on average, taken the lead in these surveys over the past few months.

This article appeared first in the business magazine “Capital”which, like stern, is part of RTL Deutschland.