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Inflation, higher prices causing financial stress for most Minnesotans, poll finds

Half of the Minnesotans polled said their households are experiencing at least “minor” stress from inflation.

MINNEAPOLIS — Consumer prices spiked 9.1% year over year at the end of June 2022, the largest increase in 40 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While local and nationwide gas prices have started to tick downward over the last several weeks, inflation still rose 0.1% in August, and  some economists believe another interest rate hike is looming from the Fed.

According to a new KARE 11/Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota poll, most Minnesotans are feeling the pinch from inflation and recent price hikes, with a third of voters saying it’s causing “major stress” in their household.

HAVE RECENT PRICE INCREASES BEEN A SOURCE OF FINANCIAL STRESS ON YOUR HOUSEHOLD?

Credit: KARE

Of those polled, 33% of voters agreed that inflation is causing them major financial stress. Another 51% said it’s causing some minor stress, while 16% said they’re feeling no stress.

Price hikes and inflation appear to have a similar impact across all voting age groups, according to the poll. At least half of every group (18-34, 35-49, 50-64 and 65+) says they’re experiencing minor stress, with the most voters between the ages of 35-64 saying they’re experiencing major stress.

Voters with college degrees and voters without college degrees both reported experiencing financial stress from inflation, though varied slightly in the level of stress. About 36% of respondents without a college degree had major stress while 49% had minor stress. Among college graduates, 30% had major stress and 53% had minor stress.

According to the poll, respondents living in southern Minnesota reported experiencing the highest levels of major stress of any region at 40%. Another 44% in that region have minor financial stress because of inflation and consumer prices.

DO YOU EXPECT INFLATION WILL GET BETTER, WORSE OR STAY THE SAME? 

Credit: KARE

Despite indications that inflation is on a slow and slight decline, nearly half of Minnesota voters believe that inflation will get worse over the next year.

A new KARE 11/Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota poll revealed 47% of Minnesotans think the situation with rising prices will get worse, while just 24% think it’ll get better. Another 28% believe the situation will remain the same.

Voters in Hennepin County and Ramsey County have a more optimistic outlook about the future of inflation compared to voters around the rest of the state. Among respondents in those two counties, 32% believe inflation will get better over the next year. Comparatively, 20% or fewer voters in the metro suburbs, southern and northern Minnesota say the same.

On the other hand, between 51% and 56% of voters in the metro suburbs, southern and northern Minnesota believe inflation will get worse over the next year.

METHODOLOGY

The findings of this Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota Poll are based on live interviews conducted Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2022, with 800 Minnesota registered voters who indicated they are likely to vote in the November general election. The poll was conducted for the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio News and KARE 11 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy Inc.

Those interviewed were randomly selected from a phone-matched Minnesota voter registration list that included both landline and cell phone numbers. Quotas were assigned to reflect voter registration by county. The interviews were conducted via landline (28%) and cell phone (72%).

The margin of sampling error for this sample of 800 registered voters, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ± 3.5 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed. The margin of error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or age grouping.

The self-identified party affiliation of the respondents is 35% Democrats, 32% Republicans and 33% independents or other.

Sampling error does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion surveys, such as nonresponse, question wording or context effects. In addition, news events may have affected opinions during the period the poll was taken.

The demographic profile of this poll of likely voters is an accurate reflection of their respective voter populations. This determination is based on more than 100 statewide polls conducted by Mason-Dixon in Minnesota over the past 34 years – a period that spans eight presidential election cycles that began in 1988.

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