Americans fearful of what 2022 has in store for the US, world: poll

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Americans fearful of what 2022 has in store for the US, world: poll

Slightly more than half of Americans dread what 2022 has in store for the country — with 50 percent predicting the new year will be bad for the economy amid rising inflation and supply chain shortages, a new poll released on the last day of 2021 has found.

Along with the 51 percent who fear what 2022 will mean for the US, 54 percent fear what’s coming for the world next year, the Axios/Momentive survey shows.

Americans were less fearful when asked what they thought 2022 would bring for them personally, with 68 percent saying they were more hopeful that they would have a good year and just 30 percent saying they were more fearful.

On the whole, however, the poll shows Americans are slightly less optimistic heading into 2022 than they were going into 2021. Last year, 25 percent said they were fearful of what 2021 had in store for them, with 73 percent saying they were hopeful.

Laura Wronski, senior manager for research science at Momentive, told Axios that “the end of last year was a particularly hopeful time” due to a change in the presidency as well as the promise of COVID-19 vaccines.

Even with the COVID-19 vaccine, there has been an uptick in coronavirus cases.
Even with the COVID-19 vaccine, there has been an uptick in coronavirus cases.
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“I think after this year we realized it’s not going to magically get better, that we’re going to have to live with COVID for a while,” she said.

As America grapples with a surge of coronavirus cases due to the highly contagious Omicron variant, 35 percent of Americans say they would like to hear less about COVID-19 in 2022. Meanwhile, 61 percent said they were more hopeful than fearful about the progress of the pandemic in 2022, down from the 76 percent who said the same entering 2021.

Americans were split about the prospects for the economy in 2022, with 50 percent saying it would be a bad year and 48 percent it would be a good year. However, more than twice as many respondents (17 percent) predicted the economy would have a “very bad year” as those who predicted it would be a “very good year” (8 percent).

The results of the poll.
The results of the poll.

The economy and jobs also topped Americans’ list of the most important issues facing the country, with 31 percent saying it was what mattered most to them. Second on the list was democracy, with 17 percent calling it the most important issue. Rounding out the top five list of issues were health care (16 percent), education (8 percent), and the environment (8 percent).

Only 7 percent of respondents listed immigration as the issue that matters most, while terrorism and foreign policy received 2 percent each in the poll.

Americans were bearish about President Biden’s future as well, with 53 percent saying 2022 would be a bad year for him (including 32 percent predicting a “very bad year”), and 44 percent predicting a good year for Biden — with just 11 percent predicting a “very good year.”

As Americans enter 2022 with trepidation, the poll suggests they’ll be relieved 2021 is over. Forty-three percent of respondents described the old year as “exhausting” and “worrisome”, 31 percent called it “chaotic,” 21 percent said it was “hectic,” while 18 percent chose “hellish” as the word that best summed up their 2021.

Only 14 percent said 2021 was “great,” for them, with 12 percent calling the year “meh” and 8 percent saying it was “awesome.”

The poll surveyed 2,602 Americans Dec. 14-16 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points.

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