Via AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heading into a critical midterm election year, the top political concerns of Americans are shifting in ways that suggest Democrats face considerable challenges to maintaining their control of Congress.

A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that management of the coronavirus pandemic, once an issue that strongly favored President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats, is beginning to recede in the minds of Americans. COVID-19 is increasingly overshadowed by concerns about the economy and personal finances — particularly inflation — which are topics that could lift Republicans.

Just 37% of Americans name the virus as one of their top five priorities for the government to work on in 2022, compared with 53% who said it was a leading priority at the same time a year ago. The economy outpaced the pandemic in the open-ended question, with 68% of respondents mentioning it in some way as a top 2022 concern. A similar percentage said the same last year, but mentions of inflation are much higher now: 14% this year, compared with less than 1% last year.

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