31% Say Personal Finances Getting Better; 26% Worse

Thirty-one percent (31%) of voters nationwide say their own personal finances are getting better. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 26% take the opposite view, saying their finances are getting worse. Forty-one percent (41%) say their finances are remaining about the same, while 3% are not sure.

These figures are almost identical to the results from a month ago when 32% said their finances were getting better while 26% said worse.

The current totals include 11% who say their finances are getting much better and 7% who say much worse.

Forty-six percent (46%) of voters rate their own personal finances as good or excellent. That’s up three points from a month ago but down three points since April.

Seventeen percent (17%) now rate their personal finances as poor. That figure is unchanged from a month ago, but up three points from April.

There is a stunning gap in economic perceptions between those with a postgraduate degree and the rest of the nation.

  • Among those with advanced degrees, 63% say their finances are getting better and just 10% say worse.
  • Among those with a bachelor’s degree, the numbers are much more evenly divided: 31% better and 25% worse.
  • Among those without a college degree, 22% believe their finances are getting better while 29% say the opposite.

Among voters who prefer policies like those of former President Trump, 21% say their finances are getting better while 37% say the opposite.

The stability in terms of personal finances stands in stark contrast to the collapse in confidence about the pandemic. In late May, 56% of voters believed the worst of the pandemic was behind us. That figure has fallen to 34% today. That’s a 22-point decline in just two months.

Throughout much of 2020, there was a correlation between pandemic concerns and economic confidence. It remains to be seen whether that correlation will continue in 2021. For much of this year, the arrival of the vaccines sparked growing confidence that we were putting the pandemic behind us.

In terms of responding to declining confidence about the pandemic, there will be significant political challenges. Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters believe the lockdowns did more harm than good. That view is shared by a majority of Republicans and Independents. However, most Democrats take the opposite view.

In response to rising pandemic concerns, it seems likely that the Biden Administration will face calls for strong action from the Democratic party base. However, those calls to action may well be viewed negatively by most other voters.  For example, the call for a door-to-door campaign to encourage more vaccinations is opposed by 74% of the target audience.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from July 27-28, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Most respondents were contacted online or via text while 232 were contacted using automated phone polling techniques. Online respondents were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.


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