November 7th, 2007
11:08 AM ET
11 years ago

Americans have economy on the brain

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The state of the economy is the number-one issue on the minds of Americans as the presidential election approaches, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday morning.

Eighty-two percent of Americans said the economy will be extremely or very important to their vote for president. Economic conditions edged out Iraq by two points, with 80 percent of those surveyed saying that the war is 'extremely or very important' to their vote.

Also, among the top five issues on the public's mind when contemplating their next vote for president are health care (76 percent), terrorism (76 percent), and Iran (73 percent).

The state of the overall economy weighed more heavily on the minds of voters than specific economic issues such as gas prices (67 percent), poverty (65 percent), taxes (63 percent) and immigration (61 percent).

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation telephone poll of 1,024 American adults was conducted over the weekend and had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. william, oklahoma city, ok

    It's the economy stupid. That old saying is even more important now than ever even though the media *all kinds* are trying their best to make the public think that the economy is great, jobs are growing, and everything is dandy. Let's get real for a moment. Gas prices are at or near 3.00, food prices of all kinds are rising *I've seen a gallon of milk at 4.00*, the dollar is tanking *it's lost about 60% of it's value over the last few years*, and the stock market being at 14k means aboslutely nothing to the average american. Our wages aren't rising fast enough to offset the rising costs of everything else. We're heading toward a recession whether we like it not.

    November 7, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. danielle garrison, new caney texas

    why do our politicians hold us hostage by the oil companies? isn't this a form of terrorism?

    November 7, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Ryan Indianapolis

    I dont understand how the american public can be so gullible and naive they will believe anything the press tells them. The economy right now is as strong as it was during the good Clinton years and yet all these undeducated people are claiming the sky is falling. Hey americans do your research and stop believing everything the press and dems tell you. THINK FOR YOURSELF...

    November 7, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. theinvestor

    It's not the economy stupid.

    November 7, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. joe,miami,fl

    1994 Nissan Maxima to many new parts to name but have all receipts, body kit ,18 inch chrome rims,neon pedals,cd player,remote starter,car alarm,bmw halo headlights,cold air intake system(not installed)automatic,145,000 miles,keyless entry keypad,also have stock rims and tires have lots of pics send me an email and ill send them or come see it. Pics upon request!

    November 7, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Terry, El Paso, TX

    After 20 years of Conservative rule, the nation's economy has been destroyed. Oh, a few very wealthy people are becoming much, much wealthier and the total numbers are high, but that wealth is not being shared with the middle and lower class employees who do all the work and take all the risks. The American middle class came into existence in large numbers after World War II. The New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt, the economic stimulus of the War, and the post-war policies of Harry Truman were the launching platforms of middle-class America. The federal government made it possible for returning veterans to go to college or trade school, buy a house, trust Social Security for retirement income, and begin a family.

    Conservatism is the enemy of the middle class. Every Conservative policy without exception is designed to funnel an ever greater percentage of American wealth to the top 1%. CEOs earn 400-500 times what their employees do, and CEOs are often paid hundreds or thousands of dollars per hour.

    In short, my fellow middle class Americans, we have been hornswaggled, sold down the river, flim-flammed, and conned by the Conservative leadership that one day soon – but not real soon – the "free" market profits will trickle down to the rest of us. When that doesn't happen, an economist from a right-wing think tank assures us that life is as good as it can be, and that any attempt to solve our problems will only worsen them.

    November 7, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Say What, Ryan?

    Where have you been these past few years? So what if Wall Street is seeing big bucks as they rack in the cash from a turbulent time, but the economy is much "MORE" than Wall Street.

    – Cost of living has shot up for most Americans mostly due to cost of gasoline rising so sharply.

    – Wage increases are flat for the past three to five years. No one except CEOs are getting bonuses. And the middle class hasn't had an adjustment to their salary that could even counter the cost of living increases.

    – Price of goods and services has increased right along with the cost of gasoline. Shipping is highly affected as fuel costs kill their bottom line.

    – Heating costs this Winter season are expected to be astronomical as we come off of a Summer bump in prices that never went back down. These costs translate to Fuel Oil, Propane, and even Wood fuel.

    If you think the economy is so great go ask a Gas Station Manager how much he is racking in this season. Most of them are barely making a dime on gasoline. Also, the subprime lending schemes are hitting home owners rather strongly with record setting foreclosures and bankrupcy.

    So the economy looks good from Wall Street? It's the "real economy" that counts stupid!

    And thats..

    Telling you like I see it,

    November 7, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. theconsultant

    We live in the global economy of the 21st century. If it's not to your liking, try going back to college and getting a Math or Science degree like your mommy advised you so long ago..., IT'S WORTH IT!

    November 7, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Jonathon, Oceanside CA

    The USD is worth a fraction of what it was last decade. China holds over 1 trillion USD in currency reserves and is planning to dump them on the open market. Energy and food prices are through the roof and the average American manages to save -1% of their income. I must say the American economy is flexible but I would hesitate to call it strong. Our current economic policy is not sustainable and thus a change of course is required. How's that for thinking for myself?

    November 7, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. RealityKing

    Evidently most of the people CNN is calling are not CNN viewers...>

    In today's CNN business section:
    "Europe is lowering the boom on the greenback – and that's great news for many small U.S. companies. "

    November 7, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Ken, Hamilton, NJ

    Wake up Sheep! We are about to go under! Every man for themselves!!! PAAANNNIIIIICCC!!!!!

    November 7, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Yeah, I don't think Americans have Iran on the brain. Did the CFR tell you to add that in there?

    And of course Americans have money on the brain vice murder. It's what you have brainwashed us all with.

    November 7, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Jeff, Schaumburg, IL

    Ryan, the only reason one could say the economy is strong currently is because of indicators such as the GDP going up is that the dollar has fallen 35% since 2002.

    Its not that the president or congress has complete control of the economy anyhow, and the idea of giving much of the blame to either Bush or Clinton is somewhat ridiculous.

    Maybe its cyclical, maybe its part of a pattern that started in the Clinton years, maybe it has a lot to do with hundreds of billions spent in Iraq, or the roaring national debt. Its a lot of things combined that lead to where we're at now, but take any "News" media you prefer, Right-wing, Left-wing, or Honest, there is no denying our economy is NOT HEALTHY right now.

    November 7, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Ryan,do you have health ins. issues, kids in college or $3.00 a gallon gas where you live? Neither has George W. Bush & his "people" ever had such hurdles in their lives.

    November 7, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Derek, Pennsylvania

    82% to 80% with a margin of error of 3%. Poor journalism here because with that margin of error, you cannot say that the economy is more important than Iraq. With that margin of error, it is possible that 79% of Americans find the economy to be important and 83% find Iraq to be important. Would CNN still say the economy is more important than Iraq?

    November 7, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. David, Carmel Indiana

    Amazing – All we heard for the last 4 years was Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Democrats ran there entire campaign on the topic in 06. Now with clear progress being made in the region the the Dems need anouther platform to run on. Does anyone out there think we are that stupid not to see what's going on here?

    November 7, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    I hope voters continue to think the economy is slipping – that they're doing poorly.

    Over the next 12 months we can engage the voters into deciding WHICH direction they want to go forward:

    More taxes (Democrats) vs More incentives – tax breaks (Republicans)

    Baby bonds, SCHIP to $83k, Universal Healthcare, Amnesty to Illegals
    – versus –
    Real immigration reform (protecting our borders, deporting imprisoned illegals, putting current illegals at the back of the immigration line, etc), healthcare incentives, protecting the most innocent and at-risk (poverty – young and old), providing opportunities to everyone else by improving the economy – investing in business – new energy resources – etc.

    Nanny State versus creating your own estate.

    You decide.

    November 7, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Patrick, Austin, TX

    Hey Ryan,

    The average American now works more than twice as long to buy a gallon of gasoline than they did aprox. 50 years ago. This is also reflected in the price of virtually every other item since oil is used to manufacture and transport everything that is bought. Why don't you try telling the 30 million Americans in poverty how great the economy is. 30 million is 10% of our total population. Yep, we're doing just great.

    November 7, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Unfortunatley, this is just more proof of the short sightedness of the American people.

    November 7, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Marcia, Erie, Colorado

    I am concerned about the economy's FUTURE, not because I am feeling pain in the present (OR because I am "undeducated," Ryan) but because the fiscal irresponsibility of accumulating a massive and unnecessary war debt in pursuit of a disastrous foreign policy while simultaneously ignoring the needs of both the people at home and the domestic infrastructure is bound to lead to economic consequences that won't be pretty or pleasant.

    November 7, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Eric, Haddonfield, NJ

    Ryan Indianapolis, you need to think globally. The dollar is in free fall, that's part of the economy obviously. If the dollar continues to plummet, all those wonderful imported items will skyrocket in price as our dollar buys less and less of what it used to. Do you think gas prices are going up and it's not at all related to this decline?!? Europe buys a barrel of oil for 60 euros, we buy that same barrel for almost 100 dollars!!! If the dollar didn't fall for the past decade, it'd be even less than what the europeans are paying! That's over 30% above what we would be paying if we weren't devaluing the dollar by leaving above our means. We're doing this by borrowing massive amounts of money from the chinese and others. Thank the current administration and the ignorant poloticians in washington for this.

    November 7, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. Derek, Phoenix, AZ

    Check out Congressman Ron Paul, He's the only one with a sound economic plan.

    November 7, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Matt, Pennsylvania


    Assuming the Clinton years were 'good', then yes the economy is doing great.

    This would also assume that you are not taking into account the fuel crisis, the social security crisis, the staggering debt that Bush has racked up for us, the housing crisis, outsourcing, illegal immigration and how it is increasing costs such as housing healthcare and food for working families, inflation, the growing poverty rate, recent stock market plunges, recent unaccountable leaps in oil prices, and the ever widening income gap.

    And lets see some numbers that back up the ludicrous claims that the economy is doing great. What? You can't find them? What is out there are merely statistics and not real numbers?

    November 7, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. RightyTighty

    "Economic conditions edged out Iraq"

    uh oh, More bad news for Hillary and the dems..

    November 7, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Garrett Babb Indianapolis, IN

    don't fall for the left/right paradigm. Dems and Rep's don't care about the economy and will provide you "business as usual". ONLY Ron Paul has a coherent, workable strategy to fix our economy. If your economy collapses, which is what we're on the brink of, no one will be able to protect you from Iran or terrorists. We need to get real and vote for ourselves. The special interest candidates (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney, McCain) don't care about you or me.

    November 7, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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