A new poll indicates voters are more worried about the economy than the Iraq war.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – More than half the American public - 57 percent - now believe the nation is in a recession, compared to 42 percent who do not, according to new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday. (Full poll results [PDF])
That number is up significantly from the October survey, when only 46 percent believed the U.S. economy was in recession.
On the question of whether the nation is in recession, the poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percent.
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland notes, "Economic optimism has dropped 12 points since the fall - in September 62% thought economic conditions would get better in 2008 but only 50% feel that way now."
Thanks to that unease, the economy has now topped the war in Iraq as the issue most poll respondents identified as the most important in helping them decide which presidential candidate to support.
Twenty-nine percent of poll respondents said the economy was their top issue, compared with 23 percent who listed the Iraq war – a reversal from October’s results, when 28 percent listed the war and 22 percent pointed to the economy.
On the issues question, the poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The poll, conducted December 6-9, involved telephone interviews with 1,002 adults.
– CNN.com Senior Political Producer Scott Anderson