August 6th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Economy remains issue number one

The economy is a bigger concern than the war in Iraq in the latest CNN poll.

The economy is a bigger concern than the war in Iraq in the latest CNN poll.

(CNN) - The economy is still issue number one for Americans this election cycle - significantly outweighing the war in Iraq, immigration and health-care reform.

According to the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 48 percent of those surveyed said John McCain and Barack Obama’s economic policy would be the most important issue when deciding who to vote for this fall.

Watch: Poll findings translate differently for McCain and Obama

But when it comes to who is the better choice to fix the economy, Obama is their pick by a 54-43 percent margin .

CNN Election Center: Where do the candidates stand on economic stimulus?

In a November poll, 29 percent of Americans said the economy was their top concern and the war in Iraq was a close second at 28 percent.

But in the latest poll, conducted from July 27 through 29, only 18 percent ranked the war as their top concern and health care was close behind at 13 percent.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said that gas prices are partially to blame for the nation's shift toward the economy as the top issue.

“This time last year, most people thought the presidential election would be all about the war in Iraq,” Holland pointed out. “But starting in December, the economy has been a bigger issue than Iraq. And when gas prices started going through the roof, the number of voters who said the economy was their number-one issue jumped to nearly half.”

CNN Election Center: Where do the candidates stand on the Iraq War?

The most recent poll on gas prices, also conducted July 27-29, showed 75 percent saying the price of gas was a financial hardship and 52 percent saying the price of gas will never go down.

CNN’s latest findings are based on phone interviews with 1,041 Americans, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. Candy West Virgina

    Dave, Illinois – my love, why hasn't mcsurge led in the polls since Obama became the nominee? He's got so called 'experience', he's been around forever and he's white and yet he can't seem to lead in the polls. I know you probably hadn't thought of that, spouting your repuglican hate filled lies but it's a fact. He has not led once and yet he's 'america's boy' right?

    August 6, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Richard

    You stupid Barack HUSSEIN Obama supporters really think he is going to wave a magic wand and CHANGE everything overnight?? Dream on!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Florida Voter

    You people need to wake up. do your hear one news clip or read one headline and comment.. I agree we need to drill for oil in our own country.FYI by the time we start to benefit from drilling oil prices will have increased even more !!!!! using this as a campaign tactic is merley an insult on the American people intellegence of course we need a energy plan that will benefit us in the future and there are no quick fixes checkthisout I sure can use $1000 NOW an guess what the oil companies is going to get it back anyway.Oil prices HAS NOT drop because MCcain is speaking on drilling it because bush is stepping up like he should have done all along read the news

    August 6, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Jim

    You can not blame economic woes on the Bush Administration. you can blame the housing crisis. That would be liberals that wanted those that can't afford the American dream to have it. Look at the nightmare they gave them. Life isn't fair. Some are just on the short end. Help them to have what they need. Not what they want. Read the Constitution.

    August 6, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Ron democrat turned independent

    could someone please explain to me why sen. obama as to constantly ridicule his opponents. criticism is one thing but ridiculing a person (Hillary is a regular Annie Oakley haha because she can use a gun.) ect. if you listen to him he does this on a regular demeaning people his idea of politics?.he gets highly insulted if someone does it to him or Michelle's. seems to me that is, his attitude with the voters as well, some of the things he proposes are just reruns of what Clinton or McCain earlier introduced and he wants us to actually believe it is his own idea. that is ridiculing us as well

    August 6, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Debby

    I would see Hillary hitting this out of the park but not Obama. McCain's econmic plan will at least keep the jobs people have in play with helping the small business owner.

    August 6, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Darrel from Denver


    McCain has now found a way to play the only word he knows into the economic argument. No explanation to what it means, but by God it is THE ONLY WAY!

    Surge, Drill....Drill, Surge ....Surge, Surge, Drill, Drill....

    What a joke this guy is.

    August 6, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Joe Regis

    Any regular garagist will tell you to keep your tire properly inflated to save on gaz and get better mileage.

    The republicans screw up everything, they don't even know the basics. The repubs are doomed this year. No more repubs.

    Obama 08/12.

    August 6, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Tired of W, OH

    My new favorite Obama quote regarding McCain's energy policy:

    "that's a debate I'm happy to have. Because Senator McCain's energy plan reads like an early Christmas list for oil and gas lobbyists. And it's no wonder — because many of his top advisers are former oil and gas lobbyists."

    Nuff said.

    August 6, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Chris

    Let's hope that these numbers keep shifting like this. If more people start worrying about the economy, McCain will be crushed. No offense, but when it comes to the economy, McCain is pretty clueless.

    Oh, and lol to what Peter said.

    August 6, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Barack Uda

    and yet he who admitted that the economy was not his strength, is in the running to fix it???!!!

    August 6, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Tom Williams

    Obama's economic policy, his environmental policy, and his energy policy are all the same: keep your tires properly inflated.

    August 6, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Helene

    It's the war economy, stupid !

    August 6, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    DRILL, DRILL, DRILL! That's what yo' mama said!

    August 6, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Louis

    To all McCain supporters–your candidate has been in Congress 27 years and now he suddenly has all the answers to the economy? Why didn't he speak up before? Please start thinking.

    August 6, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Mike, Boston

    Well John Mccaine's ideas have lowered the price of a barrel of oil by 20% in less than a month

    So you tell me who doesn't know what he is doing.

    August 6, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. RapidRay

    ...and it took a poll to figure this one out?

    Ask the restaurant owners who's numbers are down this summer.
    Ask the hotel owners who's numbers are down.
    Ask the guy at the gas pump how he feels about pumping $100 into his SUV to go to work and canceled his vacation.

    Now let's ask the oil magnates, stock brokers and politicians.

    Thank goodness we have polls. If we didn't, Washington wouldn't have a clue what the real issues are.

    August 6, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Socialists for Obama

    The economy is the number one issue, and yet for some strange reason, many economically-illiterate voters are still falling in line with the party that believes they can "fix" a sluggish economy by simply stealing MORE money from workers' paychecks.

    You cannot tax your way to economic prosperity. Please tell me how my life will be better if you steal MORE money from me.

    August 6, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Ted - NYC


    August 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. ARB

    Keeping Obama out of the White House is issue number 1 for me.

    August 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Mad

    Anyway regardless of the white house

    Either of the two candidates– economy will still start failing

    unless you do some magical reversal plan which would include a good use of lobbyists (good use McCain pro Obama aganist)

    Party unity
    McCain "Will work together with the Dems"
    Obama "Lets kill Reps"

    Plus a politician means public service: Obama doesn't want to be a politician- he doesn't care for the public

    He didn't even help his own home state

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Mad

    There is nothing wrong with being a PUMA

    It just means McCain is second best to Hillary

    Obama is some inexperienced person with no issues and can speak well.

    You know who else brought big crowds in Berlin? Hitler did...

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    For all of you who say McCain does not have an economic plan, you are wrong. Why does he have so many Ivy League economists backing his proposals? Take off the blinders. Come to the middle, it's nice here.
    As for Obama, his plan will cripple us. Take more money from the oil companies??? Are you serious? They will get it back and then some. Great plan you great visionary. Tried that once and it failed. If it's broke, quit using it.
    This country does need a change, but the "chosen" one is not the answer.

    August 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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