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. NoMcSame(Grumpy old Mr. Burns)

    McGrumpy you better be glad that you are white and that Obama is black because if he was white you would be toast. The only thing that is keeping you run for the White House on life support is race. I know it and the rest of the country and the world knows it too. America is still asleep and stuck on stupid with all of the hate that is stored up in her. McGrumpy is so out of touch that he even tried to enter his wife into a strip contest and didn't know it, well on the other hand maybe he did know.
    Old man stay in your place and use some of your wifes money to fix your creepy arms. I don't care how they got like that, they look creepy.
    McGrumpy is a total JOKE and the more he talks the more we see. Thousands come to see Obama but McSame has to crash where thousands are to get people to listen to his trash. Ha ha ha LOL
    Obama08 a Dream

    August 6, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. v.a.

    mccain's policy keeps us in iraq for 100 years. grrreeeeat for the financial situation at home.

    August 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Denise Groves

    i see obama winning this one. when the american people learn that the reason mccain flip flopped on offshore drilling after receiving $1.3 million from oil companies. who is mccain really interested in?

    August 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. blue

    You know, I think Paris’ little attempt at getting more spotlight for herself is actually helping McCain.

    First, she proves the snotty attitude these celebrities seem to share with her personally attacking McCain with her description of “wrinkly”…and also cements the fact that any conceded, empty head celebrity thinks they should be president.

    It also gave McCain another opportunity to address the issue and be in the spotlight with a VERY good response.

    can we get a “My bad” from Britney’s BFF, Paris? lmao

    August 6, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Angus McDugan

    Unfortunately neither candidate (yes... including the cult leader Obama) has a plan they can lay out to address the economy. I just wish we could hear more about who Obama is and what his qualifications are besides he is popular and half black.

    August 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. John Hussein Karsten

    Just the super rich are having a good time. Oh yeah CNN, the WAR is still an issue for me, food prices are still an issue for me, gas is an issue for me, the housing crisis is still an issue for me.

    No wonder the rich want Johnny Mc______fill in the blank in the WH, to contuine their exploits of this country i.e. you and me or us common folks. Piss off GOP, you need to make more people rich if you want your party to grow in numbers!!!!! duh!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    It's the Economy, stupid..... Yet another outgoing GOP president and yet another clueless GOP contender..... the echo is as loud as ever....

    August 6, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Long time Democrat for McCain

    McCain has the right idea. Obama is just sitting idly by. He will ruin the economy if he is elected. McCain must win for our economy to turn around!

    August 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Barbara

    Whats PUMA


    August 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Obama needs Hillary!!! He's clearly an ametuer!

    August 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Puck

    I don't believe in polls whatsover, but
    need I remind you that McCain himself
    admitted that he's clueless when it
    comes to the economy?

    Take a good look at who McCain chooses
    for his VP – because with McCain's age and
    medical history, you might be voting for THAT
    guy instead of McCain...

    Food for thought.

    August 6, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Informed Voter

    "Heard Mc Cain wants to implement an Economic Surge" .. LMAO

    August 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. California Gold

    Not according to John McCain. According to John McCain we have a robust economy that needs more of the same. Oil, we need more oil so we much drill here, drill now, right here (his "eloquence" on 8-5-08 was hilarious) and dot our land with nuclear power plants (don't think about 3 Mile Island or Chernobl) . Wny according to McCain we are a nation of whiners, it's a recession in our imaginations and we need to follow him (right off the cliff).

    August 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. demwit

    Obama's answer.... Fill your tires with air!!

    August 6, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. WallyBaba

    I don't get how anyone would think McCain would be the better choice for the economy when he himself has verbally admitted to not understanding economics very well at all.

    August 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. demwit

    75 percent saying the price of gas was a financial hardship??

    Why don't you guys just fill your tires with air? Obama says that will alievate your pain.

    No Joke! Really, just fill your tires with air, problem solved!!

    August 6, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Ian

    So we're more concerned with our pocketbooks than the troops in Iraq? So who are the real flip-floppers?

    August 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. mello doug New Mexico

    If the economy is really number one on people's minds why is McCain where he is in the polls. That is totally irrational.

    August 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Franky

    "Obama is not qualified to be a U.S. President.

    All you morons who think Bush is doing such a bad job don't know jack. Liberal media at work. Anything wrong in the U.S. falls on President Bush?? Get real."

    Let me get this straight....the President is still popular with Conservatives, right? What is the approval rating of the President?? Has he done anything bad in your opinion(especially if you're a Conservative)?? How do Republicans feel??? And you got it, just connect the dots....ohh and by the way, everybody keeps stalking about Congress, energy, flip-flops, etc. But it seems like everyone is missing the bigger story here.......I I haven't seen much flip-flop than Conservatives themselves!! LOL!!! I thought they were so tough or so smart, LOL!!! It seems to me they're following people who are gonna listen to them........even if they're party(Republican) didn't care for them! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "Sugar pie honey bunch, you know that I love you..
    I can't help myself....I love you and nobody else..."


    August 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    What a sad commentary about us as a people that the economy would top a murderous war of choice and subsequent occupation that has killed over 1.2 million people as our top concern. No wonder we are seen globally as a selfish, self-absorbed people.

    August 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Candy West Virginia

    NoMcSame(Grumpy old Mr. Burns) – I TOTALLY agree with you. THis country is so screwed up. Another point is that while John McSurge is bashing Obama he is showing us what he thinks of americans, their struggle and the economy – NOTHING.

    August 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. checkthisout

    Barak H Obama will give every family $1000.00
    He will get that money from the oil companies.

    Let's say there are 50,000,000 families out of a population of 300,000,000.

    President Hussein will need to raise $50,000,000,000 from the
    oil companies.

    You can be sure the oil companies will get that money back from you.

    This means even HIGHER gas prices.

    I am not kidding.

    August 6, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Tammy - KCMO

    Well the Iraq war will probably come back to the forefront since it was announced that Iraq has a surplus of $80+ billion dollars from oil profits sitting over there not being used to rebuild their country while America continues to foot the bill.

    While I feel that since Bush felt the need to invade Iraq despite recommendations not to, we are partially responsible to help with the rebuilding process. I think we've done our share and it's time for Iraq to step up to the plate and start taking care of themselves.

    Well done Bush and the Republican party. Wasteful spending we can count on.

    August 6, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. ex-Republican for Obama

    McCain just wants to drill. He says he's for alternatives but, unlike Obama, McCain has presented no plan for making us independent of big oil. Thank God the majority of Americans realizes this.

    August 6, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Mikey

    McCain OUTRIGHT LIED yesterday in saying he voted against the oil friendly energy bill. As usual, he completely missed the vote.

    His voting record shows he has missed the majority of Senate votes over the past 3 years. This goes back well before this presidential campaign got started in earnest. If he can't handle the job of U.S. Senator, what makes anyone think he can handle the pressure cooker of President for 4 or 8 years?

    Lying about how he voted on issues certainly doesn't help his case.

    August 6, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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