August 6th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
6 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. NY State of mind

    This just out. As many of us thought and now is being told by a head member of PUMA who has just quit do to the lack of substance in the McCain camp. PUMA really stands for People Under the McCain Administration. They created it shortly after the Dem debates to fool the Clinton supports while there blood was still boiling to divide the party. Again no botttm to low but they do prove they are smarter enough to know people are gullable!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. jimmy velman

    WE KEEP HEARING " THE ECONOMY IS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE
    IN THIS ELECTION. IT WILL TAKE A CONGLOMERATE OF WHIZ KIDS OR WHIZ MEN TO SOLVE THE ENORMOUS PROBLEM BECAUSE IT IS SO COMPLEX AND IT IS DEPENDENT ON SO MANY FACTORS THAT HAVE GONE WRONG. THE BIGGEST IS THE HUGE BUDGET DEFICIT, THE TRADE IMBALANCE, LOST JOBS , OUT- SOURCING AND COMPANIES MOVING THEIR MANUFACTURING
    FACILITIES AND JOBS ABROAD. THE HIGH PRICE OF FUEL.
    THE MORTGAGE AND HOUSING COLLAPSE. FORTUNATELY AMERICA HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABLE TO SOLVE ITS PROBLEMS.
    IT WILL TAKE A MAN OF EXPERIENCE TO TAKE THE HELM AND
    SELECT THE BEST PEOPLE IN BUSINESS , FINANCIAL , TECHNOLOGICAL , GLOBAL ,ECONOMIC EXPERTISE TO JOIN HIM ( THE NEXT PRESIDENT) TO GET OUR COUNTRY MOVING
    IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. CONTRARY TO THE OBAMA CAMP'S OPINION , THESE PEOPLE ARE IN THE WASHINGTON AREA AND ESTABLISHMENT. AND IT IS JOHN MCCAIN WHO KNOWS THESE PEOPLE. AND HE WELL KNOWS HOW TO SELECT THEM.

    August 6, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. GoHillary

    The BO followers are a bunch of savages and racists. The only reason they are voting for him is because he is black.

    What a pity he is also clueless!

    August 6, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. proud army and navy mom

    The war in Iraq is one of the reasons our economy is so bad. we are digging ourselves deeper and deeper into this hole by borrowing money to pay the sons of Iraq and to rebuild their country.

    The gov't of Iraq has a SURPLUS of over 79 billion dollars, cnn reported yesterday. But we are taking our money that we have to borrow to cover rebuilding.

    Wolf Blitzer asked one of the Army Generals in Iraq if we were still paying the sheiks(sons of Iraq) not to attack us and he said yes.

    Our bad economy and the expense of the illegal war goes hand in hand. If we end the expense, we can began to recover. At least stop the bleeding.

    August 6, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. bill for barack

    If the economy is your biggest concern, please stop to remember who gave us the economy we have now – Bush, McCain and his fellow Republicans.
    The last time we had a robust economy, the Democrats were in the White House.
    They need to be there again.
    Both houses of Congress also need veto-proof Democratic majorities.
    November 2008 will be our best last chance to save America.

    August 6, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. John Is Lame

    And yet John McLame is using the politics of diversion and talking about Paris and Brittany.

    Grow up, you couldn't lead a neighborhood rummage sale, much less the country.

    August 6, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    I agree that the economy is the number one issue. When you money is not what it should be and does not cover everything that it should it causes everything else to get off track.

    August 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. michigan for Obama

    I find their ads interesting...in 8 years the Republicans have run up a record deficit, borrowed $$ from China, given tax cuts to the wealthiest American citizens and $$ profits to their friends through a war that is debated whether it should have ever happened...from $150 per gallon to $4.00 a gallon for gas.....whoever wins this election are gong to have their hands full to correct the last 8 years of damage...how could the US do worse with someone other than a Republican in the White House?

    August 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    McCain has no economic plan. McCain has no economic advisers. By his own admission McCain has no economic expertise. So when McCain boasts about his economic plan, what exactly is he talking about? Nothing. Nothing at all.

    Don't forget what McCain said during the debate at the Reagan Library. He declared the economy as healthy and growing. Declared more people were better off today than 8 years ago. So when McCain boasts about his economic plan, what exactly is he talking about? Nothing. Nothing but what he thinks you want to hear.

    August 6, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Wisest one of All

    Hussein Nobama is an empty suit with no plans for the US. Even Nobamas staunchest supporters can not come up with anything to support him except to say "yes, we can".

    August 6, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. jimmy velman

    FURTHER, WE ALL SHOULD REMEMBER , THAT EVEN WHEN THE TASKS HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMING , WE AMERICANS HAVE RESPONDED WITH DETERMINATION AND COURAGE TO FACE OUR PROBLEMS AND SOLVE THEM WITH SINGLEMINDED RESOLVE . WE HAVE CUT DOWN ON OUR USE OF GASOLINE
    BY DRIVING LESS AND LESS. WE ARE CUTTING DOWN ON OUR USE OF ELECTRICITY BY CHANGING TO FLUOESCENT BULBS.
    AND YES , EVEN IF IT HELPS BUT A LITTLE, WE HAVE EVEN TRIED OBAMA'S SUGGESTION TO INFLATE OUR TIRES.( ALBEIT WE DONT DRIVE ON BALD TIRES) HELP AMERICA IN ANY WAY WE CAN. INCIDENTALLY, DONT POLLUTE OUR STREETS. AND REPORT GRAFFITI ARTIST-POLLUTERS.

    August 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Walter, Long Beach

    McCain's Iraq problem has always been two fold:

    1. He's been on the wrong side to begin with.

    2. He has to choose between salience and popular support. If things are going relatively well, the issue looses salience with people. It only gains in importance when things take a turn for the worse. And then, his support for the war looses popularity.

    August 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Mike in MN

    The ecomomic issue will put McCain over the top for this election.

    Everyone knows Obama and the Dems will raise taxes on everyone. The economy can't not bear a tax increase on any kind. Obama wants to raise taxes on corportations, which will just drive up inflation as the corporations in turn charge more for everything to recoup their lost tax dollars. And even more corporations will look to move offshore where virtually every nation in the world has a lower corporate tax rate than in the US. So more US jobs will be lost.

    We need to find a way to help our corporations compete in the global maket place and still keep jobs here. It is not a simple solution, but higher corporate taxes are not the answer. If you want to tax the hell out of the rich corporate exes, that is one thing. But American jobs are tied to the corporations. Lets find ways to keep them and their jobs and their profits here in the US. Our US business are trying to compete with companies all over the world that have the advantage of lower taxes and cheaper labor. Democrates treat or US corporations that employee millions and millions of Americans as some kind of evil enemy. They definitly have a long list of faults. But it would be a disaster to drive away all those jobs. We need to find ways to keep those jobs here and help or corporations compete in the global economy.

    August 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Sweetie

    Obama and the Liberal Dems will be the final blow to any hope we have as a nation to turn this economy around.

    Just look at when we started to fail-it is from our Liberal Congress that has done absolutely nothing for two years.

    If Obama is elected we will not survive his presidency.

    Especially telling is his "make sure your tires are inflated" solution!

    Place a SAIN vote for McCain 08

    August 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Time for McSame to look at the polls and start talking about the real issues; instead of spouting his celebrity IGNORANCE.

    August 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Isn't Congress supposed to have a balanced budget, as required by federal law? Yes, I have always thought. But, it seems that there is a loop hole that allows for deficit spending. If the country is at war, then you do not need to balance the budget.

    August 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Independent NYC

    In Obama's revised energy plan he states he would compromise on off shore drilling and be willing to allow limited offshore drilling (in Alaska but not Florida ) and expanding more gulf territory for drilling; as long as significant funds and initiatives are included for alternative energy; electric car manufacturing and clean coal research. You will only know this if you listen to the energy speech. This information is missing from the media and this isn't the first or second time the media seems to selectively delete valid information in its reporting. What the lack of information about?

    August 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Dave, Illinois

    Ha Ha, the Obamites are still using the same old "Mc"isms and spouting the same old tired insults. As the polls have tightened, there are simply more of them to laugh at. I enjoy nothing more than your rants because I know that you are really upset. An upset Liberal means that somebody, somewhere, is doing something Right. Ha Ha, keep on ranting.

    August 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. TheTruthHurts

    We're screwed and thinking Americans know it. Whoever takes office is going to have to deal with the hangover from our debt-binge over the last 20-25 years. The country has a spiraling debt and individuals are even worse off. We owe China and the Middle East billions and need their continued support to survive.

    How did we get here? Greed! Arrogance!
    How do we get out? Frugality (pain) and humility (humiliation)

    Welcome to our new world.

    August 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Informed Voter

    All Mc Cain Supporters!!!!!

    What is Mc Cain's Energy & Economic Policy??? .. ALL you people do is bash Obama's Policies .. at least he has one ... I haven't heard a single Plan/Policy from Mc Cain ....

    I have come to the Realization that Mc Cain Supporters are not voting for Him but they are voting against Obama

    August 6, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Independent NYC

    whoever thought Paris Hilton's response to McCain was helping him.............WHAT!!!!

    She called him a wrinkled white hair guy, that's a compliment?

    August 6, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    Well people if the economy is this big concern stop and think who got us in this mess, and the funny thing is MCCAIN WANTS TO CONTINUE THE MESS!!!! wake up this time america while our economy is going to h– iraq has a surplus of 80 billon dollars please people i know you cant be that ignorant do the right thing this time vote OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Marie Ontario

    A candidate for President of the U.S. is using childish ads to belittle another candidate and innocent American citizens. Almost half of the public is supporting this same candidate to lead their country for the next 4 years! Wow! Talk about a referendum on the intellectual level of a country this is it if there ever was one.

    August 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. Rob

    Sometimes I am really ashamed of being an American. People worry more about their cash than our boys dying overseas?? what a shame....

    maybe we should also inflate the tires of our humvees over there, it might not just save us money but also makes us saver. If we all really squeek our eyes hard enough together and tell that to ourselves all the time, it might become true??

    McCain
    Semper Fi

    August 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. tony

    Why do you not post sensible responses but allow the hate to flow from these DEM Supporters-
    Oh! I get it-
    They need the programs to survive because they can't make it on their own or do they even want to try-Why should they-they have Pelosi and the DEMS to make sure they have programs so they can waste their life away–
    Get off your butts and do something to help others and you shall be rewarded-
    The reason all these hate people think that Obama is it is because the people who realize what has to be done are working people and do not have time to do this-
    Make sure you wait to post this until you put it in the Archives–

    August 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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