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. Oh boy...

    No, matter how much you try to propogandize that the economy as "Issue #1". The real issue is Obama's lack of qualifications and experience to serve as President.

    CNN = pro-Obama propoganda and anti-Obama censorship.

    August 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Lou Dobbs’s Independent

    CNN thanks for these polls
    Can you do us favor please?
    Tell you pundits to shut up and tell them to give lessons to the candidates about these polls

    August 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. susie

    CNN stop being so bias, not everyone is for Obama. Let other comments go through, like the one I try to submit.

    August 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Leave HIM alone

    I'm sure if it was up to CNN, they would hand the election to Mc cain, just report the news in a fair and balance way. I just saw a segment on filp flopping, which would supposedly talk about both candidates flip flops, but in true cnn fashion, ONLY 0bama's filp flops were mentioned, this is such BS!!!

    August 6, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Old Stradlater


    You're high if you think the Paris video helps McCain. Getting mocked by Paris Hilton (in such a witty manner, nonetheless) is never a good thing. It just shows how absurd his candidacy has actually become.

    August 6, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    About which McCain hasn't a clue!!

    August 6, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. McCain=McSame, Toledo, Ohio

    GoHillary ???? Have you actually read any of his plans? I'm a middle aged white woman and I vote on the candidate that agrees w/ my values not race nor sex.

    Hillary and McCain act to much alike. Neither will get my vote regardless of race.

    August 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Mike, Boston

    Has anyone noticed oil has dropped 20% from its high since John Mccaine started talking about drilling??????????????????

    Any of you Obamabots have an answer for this????????????

    Besides it is simply good common sense policy.

    August 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Mauri

    How on earth can Obama lose in the drilling for oil category, but win in the overall economy? Doesn't make sense. Oil and all its ramifications, be it drilling or be its scarcity, RULES the economy. When oil is too expensive for people to buy, everything else is expensive as well. Look at the present price of groceries, tuition, clothing, electronics - everything. When the cost of oil comes down - which it will once we start drilling - everything else will follow suit. How do I know this? Because I'm from oil-rich Texas and I've witnessed enough feasts and famines to know how it affects everybody's pocketbook. One more example: All you folks who are stuck with gas guzzler cars, trucks and SUVs, what has happened now to your budget

    My advice in this situation is DON'T VOTE FOR ANYBODY WHO DOES NOT FAVOR DRILLING! McCain's 26 years in Washington gives him the experience to know this and do something about it. Sorry, but two years in the senate is not enough time to affect anything. Let him go another four, then see what he has learned.

    Finally, if it takes multiple years to feel the results of drilling for more oil, perhaps Mr. Obama would tell us how long it will take to get online all his ideas (wind, solar, etc.).

    August 6, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Mike McKibben, Lady Lake, Fl

    The Bush Admin has let so many different issues slide during his 8 years as Resident of the White House, that more than one issue is at the top of the fix or repair list. The top one is the economy, but the war in Iraq, jobs being sent overseas, health care, Illegal immigration, PUBLIC education, and national infrastructure (Alaska's bridge to no where excluded). The trade deficit with China is making a few Americans rich, but as for the majority...............say about 97% of us, it will result in a slow death. What Bin Laden started in NY on 911, the trade deficit will finish. What made this country the power it was, were the jobs and manufacturing. You know.....................things we used to make here, the jobs that paid good wages, that in turn gave money to the bottom 95%, that gave people money to buy things. As it is going, people will have just enough money (if they are lucky) to just get by.

    August 6, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Silence Dogood

    I love how the Muslim article and the Paris Hilton article get countless 100's of comments. But this one, the economy, a REAL issue has so few comments.

    This ia WHY America is now stuck choosing between McWar and Empty-Suit. It happened when we were watching American Idol.

    Check out the Green Party or Libertarians or someone that is proposing an actual change with and actual platform. And make an INTELLIGENT choice please.

    August 6, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Sacto Joe

    While Senator McCain tries to hack away at Senator Obama, Senator Obama stays above the fray and focuses on the issues.

    Senator McCain is being poorly served by his handlers – which is just what he deserves for allowing himself to BE handled! The "maverick" is shown to have feet of clay after all.

    This election is going to be a landslide for Senator Obama if the Repubs keep playing attack dog. But if they don't attack they can't win anyway.

    Stick a fork in 'em – they're done!

    August 6, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. EMJ

    Just a quick FU and KMA to the Obama Haters who keep referring to BO supporters as cult members. Your just jealous and it shows since you have to 'pretend' to support the fake conservative old man.

    August 6, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Phil Gramm's "Whiners" are going to do a serious smack-down and him and his pal, McSame come November! And you can take that to your sub-prime ridden bank...

    August 6, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Johnny C.

    It must be very disappointing being an Obama supporter.

    Having a candidate with no real plans for the economy.

    No real plans for gas prices.

    No real plans for anything besides 'Hope' and 'Change'.

    No wonder you people (and Obama) are so desperate!

    August 6, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. Tammy - KCMO

    Maybe the key to the economy is to quit paying the executives of the corporations so much money. They make more money by doing a bad job and getting fired than a ordinary person can make in their lifetime.

    Until that happens then I guess the corporations have plenty of money to afford to pay higher taxes.

    August 6, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    McCain is going to find out that the trouble economy is the number one area where he has the "least, if any" experience in. Better choose a good economic VP.

    August 6, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Obama-Junkie, IL

    Yes the economy will be the number one issue in this election barring some other external event.

    I agree with Walter of Long Beach...As long as the war in Iraq is perceive to be going better, then American support for war (or more specifically a timetable to leave) increases.

    However there are three things which could push Iraq towards increased levels of violence:

    1) No oil sharing agreement among the Shia, Sunni and Kurds portions of the Central Goverment by the end of 2008.

    2) Cancellation of Iraqi Parliament elections slated for October 2008.

    3) Iraqi perception that McCain could win the presidential election.

    With the UN Resolution that America claims to operate under (which gives immunity to US troops and contractors from Iraqi laws) expiring in December 2008 with no expectation of extension, US troops will have a hard time engaging directly militarily in Iraq.

    August 6, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. drz

    Hillary lost. Get over it already.

    August 6, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Sherry, Atlanta


    1- Jobs diminishing
    2- Cost of living, increasing
    3- Millions of Citizens, losing homes
    4- Billions of our tax dollars (what China hasn't contributed), going to Re-build Iraq

    And only to have McCain talking about 'celebraty status', of Senator Obama.

    GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Chickens

    Not for Obama.

    The celebrity bandwagon he created to boost his notoriety is coming home to roost.

    Just the Obama cult is still swooning over their hero.

    August 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Joe Kiloz

    Beg to differ, but Paris and $4.00+ gas in Taxifornia along with multitude of tax increases irks me more. In the past we could rely on the Republicans to keep taxes low. Now governor Taxannager pandering and caving in to the Democrats with a one cent sales tax on top of every other "fee" he unashamedly has signed on. He guesses that will get him a Senate seat in the future. Now you see why Hollywood and politics is toxic for the peons ?

    August 6, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. hello

    According to AAA to have your tire pressure as suggested by Manf.
    Saves you 4% to 5% which is what Oil drilling will save.
    and as I predicted watch out oil and gas price is going down before Nov. election as manipulated by cronies in republican party working closely w/ oil co. and their oil traders.

    August 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. dr. yes we can

    and who do americans trust most,on the economy,the war,and health care?BO!

    August 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Teflon John

    Whats PUMA?


    August 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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