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. Coming home to roost.

    For Obama the main issue is making it into the history books.

    He created and rode the bandwagon into fame.

    He created and rode the wave into stardom.

    Now the chickens are coming home to roost for Obama and his supporters... the ones that were inspired-to- intra-party hatred by Obama and his hope and change message.

    Hatred and race-baiting and insulting fellow democrats and calling an ex-president of your own party a racist- not a winning strategy.

    THAT DIVIDES THE PARTY

    August 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. afrahx2

    "THE ECONOMY REMAINS ISSUE NUMBER ONE" ...BUT INSTEAD OF COMING UP WITH POLICIES HE WILL IMPLEMENT TO REVERSE THE DOWNWARD TREND, HE AND HIS PUNCH OF OLD GUARDS KEEP FEEDING US WITH ADS ON CELEBRITIY AND TIRE GUAGE – AND HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE EXPERIENCED. IN WHAT, IF I MAY ASK? OBAMA'S JUDGEMENT IS FAR BETTER THAN MCCAIN'S "EXPERIENCE". HIS CAMPAIGN ADS PROVE SO.

    August 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    It took the Democratic lead congress less than two years to put us into a recession and puch gas prices to all time highs. The economy was still growing before the 2006 election. Thank you Pelosi, and Reid and Obama for the crapy economy.

    I can't believe all the Obamatrons and Pelosites and Reidacrats that don't see this. This mess all came down after they took over congress. The Republicans are willing to give up their holiday to solve our econmic problems and the Dems are relaxing while Americans continue to hurt. You want 4 more years of this kind of leadership?

    Only the brain dead would vote for a Democrat in November.

    I'll be voting for McCares, McAnswers, McIntegrity, McNationleader, McCain. He is our only McHope.

    August 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Rob

    The economy is Bad and getting worse. McBush has no answers for this terrible problem. His top economic advisor said there is no problem and that Americans are just whiners. McBush admitted in public that he has very little understanding of economics. With all this in mind. How can almost half of America be supporting McSame. Do we like to suffer?

    August 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. AJP Richardson, TX

    It becomes more clear that McCain is in left field when it come to the economy,

    I won't throw mud at McCain like he does at Obama, but the man simply doesn"t have a clue as to what is going on.

    August 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Caryl - Connecticut

    OF COURSE THE "ECONOMY " IS THE NUMERO UNO ISSUE!

    If we don't have jobs, we don't have $$
    If w don't have $$ we don't have food, heat, fuel for autos, OR 44 TO PAY OUR TAXES.

    NO TAX MONEY – NO GOVERNEMENT !!!!!!!

    Very simple MATH/LOGIC !!!!

    Where are we ( USA ) headed? – towards being a third world country?

    TIME TO THINK – REALLY THINK before YOU VOTE – you have ONE VOTE MAKE IT COUNT ...... and not only for PRES. BUT........ for the Senators and Congressmen up for re-election. Remember they get these job ? for LIFE???????? THINK ABOUT IT !

    August 6, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Tired of W, OH

    McCain will do nothing to help the economy. He thinks we're in a "mental recession", remember? Maybe he'll provide government-funded psychiatrists to convince us to go out and spend our hard-earned money, because things just aren't as bad as everyone thinks they are, right? You're just imagining that it costs $80 to fill up your gas tank, right? Right?

    August 6, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Ron democrat turned independent

    sen. obama's bases his economic plan largely on taxing windfall profits from big oil comp. duh. what happens after January if there is no windfall profits this is a very up and down industry. he also will use the savings from ending the Iraq war . how much of a saving is that seeing we still have to fight in Afghanistan and honor our other commitments and even if our troops are not in combat they still have to be paid. not what you would call sound financing it is all bases on supposition

    August 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. duncanscott

    and issue 2 through 8 also!

    August 6, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Mattie, SD

    The only surplus we ever had was with the Clinton administration, all the other administrations Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush Jr. we had a deficit.

    Wake up folks.

    August 6, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    THEN THERE WAS MCSLEAZO !!!!!

    "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE ECONOMY",direct quote.

    MCSENILE KNOWs ENOUGH ABOUT "HIS" ECONOMY, THOUGH.

    HE HAS BEEN MOOCHING ON OUR TAX DOLLARS 4 A LIFETIME.

    TAKE OUR TAX DOLLARS, THAT WE WORK FORE, & GIVE THEM

    TO THE IRAQIS, OIL COMPANIES & RICH FRIENDS. AS FORE US,

    WE CAN'T SPEND OUR MONEY ON OUR VETS, OUR SCHOOLS,

    OUR HEALTH CARE. WE SHOULD BE VERY HAPPY THAT WE

    ARE BUILDING A FOUR STAR HOTEL FOR THE IRAQI

    GOVERNMENT. IF BUSH MADE SENSE TO YOU, SO WILL MCBUSH.

    August 6, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. J.C.

    Sorry, we don't need any more stimulus checks. What we really need is quality job creation, which will require better education.

    August 6, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Vig

    I find it ironic that Obama thinks he can relate to the Joe and Josephine's who get up and go to work everyday trying to earn a living wage while his own campaign keeps bragging about the millions and millions of dollars it can spend on him. Obama doesn't care about your pocketbook, Obama cares about being elected and will flip-flop if that's what it takes to get elected. The Democrats have done it again – instead of a leader, they have given us a wannabe. Roll the dice – John McCain will secure the White House.

    August 6, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. You should have voted for Hillary!!!

    Drill! Drill! Drill!

    Let's support the US for a change and not some other country. I am tired of feeling "owned".

    August 6, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Dawn, FL

    We're off to see McWizard, the wonderful McWizard of Oz..we hear he is the wonderful McWiz, the wonderful McWiz because....

    Starring:
    The McWizard = John McCain
    Dorothy = McCain's Daughter
    The Scarecrow = Gov. Crist
    The Tin Man = Gov. Romney
    The Cowardly Lion = Gov. Huckabee
    Toto = Guliani
    The Witch = Cindy Lou McCain

    Supporting Characters played by : Karl Rove, GW, Cheney, etc.

    August 6, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Numero uno

    For Obama- me myself and i are the number one issue(s).

    August 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. JohnyC

    I think we as Americans have lost all respect for each other. I am tired of seeing these posts with comments like "McSame", "NObama", "McWar", etc. I was raised to respect people. You may not like them, but you should respect them. Maybe if you did then your comments might be taken more seriously and not sound so childish.

    August 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Mike, Boston,
    The oil companies control the gas prices and are working in concert with McMatlock. If Obama said something negative about the oil industry and McYoda said that prices are going to go up, guess what? – they would. You watch, as we approach the elections, gas prices will go down just like every election cycle. Then shortly after the elections gas prices will start to climb again. They will lower the cost of gas just enough so that people forget how high it was when it's time to vote. Mark my words.

    And the Red Sox suck!

    August 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Obamashate drove us away

    Riding the wave of POPularity and the celebrity bandwagon into history- THOSE ARE THE OBAMA PRIORITIES.

    Hate, bash, trash fellow democrats- then expect to win.

    Label fellow democrats as racist redneck morons....

    Mock the old activist feminists who are the backbone of the party.

    Dismiss the old geezers...

    That will work to unite the party.

    HATE DIVIDES

    August 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. a southern bell for OBAMA

    ALL SECURITY IS RELATED TO OUR ECONOMY.

    NO ECONOMIC SECURITY, NO NATIONAL SECURITY.

    WE DON'T THROW ROCKS AT THE ENEMY.

    WE THROW $100,000 BOMBS BY THE THOUSANDS.

    YOU CAN'T KNOW A THING ABOUT SECURITY, IF YOU

    DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE ECONOMY, AS DUMB

    NUBS HAS CLEARLY ADMITTED TO.

    August 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Hitler Chess

    But the house in now divided.

    Obama inspired haters to divide the party.

    Suffer the consequences of hate

    August 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Mike, Boston August 6th, 2008 12:54 pm ET

    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.

    Dude you are waisting your time. I asked that same question last week on every article for a day from 8am till 4:30pm and got no response.

    I could not agree more with what you said. It would appear that all the liberal economists that said it would take ten years for drilling to affect the market had no idea about how the oil market works. Or they just stated it in a way that they could say" we meant that we will not be using that oil for the ten years, not that it would not affect the price".

    August 6, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. larryh wi

    So much negativity here, and poor old "W" doesn't have a chance either. Seems like each president that stays for a second term ends up in hot water. Then we have Obama who is already planning for his second term, looks like he will put himself in the hot water way ahead of schedule.

    August 6, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Emma, San Jose, CA

    What does it say about John McCain when he allows silly, non-presidential ads to be broadcast? Are these the makings of a great president?

    August 6, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. NY State of mind

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    That it CNN GOD forbid you post the truth
    Mike, Boston

    Ya I DO MIKE,
    It started dropping when the specutator investigations started!!!!!! Had nothing to do with off shore anything. God How did so many Americans get so dumb. This whole gas bit has been a joke.
    A little more info for you to think about MIKE.
    HOW COME THE PRICE AT THE PUMP AT OIL 120 BARREL IS 20 TO 30 CENTS HIGHER THAN WHEN OIL WAS 120 JUST THREE MONTHS AGO.
    Have you heard of conditioning people-look in the mirror, it worked!!

    August 6, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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