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 Virginia

    Wisest one of All – sure your not talking about your buddy mcsurge? Because I all I ever hear from him is the surge, bashing Obama, Iraq and drill, drill, drill. Haven't heard one plan of his yet, neither have most of these bloggers but we sure know what he's against – WOman, GI's, Energy Bills cause he's voted against them all. Obama has thousands of pages of plans for this country on his website but of course your a repuglican so you wouldn't bother to check facts.

    August 6, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Rob

    the way things are right now of course what would you think it would be.Bush screwed us big time and now it will take a long time top dig ourselves out of the mess the Republicans caused

    August 6, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. FL4Obama

    Obama represents a positive economic change from the failed Bush policies of the past eight years, which McCain has adopted. That might have attributed to McCain's comments that he does not understand the economy and still needs to be educated, which seems too risky when the economy remains the number one issue for Americans in this election.

    Our country needs a new direction. Obama '08

    August 6, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. JB

    My question to the far left liberals who frequent this website:

    What role does the democratic controlled Congress pklay in the economy?

    You clearly have placed all blame on the Pres. I was under the impression that Congress had quite a bit to do with the economy.

    Did we become a oligarchy when I wasn't looking?

    Pelosi and Reid accomplished nothing, and some blame needs to be placed on them. I would argue 50% of the blame!!

    August 6, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Madison, WI Liberal is not a bad word!

    Our country is full of censorship. We claim to be open to new ideas and believes, but it's just not true. People are stuck in their ways, controlled by greed and power and religion. That's why nothing will change and the ecomony is going to plumett and make the dust bowl look like a Hawain vacation. Unless, someone with a conscious is put into office. And Mr. Maverick is nothing but another puppet on a string. Obama might not be that much better; but he is better!

    August 6, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. john from indiana

    If you people elect john mccain, get ready.. the economy will be far worse. remember that when you decide to vote.

    August 6, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Now Senator McSame said tire inflation does improve gasoline mileage. Just one more FLIP-FLOP from the Flip-Flop master.

    August 6, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Sue

    The "surplus" of the Clinton administration was projected figures only; any accounting person can make up those kinds of figures. If Clinton had spent some funds supporting energy independence, the CIA and the US military, we would not have had 9/11 and the mid-East crises going on around us now.

    August 6, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Alex_58


    Actually, there is some debate regarding whether the President or the Congress have more impact on the economy. Some people would argue that when the GOP controlls the Congress (Clinton years...) then the economy does better.

    I don't know if I buy all of that, but you need to understand that this is a complicated issue. You can't give all the credit/blame to the President. We do need ALL members of Congress to be more responsible and not vote for spending unless its absolutely necessary. I think all of the members of Congress who authorized the Iraq war should be voted out.

    August 6, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Praetorian,Ft. Myers

    I wish more Libertarians would express themselves here.
    Clearly–CNN is #1 in news–if a seed of change is ever to enter the mainstream–it will be here.

    Finally–a place for all those angry GOP and DEMS who've changed to independant's–to call home.

    No special interests, really no new taxes, family values, a return to the constitution and bill of rights–which is sorely needed right now.

    Bob Barr 2008

    August 6, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Kelby from Houston, TX

    I just did the Quick poll on the CNN Homepage. It asks, What's most on your mind in picking a president? And it lists Healthcare, Iraq and the economy. The number one answer at %100 (when I answered the survey) was the economy.
    Well, guess who don't know nuffin bout the economy. J-MAC (that's my new name for Jon McSame) And yet Obama is not leading with a landslide in the polls? I really hope America remains focused on what is important and they choose Obama to be the next POTUS

    August 6, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. David Goldman for OBAMA




    August 6, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Donna in ID

    I am hoping with all my heart that when we do get our troops home that they have something to come back to with pride, and all their sacrifices aren't in vain. This country has never been a cut and run outfit.
    Now it is time to stand up and make sure we have someone in office that isn't going to tax them out on to the streets. They shouldn't have to come home and wonder what they were fighting for even if they had been lied to about why they went. They did what they felt was right for their country. God bless you all and it is to bad we have politicians with so little backbone to get us back on track to give you something great to come home to.

    August 6, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. the real mccain

    McCain flip flopped on off shore drilling only AFTER he got millions from....that's right kids Big Oil. the same Big Oil that has all ready 68 MILLION acres they are NOT DRILLING ON NOW...and EVERY EXPERT knows we will NOT see any change in prices and we will not see any oil for 7 YEARS...most importantly John McCain wants to EXPORT the oil we find if we do drill here.

    August 6, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. HaHa

    Economy has always been an issue. And until our Congress decides to balance the budget it will always be an issue. I think when Congress get the budget balanced then they should get a raise not until though. And as far as slick Willie Clinton, when he cut the military to show his balancing act that told me what the Democratic party was all about.

    August 6, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Mike in MN

    President Bush inheritated a recession from the Clinton admistration and they was hit by 911. Bush's economic policies pulled us out of the Clinton recession and saw 6 years of economic growth, with low inflation and unemployment.

    Then Pelosi and Reid took over congress in 2006. Under their and Obama's leadership, this country has fallen into a recession with raising inflation and unemployment and all time high gas prices at the pump.

    Only and idiot would want 4 more years of that kind of leadership.

    Wake up all you Demolemings and Obamatrons and Pleosites and Reidacrats. Stop believing all the lies these guys tell you. Can't you think for yourself. Oh, never mind that is why you are Demolemings in the first place, you don't want to do anything for yourself, you want big government to do everything for you.

    August 6, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Rob - WA

    You can thank the Baby Boomers for messing up everything in this country. Time to throw all of you Boomers into the forest. I am a gen-Xer and my grandparents have more sense and brains that you Boomers. Ditto that for the Gen Y and younger people. They get it. You Bommers – your "sun rises and sets on us" generation have RUINED the US. Sadly there are too many of you still for us to effectively turn the tide. No worries though, if we are still around as a nation in another 15-20 years a lot of you will have died off and we can put your sad Boomer mentality to rest forever.

    August 6, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. EC

    Johnny C –

    Don't get it TWISTED my friend. YOU sound just like a "McCain Whiner" ha! ha!. Hey, when your candidate can draw a crowd of 200,000, then you let me know. I find it odd that OLD man John McCain has to go out to the Harley Bikers because they wouldn't come to him AND what does he do? He offers his wife Cindy up as a "beauty contestant" . Talk about funny. OLD man McCain didn't even realize that would mean Cindy strutting her stuff almost nakedly in front of a bunch of BIKERS!! What a LOSER!!

    August 6, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Kathy Nichole

    You conservative's have to be the 51 percent of our country who are illiterate? Why would we trust the republicans who have had a drug induced, illiterate coward leading their party for the last 8 years. The liar got us into a war that had nothing to do with 9/11. We continually borrow money from a communist country and the job market is the worst that we have seen since the great depression? And where the h*** is Osama Bin Laden? THIS IS THE VERY FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY THAT WE HAVE LET ANY DICTATOR, COUNTRY, GROUP OR THE LIKE GET AWAY WITH KILLING AMERICANS! It does not make sense that the top 2 percent of this country prospers while the hardest working americans sacrifice the most!

    August 6, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. Texas Trail Dog!


    August 6, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Peter

    Cnn, i dont need you to tell me what is issue #1, we all know issue # 1 is Bush

    August 6, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Phil in KC

    Captain Obvious strikes again!
    The question is, do you want 4 more years of the same policies?

    August 6, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Al

    EMJ- jealous of what exactly? How Obama's an Elitist and he's going over to Europe again for George Clooney's dinner party? At least McCain actually stays in the country of which he's running!

    August 6, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Bill MA.

    Before the primary season began people were saying Hillary Clinton would polarize the country. Along comes Barack Obama, and people are saying he will polarize the country. The primary season is over, and truer words were never spoken. As an American, a Democrat, a human being, a white person, a male i have my differences with with Clinton, and Obama. After the disasterous eight years of republicans, i think we as Democrats must rise above our differences, and the excuses we use to continue that polarization in our party. We can not make the grave mistake of putting McCain, or any republican in the presidency. We can change our thinking on sex, and race,....if we want to. In my opinion we can, and must elect a Democrat for President. America has to recover from the eight years of greed, corruption, lying, selfishness, and the war.What is more important to us? Our prejudices? Our racism, or sexism? Our future in a peaceful, tolerant USA, World?

    August 6, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Dan Troutman

    Unfortunately neither Congress or the next President will have sole power to improve the American economy due to WORLDWIDE problems. It is incredibly naive for American's to think that a "magic wand" can be waved by either political party and things will automatically get better within the US. Hardly.
    Until American politicians and government officials strengthen the US dollar and deal with the worldwide oil crunch, nothing will get better.
    Fed doesn't change rates > dollar strengthens > oil prices fall. Duh!
    The next few years will be even more brutal to Americans if we don't get some long range plans started (e.g offshore drilling, more nuclear power with advanced reactors, 100,000 wind turbines, larger strategic petroleum reserve, etc.)

    August 6, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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