August 16th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll shows economy will be key to midterms

The economy is the most important issue on the minds of voters, according to a new CNN poll.
The economy is the most important issue on the minds of voters, according to a new CNN poll.

(CNN) – Heading into this year's midterm elections, the economy remains the most important problem on the minds of Americans, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll.

Full results (pdf)

According to the new survey, 56 percent of the public says that the economy will be extremely important to their vote for Congress this year, making that the only issue that a majority said would be vital to their vote.

Two other issues related to the economy - unemployment and the federal deficit - tied for second on the list with 48 percent.

Terrorism also ranked that high, although fewer than four in ten said that the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan were extremely important to them.

Finishing last on the list were abortion and gay marriage, which only one in five say will be extremely important to their vote.

The poll surveyed 1,009 Americans on August 6-10 and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.


Filed under: 2010 • CNN Polls • Economy • issues
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    One word: DUH

    You don't need to take a poll to know that the economy is #1 on everyones mind.

    August 16, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Eric

    This just in to the CNN newsroom in Atlanta:
    "Poll shows economy will be key to midterms"

    Also just in to the CNN newsroom in Atlanta:
    "Duh"

    August 16, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. John

    What a shocker. I'm glad to see that abortion and gay marriage are at the bottom of the list. Maybe Colbert and 'Things Republicans Hate' are having a positive effect on Conservative mindsets

    August 16, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Ron in california

    Ture it will be the economy..but the Healthcare Bill, Imigration and finamcial reform contribute to the economy. Each one a disaster for the left.

    August 16, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Eric

    Democrats took over congress in 2006, after 12 years in the political wilderness. During that 12 years of the democrats' absence, we had record low unemployment, record job growth, and record performance in retirement accounts. That election was four years ago.

    You have to ask yourself a simple question: Are you better now than you were four years ago?

    I know I'm not.

    August 16, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    And since, with the threats and actuality of tax hikes, and insane profligacy, the Dems are actively working to further ruin the US economy, they're pretty much toast in November.

    I just hope that the GOP has learned from the impending ruin of the Dems that people have gotten tired nigh unto revolt of being jerked around, dictated to, and robbed by their own government.

    August 16, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    If that be the case, democrats of the liberal persuasion will be out of office for decades following the big Obozo flop of 2008. You cannot elect an inept, corrupt, community organizing, union toady to run this country and expect anything good to happen. Yes, he is very pretty, but dumb as a rock and only responds to the union bosses who only work against this country.

    August 16, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. geecee

    Oh, really? Wow, what a surprise! So, vote for the novice who hasn't got a clue on how to fix anything, throw out the incumbents who have been hard at working trying to fix the economy (or at least the Democrats – leave all the Republicans in place as they haven't done anything at all, so they don't deserve to get voted out, right stupid voters?), and let's get even deeper in the abyss.

    August 16, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Chris (Sacramento CA)

    this means bad news for democrats.

    August 16, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Tim

    The number 1 issue should be the deficit. If we don't handle that there will be no economy. If interest rates should take a turn and go higher the people in this country will not be prepaired to deal with what will need to happen anymore than the people of Greece have done once their government had no place to raise funds for their deficits. Who is going to bail the United States out?

    August 16, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Joe in PA

    While the economy remains a key issue, what seems more revealing in this poll is that almost every category shows a healthy decrease in the percentage in the "extremely important category. Take a look at the detail and compare it to the percentages in February of 2009. While people remain concerned about these issues, the poll suggests that they are not as concerned as they were at the end of the Bush administration. Is this an acknowledgement of progress?

    August 16, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Marge

    Gee who in their right mind would ever trust a republican on the economy AGAIN. Look at what they did over the eight years they were in power. Especially the tax cuts for the rich that put us in the huge deficit we are in now. THEY SURE KNOW HOW TO FIX EVERYTHING DON'T THEY...TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH.....TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH...cures every thing they say.

    August 16, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. PREDICTA

    It may be generations before democrats are trusted to run the country again. The far left swing by Obama simply means we'll be going far right in the next election cycle. That's how Ronald Regan got elected in 1980 after Jimmy Carter was retired after 1 term. Same thing in 2012.

    August 16, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. DUMocRATS RECORD DEFICITS + TAXES

    OBOZO and the "TAX and SPEND" DUMocRATS don't have a clue.

    And SOCIALISM stinks!

    August 16, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. shadysider

    So what are these people hoping for the government to do? The large corporations were down-sizing during the Bush tenure with tax cuts for large corporations in place, so lower taxes don't necessarily increase job growth as the Republican theory states. Should the government start providing jobs? Isn't that what Republicans are against? As mass-scale production has looked for lower costs, they continue to move over seas. This isn't as much about taxes as much as workers can be paid pennies on the dollar that an American worker would cost a company. It's an unfortunate reality. Maybe more people need to go into farming as the world population continues to grow as do food prices. They get jobs and we get more competitive food prices...I don't know what other solutions are out there. As an aside, the publicly funded pension plans of many groups are a bane on all tax paying individuals. Go 401K like everyone in private business. Less taxes and/or more public services.

    August 16, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Mark from Louisiana

    Democrats who reluctantly slashed a food stamp program to fund a state aid bill may have to do so again to pay for a top priority of first lady Michelle Obama.

    The House will soon consider an $8 billion child nutrition bill that’s at the center of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative. Before leaving for the summer recess, the Senate passed a smaller version of the legislation that is paid for by trimming the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

    The proposed cuts would come on top of a 13.6 percent food stamp reduction in the $26 billion Medicaid and education state funding bill that President Obama signed this week.

    Food stamps have made multiple appearances on the fiscal chopping block because Democrats have few other places to turn to offset the cost of legislation.

    August 16, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Jerry C

    The Dems are going to roll over the repubs in November. More tax cuts for the middle class and more programs to help struggling Americans are going to win lots of votes. The republocans don't care about the middle class and will offer nothing but tax cuts for the rich. Maybe if we get some more progressives in office we can get a national income that everyone gets even if they don't have a job. That would stimulate the economy and make people less stressed out about having to find work so they can eat.

    August 16, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Uncle Snerdly

    Vote for uncle Snerdly,I will get you a job and put two chickens in every pot of tea.

    August 16, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Blake

    If the economy, unemployment, and the federal deficit are the top three I do not know how any of the far left liberals could keep their seats. This congress has been the biggest bunch of anti-business and pro-union group we have had in years. Businesses don't want to hire. I have been keeping a major part of my portfolio in cash until November because there is going to be rallies and optimism when we get representatives back in that understands business. Hiring will not pick up until then.

    August 16, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I want to work"!! "I want to work"! But.... not at Mcdonalds.... not under the hot Arizona sun picking produce....not at the hotels making up beds and preparing food at some ungodly morning hour....not as aporter/valet, doesn't pay enough......

    What I want is my job back. You know, the one that my company shipped overseas to make bigger profits with Bush's blessings. I want THAT job back, and I'd rather sit home and whine, blog, and collect unemployment than settle for anything less.

    On second thought: I wanna blame Obama for this too.

    Sheesh!

    August 16, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Matt

    The Dems are going to roll over the repubs in November. More tax Maybe if we get some more progressives in office we can get a national income that everyone gets even if they don't have a job. That would stimulate the economy and make people less stressed out about having to find work so they can eat.

    Communism failed Jerry.

    August 16, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Jason S.

    The jobs that were lost are never coming back.

    People need to re-train, and re-educate themselves for new opportunities instead of whinging and complaining about the jobs that were lost.

    NEWSFLASH: The American worker is no longer able to compete with foreign workers who will do YOUR job for a LOT LESS money and NO BENEFITS.

    August 16, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Limbaugh is a liberal

    This is what we get from the generation who believed Reagan's 'trickle down' nonsense: they don't want the government to interfere, and yet they whine that the taxcuts given to the rich don't actually translate into jobs for them. I just wish the democrats finally stopped cowtowing to Reagan's made-up holyness and finally called his bull!

    August 16, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Peter E

    And yet the public is is still aware that two-thirds of those jobs were lost before the stimulus was even passed by Congress, and long before any of it took effect. Sorry republicans, we've had enough of your tired old ideas. We know where they lead, and we don't want them anymore.
    And while republicans keep saying that it's time for Obama to stop blaming Dubya Bush, they have no trouble blaming Bill Clinton even TODAY for our troubles. Hypocrisy!

    August 16, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Peter E

    @Matt
    "Communism failed"

    Yes, I'm sure the Chinese would agree too...

    August 16, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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