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. gt

    obama is like a deer in the head lights... he dont know what to do about jobs....

    August 16, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Adam

    This is definitely not good for Democrats. I think businesses are having a wait and see attitude until Novemeber too. Democrats, Its going to hurt.

    August 16, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Nadine

    Reagan is dead and the 1980s are over. Deregulation of banks and other credit granting institutions on Wall Street contributed to widespread raping, robbing, and pillaging of Americans' wealth. Combine that with irresponsible government spending on two needless wars of attrition in the Near East and the United States now finds itself in the midst of the worst economic disaster since Hoover. What we need is a change in government structure that no longer concentrates wealth within the hands of a few, but equitably distributes income and encourages saving and not spending. We should scrap this current economic system in favor of one that is more in touch with more successful economic models practiced in Sweden and Denmark.

    August 16, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    Let's hope the American people remember in November who screwed up the economy and who's trying to fix it over the objections and obstruction of the ones who screwed it up. the Party of No has done nothing for the American people except use them as pawns in their mad drive to regain power and control at any cost. please folks, don't give them the opportunity to finish destroying this country. they need to be marginalized and their short-sighted, pennywise and pound foolish, and just plain mean ideology needs to be extinct. we are better than that!

    August 16, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. terry,va

    Jerry C

    You are a complete idiot. Move into the White House with Obummie if you want communism/socialism. Maybe he will make you the social director and feed you!!!!

    August 16, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Ben

    Dominican mama 4 Obama – "On second thought: I wanna blame Obama for this too"

    Hey, if the shoe fits... You're just another clueless Obama apologist sychophant.

    August 16, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Ben

    Jerry C – "The Dems are going to roll over the repubs in November"

    Are you REALLY that clueless? Only someone completely in denial would agree with that statement. Dems are going to take it in the shorts. Deal with it..

    August 16, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Ryan

    What's the point in being a wealthy economy if we become a fascist Republican police state?

    They don't want a "nanny government" yet they're still very quick to accept our tax dollars in return for nothing & revoking people's civil rights.

    They complain about our deficit in relation to spending yet , The GOP was the party that ran the show when this all began with the Iraq war and the witch hunt for WMDs.

    Oh and if you cut taxes, your theory that consumers' wasteful spending will solve everything? What makes Jed & Lurlene buying a TV and home they can't really afford, putting it on credit – make any more sense than The government using that same amount of money fixing a road or building a better public school?

    Gimmie a break. They really think we're that stupid! And we are apparently!

    August 16, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Romney in 2012

    4 years of a democratic controlled congress pushed us into MUCH of this mess. Obama's policies will solidify economic stagnation for years... and increase the debt beyond our ability to pay.

    VOTE OUT THE DEMOCRATS.

    (They can blame Bush all they want, but the educated know that democrats own 65% – 70% of the economic crisis–Clinton forcing banks to make low-income loans, Freddie and Fannie buying bad loans, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd sleeping at the reigns. Democratic budgets. If anything, Bush should have vetoed the bloated budgets.)

    August 16, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Pete

    I really don't know how the USA is going to avoid an economic collapse. If the government would end wasteful spending and these entitlement programs, people might be more motivated to take whatever job they can get to survive, instead of opting for longer unemployment or food stamps. Personal responsibility for survival is a way of life everywhere else in the world. Why would it be so unfair to promote the same sense of responsibility here? If we could cut government spending, and be assured that tax dollars are used to eliminate the deficit (which they are not), everyone including companies would regain confidence and believe that there is bright future again in this country. If we keep using the same monetary policies, we're only delaying government bankruptcy, and making the problem bigger when we walk up on it again in the future. The problem is that our government is not a healthy functioning organization anymore. We need to hit the reset button on all government seats, downsize the government, and get the people's priorities back into Washington, starting with the deficit. Any plan to reign in the deficit will bring jobs and confidence back. People in this country who faced the 1930's are some of the wisest and most genuine people you'll ever meet. We all hate it, myself included, but hardship is a real character developer.

    August 16, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You hit the nail right on the HEAD!!! There are 3.9 Million jobs out there so why isn't that 3.9 Million more people are working??????

    If you are HIGH CLASS and living on the HIGH END of the COW – then you are unemployed!!! If PUSH comes to SHOVE and I had to look for a job because I lost the one I have – I will have one of the 3.9 Million jobs that are available!!!!

    I sacrificed all my life – raised my kids on my own (5) – own a home – able to make ends meet – youngest daughter in college and it's getting paid for!!! I see BARGAINS in the store and take advantage of them – I do not live beyond my means and clip coupons – I don't see a recession – the economy is great – WE and others like me – WILL SURVIVE!!!!

    August 16, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. sensibile Cape Coral FL

    Let's not forget that the cost of the two wars was OFF BUDGET during the Bush years. Now it's included so of course the budget has gone up.

    August 16, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. MikeH

    Vote for RepubliKlans and bring back 'Trickle-On' economics, the RepubliKlans and their Fat-Cat Corporate masters will "trickle down" on the working class, (what's left of it, replaced by the peasant class) and we will be ordered to accept it.

    August 16, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If the economy is #1 issue during the midterm elections then voters need to demand from Republicans what's their solution other than vote for me and repeating what we already know. DEMAND SOLUTIONS AND ACCEPT NOTHING LESS FROM REPUBLICANS OF WHAT THEIR PLAN IS TO TURN THINGS AROUND AND NOT BACK.

    August 16, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Seems to me that standing around holding up a sign that says "I want to work" doesn't generally result in a job.

    "with the threats and actuality of tax hikes"

    A. There have been no actual tax hikes and, in fact, people paid less last year than the year before.

    B. The only people "threatening" about tax hikes are the GOPers/conservatives. Bush irresponsibly cut taxes and those tax cuts need to go away...they constitute the single largest contributor to the deficit and national debt above all other contributing factors. That's MATH and cannot be denied. We made our beds when we started believing that tax cuts to the already wealthy magically means more money in our own pockets too...not already wealthy people having more liquid assets to hoard and consolidate and, ultimately, gamble on Wall Street. Had we behaved in a responsible manner in the first place by telling Bush, the GOP and other conservative ideologue morons to stuff their corporatocratic voodoo lies firmly up their a-holes, we wouldn't be in a position now that requires us to ostensibly allow taxes to rise while everyone is hurting. We didn't pay it forward, so we're paying for it now.

    "people have gotten tired nigh unto revolt of being jerked around, dictated to, and robbed by their own government."

    Thank you for succinctly stating the reasons for the election results on November 4, 2008. It's just a shame that people are so freekin uneducated and uninformed in this country that a constant, 18+ month barrage of demogoguery and misinformation campaigns from the GOP and right wing lunatic fringers about what the Dems are doing and have done is sufficient to drive much of the public into an irrational temper tantrum. Nobody's robbing you right now...these are expenditures that should have been made long ago and, just like when you fail to pay for things up front in your personal life, paying for them later when the sh-t hits the fan (because you didn't pay for it beforehand) is more painful. And if you want to call the results of congressional process, i.e., representative government, being "dictated to," then you're clearly in the market for spinning everything rather than having a reasonable, rational conversation...so it's generally a non-starter unless you're talking to people who want to hear that kind of inane self-serving mischaracterization. Furthermore, conservatives would be a heck of lot more credible raising those issues had they bothered to care about the infringments upon constitutional rights and due process made by their beloved Bush administration and GOPer-led Congress from 2000-2006. Cry all you want, but stating FACT is not "playing the Bush card"...so put the big boy pants on and start saying something other than regurgitating whatever misleading, factually devoid talking points the GOP and Limbaugh beamed into your tinfoil hats.

    August 16, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Steve in Denver

    @DUMocRATS RECORD DEFICITS + TAXES: I always see you posting under this name. You do understand that Bush took a 250 billion surplus and turned it into a $450 billion deficit, right? You do understand that Obama has cut taxes for everyone making less than $250k, right?

    August 16, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Shawn-GA

    It is FAR beyond the time for this President to take responsibility of this economy and stop blaming backwards. Facts are that the Democrats took control of the house and senate 4 years ago. Cannot blame Bush alone as he could not have anything go through without the passage by those two houses. BTW that includes Senator Obama!

    August 16, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Steve in Denver

    Ahh, here are the RNC paid idiots posting.

    You all do understand that the economy was shedding 750k jobs per month at the end of the bush reign of terror, and it has steadilly improved since then?

    I'm so glad we went with the smart one!

    August 16, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. PREDICTA

    Jerry C: you're living in fantasy land. The democrats will be ousted in November and conservatives will regain both houses of congress. That's just the way it works in America when voter perception is that they were better off economically under Bush than they now are under Obama.

    August 16, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. mark

    To all the Bush Haters out there... Just remember that every bill Bush signed was sent to him with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in control of their houses.

    So WHO really got us to where we are today???

    August 16, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Doc

    Let's see, bail out the big banks and corporations so that they don't go bankrupt. They then hold onto all the money we gave them, don't loan it out, don't hire anyone, and then work to get their republicans flunkies back in office to continue the sacking of America. And somehow it's all the Democrats fault?

    August 16, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. sine

    Republican policies are the reason we are in the position we are in .....it's unbelievable how Americans have an attention span of 5 seconds. You don't reward the people who put you in the dog pile...you help the people that are desperately trying to clean it up (they have faults too) but they didn't throw you in to the pile.

    August 16, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Sgt. USMC

    EASY FIX GUYS -

    I KNOW HOW WE CAN FIX HEALTH CARE, THE ECONOMY, FINANCIAL REFORM, IMMIGRATION AND UNEMPLOYMENT.

    HERE IT IS:

    We take all unemployed citizens, ship them on a bus to our beautiful border states and our beautiful agricultural states, the families will love seeing their loved ones taken from them, trust me. We take all undocumented workers and ship them to Mexico, let them deal with it. Since they will be gone, there will be millions of new jobs opened for US citizens (unemployment and immigration CHECK). Since the US citizens will only be making about $130 a week, they will qualify for medicaid/medicare, FREE HEALTH CARE (CHECK). Since they will be getting paid next to nothing, some rich business owner/rancher will be even wealthier, allowing him to spend even more on luxuries, bring in more business and revenue to some big corporation. They will never default again (ECONOMY AND FINANCIAL REFORM – CHECK). With all of these great savings for the rich, we won't even need the doutche, I mean bush tax cuts.

    PROBLEM SOLVED.

    August 16, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. BeverlyNC

    Nah – you think???

    Hope Americans regain their memory as to the fact it was the Republicans who drove our economy off a cliff – and it was the Democrats who saved it, turned it around, passed stimulus funds that saved millions of jobs, saved the auto industry which is now making profits and rehired thousands of workers, have repaid their loan with interest, and have Americans waiting in line for their new hybrid cars. Job creations numbers continue to go up every month.

    Democrats have passed ALL people-focused laws to protect our homes, our jobs, and improve the quality of our lives by stopping abuses of us by corrupt banks, Wall St firms, health insurance companies and credit card companies.

    Democrats have been WORKING for YOU. Republicans have worked AGAINST AMERICA on every single issue. They have no leaders, so solutions, and voted NO on EVERTYHING regardless who it hurt. They are traitors to the People. They have only supported big greedy corporations, the rich white elitists, and have stirred up hate, fear stories, complete lies, and reignited racism towards anyone not completely white like them.

    We need to get rid of these destroyers of America. If we give them power, we will find ourselves back in another deep Depression worse than ever before. They want to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment benefits but want to extend the war in Afghanistan and send even more soldiers to their death so they can play war.

    Republicans are DANGEROUS to America and we must get all of them out of office in November.

    August 16, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "The far left swing by Obama simply means we'll be going far right in the next election cycle. "

    Another example of the theory of political relativity at work.

    Obama has, to his own detriment with his base, especially with those even further left of the base, behaved as a centrist and compromiser. Repeating "socialism" ad nauseum doesn't change that. The GOP and conservatives moving to the far right and organizing and funding the astroturf Teatards doesn't change that he's been a centrist. Using the shift to the right to Increase the ideological gap between left and right and shifting the appearance of where the middle ground lies towards the right...that doesn't change it either. Yelling about Hitler and Marx and Stalin and communism doesn't change it. Blabbering constantly about "leftist radicalism" and other trite nonsense doesn't change it. Complaining about welfare mothers as if they're all inner city minorities despite the fact that 61% of social aid recipients are white...that doesn't change it. Suddenly having a coniption about illegal immigration despite not having one for decades...all because the election of the first black POTUS really hammered home the demographic shifts that will take majority status away from white people in the next couple decades...that doesn't change it either. The reality is, if you're calling Obama and the Dems "leftist radical socialists," you're either (a) well aware that it's not true and solely trying to shift perception so people do not vote based on reality or (b) the living and breathing epitomic exemplar of a gullible a$$hat.

    August 16, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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