Poll: Americans say Obama should focus on economy
November 15th, 2012
12:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Americans say Obama should focus on economy

(CNN) – Just over a week after President Barack Obama won a second term in the White House, a new poll indicates Americans think he should get to work rebuilding a strong economy.

Ninety-five percent of respondents in a USA Today/Gallup national survey said fixing the economy is very or extremely important, and over three-quarters said Obama should focus on ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare as well as prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

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Seventy-three percent of respondents placed significant importance on reducing the country's dependence on oil, gas and coal as well as making education more affordable, while 70% and above said Obama should focus on making cuts in federal spending and simplifying the tax code.

While Republicans and Democrats agree the economy should be Obama's number one priority, one of the more divisive topics is raising taxes on the wealthy, an issue at the forefront of the debate on how to balance the nation's budget to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Democrats and Republicans differ in their approach to balancing the budget to stop a number of automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases set to take place at the beginning of next year if Congress and Obama fail to reach a budget deal. Democrats generally advocate for increasing the tax rate on wealthy Americans while Republicans push for limiting deductions and closing loopholes in tax code in order to raise revenue.

Another topic with divided importance is climate change, an issue rarely discussed in the 2012 presidential campaign and the Obama administration in his first term.

While a majority of Democrats place heavy importance on raising taxes on the rich and addressing climate change, only 20% of Republicans and less than half of independents agree.

Only 29% said making cuts to military and defense spending was important and 37% said providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in the U.S. was important.

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted from November 9-12 among a random sample of 1,009 adults. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.


Filed under: 2012
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Me IN HOUSTON

    "Poll: Americans say Obama should focus on economy"
    WELL! It's a good thing that President Obama is focused on the economy

    November 15, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    If only the politicians of the Grand Obstructionist Party would work for the American people instead of their corporate masters then we would all be prosperous again.

    November 15, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. corey

    Well those same people need to push that urgency towards congress. That is where any bill starts. And all I see from the right is trying to focus on Benghazi rather than the economy. Is it any different then 2010 when the GOP ran on the economy and jobs, jobs, jobs. But what did they do when they gained seats and power? Social issues and tried to repeal the affordable care act over 20 times. 75% tells me that a good chunk of people that hold the view about the economy is republican. Well republicans let your congressmen and senators that they need to be focusing on the economy rather than doing anything and everything to make Obama look bad.

    November 15, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. NameAnita

    The government can only do so much. We the people should boycott things until CEO's of companies stop giving so much money to a few people. They don't need any more money. How about you give your other employees higher hourly wages. And don't me started on athletes an entertainers. Boycott all of them...

    November 15, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Jess

    Democrats need to repeal Obamacare if they care about improving the economy. LOTS of companies have already declared they will be laying people off in order to pay for it or avoid it. The American people will be paying dearly for many years for Obama and the Democrats bludgeoning through Obamacare.

    November 15, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Wilson

    DOW down over 600 points since the election. I wonder how much worse it will get when Obama really focuses on it? Our only hope is for the republicans in congress to put the brakes on any country killing policy he comes up with, or at least does their best to minimize the damage.

    November 15, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Thomas

    He is !
    It would be great if the economy was a single object , it would be as easy as fixing a car. However the entanglements of health , education and infratrutcure are what makes for a strong economy and standard of living.

    We need a longturn 50 year strategy and goals , thats not how the camber of Commerce thinks.

    November 15, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. just sayin

    >Wilson
    >DOW down over 600 points since the election.

    you ain't seen nuthin' yet! one word: sell. the obama depression cometh....

    November 15, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. dan

    Obama cares less about the economy, his only interest is to make the USA an entitlement country where you get paid not to work.

    November 15, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Guest

    As long as the republicans stand their ground we can limit the damage Obamas policies have and will do to our nation. Hopefully by the next election people wise up...there is only so much money to spend but the dems think you simply tax more as a replacement for an actual and responsible budget.

    November 15, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Tell that to the right wing conservatives and the GOTP. Pres. Obama has been focused on the economy, since before he was elected in 2008. The problem is that political hamsters on the right have been fouces on nothing but Pres. Obama.

    All that the Republicans in Congress have done is follow Mitch McConnell's directive to make Barack Obama a one term president. They get up everyday and do laps in their hamster wheels. When are they going to realize just how badly that they have been misled, I have no idea. They seem so happy in the hamster cages that the right wing media has built for them.

    November 15, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Jan

    I agree, the economy is what the president needs to focus on...and that is what he's doing, trying to use all things he knows could help him with that...which includes a call to Congress to stop holding MiddleClass Tax Reductions Hostage. Another major thing I believe he is trying to do is SOMETHING EVEN MORE BIPARTISAN THAN ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS HE HAS DONE IN HIS FIRST TERM...AND THAT IS REACH OUT TO MITT ROMNEY. Yes!...contrary to what a lot of people have said THERE IS SOMETHING MITT ROMNEY CAN DO AND SHOULD DO, AND DOESN'T NEED TO HAVE A POST TO DO IT...THOUGH A POST MIGHT BE HELPFUL. Mitt Romney can CHAMPION BRINGING JOBS BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. I think that is President Obama's vision where Mitt Romney is concerned.

    November 15, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    I agree, and just in case most Americans don't know. He can't do it alone. Congress MUST do their part. He's the POTUS not a king.

    November 15, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. Tommy G

    >Thomas
    >He is !
    I>t would be great if the economy was a single object , it would be as easy as fixing a car.
    >However the entanglements of health , education and infratrutcure are what makes for a strong economy and standard of living.
    >We need a longturn 50 year strategy and goals , thats not how the camber of Commerce thinks.

    Problem is we'll all be dead and buried in 50 years, many starving to death from no job and a bankrupt government. Nothing you pointed to pays the rent and feeds families. It is just worthless Democrat rhetoric that solves nothing.

    November 15, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Anita

    The government can't do everything. What can regular folk do? We can send a message to CEO's that we are fed up with only a few employees getting all the money. Instead of more bonuses to overly paid executives, how about raising the hourly wage of other employees- that would boost the economy.

    November 15, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Reborn

    @just sayin and wilson, Funny how the Dow has doubled since Obama took office.

    I'm just sayin

    November 15, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Guest

    Then you should have voted for Romney Jan, you cant buy a Kia and expect it to perform like a Porsche.

    November 15, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. just sayin

    obama doesn't have a clue about what to do to fix the economy. if he did it would have been fixed after 4 years. all he cares about is his class warfare social justice redistribution ideology. the economy be damned. the economy will only gets worse, as it has been doing the last 3 years. that is the obama economy.

    November 15, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. John, PA

    "Poll: Americans say Obama should focus on economy:

    BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT"S NOT WHAT Obama and the Democrats WILL DO!

    November 15, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Guest

    Under the presidents watchful eyes the IRS has paid over 4 billion in child care tax credits to illegal aliens...think that would help the economy a little more than the tax increase on the top 2%?

    November 15, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. John, PA

    @ Reborn,
    the Dow doubled in spite of Obamas kill business policies. DOWs not looking so good now and it’s only getting worse.

    November 15, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Wilson

    @Reborn

    @just sayin and wilson, Funny how the Dow has doubled since Obama took office.

    I'm just sayin
    ----------------------------
    Yes, it did that inspite of him, not because of him. The DOW will now reflect the upcoming Obamacare taxes, and his redistribution of wealth plans, from the hard working people to the "Obama gave me my phone," people.

    November 15, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Mike Texoma

    The Dow is down over 600 points because because floor managers and others on Wall Street want to make their displeasure with the election known and because it suits them to express little confidence that a deficit deal can be reached in the short term. It has nothing to do with fundamentals. Just wait until the CEOs get on their telephones and start kicking butts and taking names, and we may see Wall Street turn around. For one thing, they are wrong. We may well see enough moderate or newly moderate Republicans pop up who, for the sake of self preservation, would "reason together" in order to find a solution.

    November 15, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. AL

    We need to get more revenue from imports. I can't help but buy from China if the prices are so low compared to American products. I could live with 1 or 2 less flat TVs if it's for the good of the USA.

    November 15, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Evan

    Have we not known this for several years? We are back to gridlock whether it does not seem either side is going to move. The stock market thinks niether side will negotiate so its falling. No one knows what will happen but failure by our President to do anything his first term and his and congress shortsigtedness now is going to hurt the poor the most. I have lived on little and saved more the last 20 years and have the feeling I might have to access those funds. In todays selfish world I think we will see alot of people just taking care of their own family and ignoring all else.

    November 15, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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