November 7th, 2007
11:08 AM ET
15 years ago

Americans have economy on the brain

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The state of the economy is the number-one issue on the minds of Americans as the presidential election approaches, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday morning.

Eighty-two percent of Americans said the economy will be extremely or very important to their vote for president. Economic conditions edged out Iraq by two points, with 80 percent of those surveyed saying that the war is 'extremely or very important' to their vote.

Also, among the top five issues on the public's mind when contemplating their next vote for president are health care (76 percent), terrorism (76 percent), and Iran (73 percent).

The state of the overall economy weighed more heavily on the minds of voters than specific economic issues such as gas prices (67 percent), poverty (65 percent), taxes (63 percent) and immigration (61 percent).

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation telephone poll of 1,024 American adults was conducted over the weekend and had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Political Assignment Editor Katy Byron

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. T.Tim, Lodi, Wi

    Duh ... it's the economy, W.

    November 7, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    Lets see, that poll for what it may be worth cites 7 areas of concenr over 60% of the responsed. Ryan, I hope people start to think for themselves. The GOP might never win a State wide electon again. But there are so many areas that the public are simply being left behind that no one policy area can be adequate., I would hate being stuck voting for one of the Democrats in this race due to their polkicy on ciminal immigrants. But ony a couple of the worst right wing goose steppers among the Repugs have the guts to stand with the American people on that issue. Prblem is theystand against the same pople on almost every other issue (I can credit Hunter with his responsbile policy on the occupied mainland of China). But the only one on the GOP side that does not make me ralph is Ron Paul, and his abortion policy returns this country to the days of back room butchery. Our mutual dislike of the choices and where this Country is going is bipartisan, let's cool the juvenile hate Hillary lines please and solve the problems with a 3rd party.

    November 7, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    Jim from Ohio is uneducated, and therefore should be forgiven for his misinformation. The economy is not failing, although I cannot say the same for his brain. Our GDP is as strong as ever. In 1997, our GDP is 7 trillion. Now we have a 14 trillion GDP. How is that failing? More Americans are home owners. Middle class is not going extinct, and just because you say it, does not make it true. The wealthiest 5% people pay 55% of the total US tax. Consequently, it is mathematically impossible for the middle class to pay for the "blulk of the bill".

    Jim, please learn not to make a fool our of yourself.

    November 7, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Rob, San Diego CA

    Kerri – Smuckville, NJ
    No yield curves needed, Einstein. A lower US dollar HELPS the US economy in several ways: increases exports (our products are cheaper), increases US tourism (cheaper for foreigners to come here), US Capital Market becomes more attractive to foreign investors, etc.
    The disadvantages: it costs more for US citizens to travel abroad and buy foreign products.
    If you're not a world traveler and a connoisseur of fine french wine – it's not a big deal.
    Not sure which is worse, Kerri – being a smuck or an idiot! Perhaps you could tell us since you've got both going for you.
    Posted By James, Phoenix AZ : November 7, 2007 2:34 pm

    James, you’re 100% wrong and the name-calling is pretty childish on both your parts.

    As the dollar declines imported goods become MORE expensive. Not just French wine mind you. Think about it. Do you really see a lot of goods labeled “Made in the U.S.A” anymore? No. Manufacturing jobs in this country have been declining for years. Almost everything we buy is made in a foreign country. That’s why our trade deficit is so high. Reducing the buying power of the dollar will increase the cost of goods for both the average American and large corporations. That means less money in people’s pockets and lower profits for corporations that do overseas business. This is not the sign of a strong economy.

    Additionally, a weak dollar DOES NOT attract foreign investors! A RISING dollar attracts foreign investors, because their currency gains will add to the gains they make by investing in the U.S. The dollar is in a tailspin and it’s not getting better any time soon. Why do you think China announced today that they are divesting from the dollar and investing in other currencies??? (They hold ~$1.7 Trillion mind you). Give me a break James!

    Oh, and the correct spelling is “SCHMUCK”.

    I’m waiting patiently for your rebuttal. In the words of our President, “Bring it on!”

    November 7, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Gary, Detroit, Mich.


    Please learn to remove your head from you rectum. The world will become a better place. Thank-you.

    November 7, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    It's amazing that folks like Richard, Ewing, NJ, insist that the economy is fine. That's where we Americans have found ourselves. As long as Walmart has their doors open, the economy is fine. I see that the Canadian dollar/loonie closed at $1.07 U.S. today after topping out at over a $1.10 U.S. One thing that will help Northern border towns this season is the fact that Canadians are cross-border shopping en mass. A few short years ago, the loonie was about 60 cents U.S.
    And here's a news flash. The loonies has not increased in value, the U.S. dollar has fell.
    The fed bailing out Wall street is not sign of a good economy. Jim in Ohio hit the nail on the head. My father is a 77 year old man in Indiana. According to him, a wise man to say the least, the middle class is through. I tend to agree. Shortly, everyone else will too, except those that have never experienced "middle class" like the gentleman up above from Carmel, Indiana.

    November 7, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Rob from San Diego, James is not 100% wrong. He's actually very correct. He didn't say imported goods are cheaper. He said exports are increased. What he is saying is that goods made in the United States are cheaper on the foreign market making those products more appealing. The United States no longer specializes in consumers goods. We make high tech equipment and software products sold on the foreign markets. Those products are much more desirable when the dollar is weak.

    Also, a weak dollar does increase foreign investment. A foreign investor can trade their currency for more dollars than they would have if the dollar is strong. Investors will hedge by trading for more weak dollars in the hopes the dollar will become strong once more. They then turn around and trade those dollars back for much more of their own currency than they initially invested. In a very real sense the foreign investor stands to make a very good return when the dollar is weak.

    No name calling. Just basic economics.

    November 7, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Bob, Seattle

    Security and Economy are inseparable. Oil prices, solidly linked to security, must come down. A solid push for Solar/Hydro/Nuclear alternate energy sourcing will help to insure security, economy, and the vote to the White House.

    November 7, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. Bob, Seattle

    There is always a silver lining folks. A decline dollar means more expensive imports. Absolutely. However, THATS GREAT. More expensive imports means that less goods will come over from gov't subsidized economies and sweat shops. Domestic goods, made in American factories etc. will compete more favorably. The American worker (as in unemployment) will benefit directly. Hail to returning U.S. produced goods back into a competitive condition. Really folks, the fluctuation of the dollar vs other currencies is an ongoing process. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. But no matter what side we are on there are plus and minus aspects to it. It is like a pendulum that will forever, continually move back and forth as forces constantly seek to 'correct' whatever extreme the pendulum is currently on. Do not fear this. It is part of commerce (especially international commerce) and it is un-ceasing.

    November 7, 2007 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Brandie Ragin, Tampa, FL


    Couldn't have said it better myself!!!

    Now we need to promote American-made vehicles & discourage suv's which will in turn:

    1. Allow factories to remain open HERE! In THIS country.
    2. People to keep their jobs
    3. Open up more jobs due to the increase in demand
    4. Keep unemployment down
    5. Help the environment
    6. Use less gas–relying less on Middle Eastern countries

    If our leaders weren't so absorbed in oil & promoted alternatives, perhaps we wouldn't have so many troops living their lives in the desert, carrying guns & dodging bullets & bombs.

    Ahh. In a perfect world.

    Coming from an ARMY wife. My husband protects this country with all he has. I only wish people would appreciate this country more & show respect for one another HERE! No matter what nationality, gender, sexuality, etc. a person is. It's depressing that all we seem to care about is money...& it seems a vast majority are forced to, due to what Wynter referenced earlier. Everything increases but our wages.

    It's materialism & possessing things to prove status that is really the killer.

    November 7, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Rob, San Diego CA

    Excellent posts and thanks for backing it up with real economic terminology, thanks for the quick education economics. I totally agree, the economy for the most part isn't nearly as good as it was for most of Clinton's two terms.

    I have a family friend who is a long time stock broker/VP at SmithBarney. I asked him if the President is responsible for the state of the economy. His reply was that in his mind, the economy goes up and down regardless of who in office. Though he also believes that the Prez can indirectly affect certain factors in the economy.

    Even though Clinton took credit for a fairly strong economy (minus the last year of his presidency), I think that he was over-stating his influence a bit. However, don't think for one minute that if the economy was so great, Bush wouldn't take credit for it.

    November 7, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Les, Boston, MA

    Richard, Ewing, NJ:

    You failed to mention the low unemployment rate and high productivity. You not wrong...the mispersceptions out there have more to do with the effectiveness of the constant negative drumbeat from our biased media.

    November 7, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. jimbo, dayton, ohio

    RICHARD,EWING,N.J., thanks for the attack on my earlier post. again i stand corrected. but you must forgive me because i am uneducated and have something wrong with my brain. a big hurrah for the GDP! things are great! more americans own homes than ever before! and more are losing them to foreclosure at alarming rate. and all agree this is just the beginning. the wealthiest 5% pay 55% of the tax. and i know this kills them, i hope they can eat tomorrow. so the middle class doesnt pay "THE BLULK OF THE BILL" as you put it. i still believe when tax time comes we feel the pinch a little more than some millionaire that has someone else pay his bills, buy his groceries, or gas up his suv. i can only reflect on how i feel the economy is going as it relates to me. i feel it is not good and is at the top of my list of concerns. but i will take your advice and " TRY NOT TO MAKE A FOOL OUR OF MYSELF". i wish i was educated like you. but again you will have to forgive me.

    November 8, 2007 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  14. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    We now know Gary from Detroit is an idiot. Instead of making a educated arguement, he went for lowlife personal attacks. I bet he has never read anything beside porno - a clear observation from his statement.

    November 8, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Gary, Detroit, Mich.


    Any thoughts regarding Bernanke's warnings on the economy today? Do you even know who Bernanke is? Instead of spouting mindless burble about GDP why don't you take a good look around you? Why don't you get in your car and drive around a little bit. See if you can spot any trends in your own area. Start by taking note of how many homes are vacant, abandoned or for sale. But before you do that, you'll have to pull your head out of your rectum so that you can find your car keys.

    November 8, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Mark, Saugus, California

    Definitely the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!

    November 8, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  17. James, Phoenix AZ

    ROB – San Diego,

    You wrote, "Additionally, a weak dollar DOES NOT attract foreign investors! A RISING dollar attracts foreign investors.."

    Sorry Rob – you are 100% wrong. I've attempted to provide a details explanation of Econ 101 – but CNN has deemed it worthy to censor.

    If you or any other individual WISH to understand the economics of the US Dollar – PLEASE check out The Federal Reserve Board of Chicago (you think THEY know what they're talking about?):

    Bottom line: A weak US dollar HELPS our economy.

    Trying to teach remedial Econ on a blog is certainly tiring when the students struggle to grasp simple concepts.

    CNN Moderator – I fully expect you WON'T post this. It's obvious you are not interested in having FACTUAL posts and prefer to limit anyone with a conservative bent. Good Job!!

    November 9, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. James, Phoenix AZ

    Posted By David, Gilbert Arizona : November 7, 2007 6:06 pm

    BRAVO David!! We don't often agree on politics but THANK YOU for being one of the few that understands basic economics!

    November 9, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Kris, Lansing, Michigan

    I don't even know how to respond to some of the comments I've read here tonight. People 'breed like rabbits???' (I sure hope the author of THAT comment never has kids! They deserve a parent, not a zoo keeper!) 'Smuck?" (what is that, by the way? Anything like a schmuck?).

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right or wrong. The name calling and insults negate the credibility of anyone stooping to that level!

    So I’m not going to insult anyone. I would, however, like to know some things about the people who claim that there’s no economic crisis in America.

    Such as: Do you still live at home? Have you ever paid any kind of bill? Worked at a job? Have you ever been grocery shopping? Do your parents sit up after you’ve gone to bed worrying about how they’re going to take care of all the things you haven’t got a clue about?

    Because the only people, other than the very wealthy, who aren’t being affected by this crisis, are minors still supported by Mom and Dad. If you’re not teenagers, then here’s a good piece of advice.

    You folks need to stop living in a fantasy world and judging others based on your unrealistic observations. Because you know what? Not everyone has squandered their....THEIR....hard earned money on big screen tv’s and SUV’s. Not everyone spends a small fortune going to the movies. And if some of them do, it’s none of YOUR business. Are YOU living a totally spartan life? Good for you if you are and can afford it. The rest of us would like to be able to do that, too.

    Gas prices are hitting MOST people very hard. Not just in their gas tank but in every area of their life. You almost have to win the lottery to buy a beef roast these days. And heat bills frighten most everyone. Even well educated people with jobs that others envy.

    And here’s a word to the person who used what the rest of the world has been paying for gas for years. SO WHAT? This is America. I thought we were supposed to set the standards, not follow the leader.

    The only action that will, in my opinion, help the condition of our nation is to hold our government leaders accountable for the way they spend our money and the decisions they make. If they don’t do the job they promised when they were elected, then we need to recall them. And recall and recall until our representatives actually start representing us and not themselves and their special interests!

    November 14, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  20. Reese Reese oranceburg sc

    prices on everything is rising and its not helping any of us at ALL

    November 26, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. wayne, kentucky

    Economy is a number one issue. Jobs leaving america is setting us back. income in the family is decreasing. People really needs to think about what changes are. Take a look at the candidates for president, many have already worked Washington. Where are we now? I can not understand why a candidate like Edwards does not have more support.
    Also, inflating gas prices is gutting the economy.

    January 20, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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