September 25th, 2008
08:44 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: It's the economy, more than ever

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new poll shows the economy is No. 1."]

(CNN) - In what could be a bad sign for John McCain, more voters than ever before this election cycle feel the economy is the most important issue to their vote - a subject on which Barack Obama has consistently held an advantage.

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, nearly 6 in 10 registered voters now say the economy is more important than any other issue - a number that is almost a double digit jump from a similar poll taken in July. And it's nearly double the 35 percent of voters who thought the economy was the No. 1 issue in January.

Meanwhile, the issue John McCain is strongest on - Iraq - has steadily declined in importance among voters. In the latest poll only 10 percent of registered voters say it is most important, down from 25 percent who felt it was most important in July.

The poll was conducted September 19-21, entirely after the crisis on Wall Street unfolded. It surveyed 909 registered voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (1,184 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    mccain how can you do this to America, we are all so tired of you ,and your pull it out of a hat tricks, you have proven over and over that you can't be trusted, and that vp pick of yours is discusting, a first grader could have made a better choice, all i can say is ,you are pitiful.

    September 25, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. cecil

    It's All About Sen. McCain; They Just Can't Wait!

    Shortly before 2pm ET, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said on MSNBC that his boss deserves credit for the bipartisan bailout deal.

    Bounds then apparently went way off message, indicating that McCain would attend tomorrow's debate. "We're going into a debate," Bounds said, adding "I think we're going there strong."

    Here's a transcript of his conversation with Andrea Mitchell:

    Before John McCain suspended his campaign yesterday, the situation that we're looking at today looked very different then. After he showed leadership and called for bipartisanship, for us to partisanship aside and tackle this solution head on, here we are. And we're going into a debate, I think we're going there strong.

    September 25, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. Old Jack

    Well John McCain has admitted that he doesn't know a lot about economics (even though he was chair of the senate commerce committee) and as a stated de-regulator he has shown his ignorance of the economy!

    WHY oh WHY would anybody vote for this man?

    September 25, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  4. Mike in Seattle

    Obama is absolutely correct. A president needs to be able to handle more than one thing at a time. If McCain't can't handle his job and the debate, he certainly mccan't handle the presidency and he mcwon't be getting my mcvote.

    September 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  5. Lilly

    LaVelle from Atlanta, GA – No, it was the Democrats who paved the way for this mess and McCain was the one who was trying to warn congress about Freddie and Fannie two years ago. Of course you aren't going to find out the truth from the liberal media.

    September 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. Felix

    A week ago McCain was saying "the fundamentals of our economy are strong". Now he says that he can't not give one hour and a half of his time to a national debate because the economy is so bad that he needs to be there doing who knows what (he already recognized that he doesn't know much about economy). Pleaseee... Nor more of the same ones that got us in this mess. Change now!


    September 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. bill for barack

    Six in ten seems to be a low number.
    What in the world could possibly be more important than the economy right now ?
    We already know where the terrorists are – they're in the White House.

    September 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  8. Basic Science

    John McCain and Palin are two NIGHTMARES.

    September 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Nate St. Paul

    Now McCain is using the republicans as cover to delay this bill. Suddenly he rides in to Washinton in a cape on a white horse after a deal has essentially been agreed upon and suddenly the Republicans are having reservations. If this bill would have been complete McCain would have no excuse to go to the debate tomorrow and Palin would be on schedule to debate Joe Biden next week. McCain is not ready to debate the economy- Palin will likely never be ready to debate Joe Biden, but it's unthinkable next week.

    I'm beginning to believe this bailout is a distraction, grandstanding and a ploy to keep the focus off of McCain's VP pick who is losing credibility by the second. The best McCain can do is to continue pretending he's the most important person to an economic debate, when there's nothing to suggest he knows anything more than the average american about economics- he's admitted as much. The other thing that's insane is Obama contacted McCain to discuss a deal and what they could accomplish together- McCain stabbed him in the back and tried to take his idea and one up him. This is what you can expect from McCain.

    September 25, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. TK, Dallas, TX

    mccain is grandstanding trying to find a way to stop his slide in the polls and protect palin from making a fool of herself in the vp debate.
    i see no need for any of the debates to be postponed. anyone can see that mccain is being disengenious mccains actrions does not make him look presidentail or a leader it makes him look like a desperate politican willing to do anything to win the whitehouse.

    September 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. Dave from San Antone

    This is getting serious, folks. I'm very sorry, but I think that the only way to save our country is to try John MnCain for treason. Our country is at stake, and I honestly believe that the antics we have seen from John McCain are self- serving and he is positioned to destroy this country as we have known it. If he continues to degrade democracy as he is doing, he should be impeached and then tried for high treason!

    September 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. Artola

    How is someone who thinks the economy is sound, admits that the economy is not his strong suit, can't do more than one thing at a time going to be able to run a country. First of all, I think CNN needs to set the record straight. LOUD and CLEAR!
    1. McCain has been campaigning all day. He spoke at Clinton's event and has held press conference and spoke in front of cameras. That is campaigning whether you call it that or not.
    2. Today Bush met with everyone about the Bailout then sign a bill (or something) for disabled children. He did more than one thing today. That's what presidents have to be able to do.
    3. By the time McCain got to the banking meeting – it was already over.

    Here are the questions to ask: How exactly does McCain think he's going to make a difference in this process. I mean exactly. Who's he planning to talk to? What's he plan on saying? Is he acting like a good senator or a president? If you ask me he looks like a walking clown show. But of course the republicans are spinning this as usual as leadership. Has any other candidate suspended a campaign with less than 40 days left to go before? Do you mean the Washington can't do without McCain for 2 hours for him to do a debate that he's been practically begging for all summer? What about Oxford? Basically he's telling them, I know you've spend tons of money and time, but I can't take 2 freakin' hours out of my schedule because I need to have my picture taken in Washington even though I'm really only going to be in the dat gum way!

    September 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Kelly in Wisconsin

    John McCain,

    Stop play martyr, get down off your cross and stop sabotaging the negotiations in the name of convenient photo-ops.

    You are NOT helping things and are going to derail plans to fix this ugly situation.

    And if you are truly suspending your campaigning and television ads, why are your tv ads still running constantly in Wisconsin.

    I am calling you on your lying and grandstanding. Enough is enough.


    Disgruntled taxpayer that has had enough.

    Obama 08

    September 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  14. Independent

    John McCain should consult his old friend Charles Keating on the financial crisis. From what I remember, he has a bit of experience on the matter.

    September 25, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. interesting

    CNN, you guys are slipping – it is 9/25. You stated the poll was as of 9/19-9/21.

    I smell an Obama supporters by the MSM, named CNN.

    PUMA 2008!

    September 25, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. Darren

    This campaign is starting to seem ridiculous. Both candidates are saying or having their running mates say things that would have easily lost elections in the past if a candidate had said them. Since both do it, I guess they're able to get away with it. Nevertheless, when it comes to real issues it seems like McCain comes up short. He's great at playing the campaign game (after watching how to do it in 2000 and 2004), but he uses that to distract voters from actual issues. He's actually using the bad economy as an excuse not to debate with Obama? That's a pure spin tactic, as it clearly ignores the desire of the American people to hear about important issues.

    September 25, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  17. Bill in CT

    McCain is a horrible bully, liar, and unstable person. What a joke this man is with his political moves regarding the economy. He is too chicken to debate Obama, and now he sits at the WH meeting and does nothing constructive. Wake up America!

    September 25, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  18. J

    "I have been voting in the AOL straw poll this week and last week and
    today the numbers showed Obama 35% and McCain 65%. This is
    amazing in light of the official polls reported in the press that shows
    Obama ahead. Could someone please explain this to me?"

    Perhaps because the only people still using AOL are about as old and computer literate as McCain himself?

    September 25, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. William A. Schaedler

    I don't think the Lord himself could repair all this economic damage. And certainly not McCain or Obama. I fear for the fuiture of this country. I'm just glad I have no children because I would have to lie to them about what a great future they can expect.

    September 25, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Amazed

    Country first?

    McCain is betting that most people are stupid. Maybe they are. Who put Bush into the office not once, but twice.

    Hope I am wrong!!!!

    September 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. Harriette

    John McCain is honorable. His actions always reflect the needs of the country. Reid reported on Tues. that nothing could get resolved unless McCain came on board. Now Reid is saying he is making it a political move. John McCain is not afraid of debating Obama. He asked for ten town hall debates and Obama is the one who refused to schedule them. John McCain is a leader. Obama is a follower.
    Some people work for change to promote their careers(Obama) and some people(like John McCain) devote their careers to promote change.

    September 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  22. Lorenzo in Atlanta


    This is crazy. No more Jedi Mind Tricks.

    Take Palin and go home. Hey Palin, if you went to Russia, could you see your house?

    September 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. And John McCain is close to Mexico!!=foreign policy experience

    boy i reckon you commie liberals hate you some freedom is all!

    freedom fightin john mccain is fightin fer my freedom to make buck on the wall streets! you liberal commies hate seein us poor folk make it is all!

    boy if i didn't have to go clean out bubba's tub i'd write somethin not to be published, i tell ya what.

    yee haw palin mccain! they gonna kill them terrorists dead!

    stop hatin freedom! FREEDOM!!!

    September 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  24. Al P.

    The country is in a fix. Even the Republicans in power finally admit this when they have no other option. It is time for change. To paraphrase Einstein, we won't solve our problems with the same minds that created them.

    September 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. vote them all out

    The people need to vote them all out of office it's time for a third party.
    vote for anyone but the reps and dems... they have abuse their trust with me one to many times. kick them all out and never to return....

    September 25, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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