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. Nicole

    What absolutely blows my mind is that a majority of people think Obama has the upper hand on the economy. His ideas are as socialist as I have ever heard from an American politician. You can't dismantle corporations, raise minimum wage, and expect the economy to function. The whole of America needs to take Economics 101.

    September 25, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  2. Andrew Phillips

    Does McCain realize his absence will worsen his already wrecked campaign ? It's not just Americans that had waited for this event in months, THE WHOLE WORLD had arranged to cover this debate, and TV stations all a cross the globe had spent fair amount of dollars to do so. I don't see any cancellation will go forth. Obama will be there on the spotlight, answers questions and amaze millions of Americans & people of the world.

    McCain's excuse of bailout & campaign suspension won't work. It's very unlikely for a president halt his presidency or even halt his nation from running, just to handle one issue.

    This will surely kill McCain's campaign.

    September 25, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. Wayne in CA

    i've been watching the events in Washington unfold all day...McCain's grand stand campaign gimmick...sure seems to have thrown a wrench in the monkey works...and i'm not just talking about him...Palin has finally been exposed for what she is...and what she's not...good grief she can't put a coherent sentence together...much less express a compelling argument..

    bad day for the repub's

    unfortunately they have once again distracted us all from the real issues that this country is facing...we're in the toilet folks...and McCain is trying to push the the lever...

    throw the bums out..

    September 25, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. RW abroad, from NY

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the media was reporting that a deal had been struck – then McCain gets involved, and suddenly, there's no deal. I believe he's trying to appeal to the conservative base by screwing up any bailout, while simultaneously trying to look like a hero for being too patriotic to campaign.

    I loathe the idea of corporate socialism, but for once Paulson is right. Get angry – but if this deal doesn't go through, the entire market system will go down the toilet. Just watch tomorrow's market reaction.

    Wall Street DOES NOT DESERVE a bailout, so take any firm that applies for help to the cleaners. But the mess that would result if we flush the whole system will hurt everyone, Main Street as well as Wall Street, and could result in the next Great Depression.

    Neither Obama nor McCain should be involved in this. All they can do is rock the boat by playing politics, so they should keep their big mouthes shut and let the party leaders on both sides of the aisle do their jobs. In particular, McCain should stop trying to pretend he's here to save the burning building while he's throwing gas on the fire. The first rule of an emergency is: Don't try to do someone else's job in a crisis – all it does is get everyone killed.

    September 25, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. twiggy

    Seems to me we have put honesty, integrity and character on the back burner. why is that?
    Is it because mccain /palin lack all of the above?
    And obama has an abundance of each.
    the issues are:

    palin is being investigated for abuse of power .

    she and her husband have violated court ordered subpoena's

    mccain is obstructing justice, by interfering in the investigation.

    isn't this illegal? i am 100% certain if barak obama's vp had done the same, he would not be the nominee, would he?

    they are not allowing reporters to ask unscripted questions.

    they are denying reporters access to her foreign policy improv's.

    is the mccain palin ticket above the law?

    have they rewritten the rules as we watch?

    are they setting in motion the new standard for the press in the mccain /palin regime?

    how far will they go?

    what is next ?
    aren’t these the fundamental issues that raise the integrity question, the honesty question
    the character question
    who governs the nation and how they govern
    are critical to the well being of all america
    don’t you agree?
    what we are witnessing - mccain pulls out of the debates
    thinking the world will wait for him.
    no mr mccain the world will not wait for you!
    If you are not ready on day one {palin}
    Or 3:00am {mccain} you will never be ready to govern
    this great country.
    the hypocrisy is astounding.

    September 25, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Jake

    McCain is simply wasting our time. Maverick goes to Washington was simply a sideshow. He caused more problems than he solved. According to everyone who was there, at Bush's meeting this afternoon, he barely said a thing. Just a big stunt. He is simply not fit to be the Leader of the Free World.

    And good grief; have you seen Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric? She is an idiot. This ticket is going nowhere.

    Obama-Biden '08. 400 electoral votes.

    September 25, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. BJ

    Obama just sat there like a zombie at the presidential meeting with members of Congress. He sure did not look very presidential. If he's the leader of his party, then he should be dictating to Pelosi & Dodd what he wants them to do! It sure looks like they're the directors & he's just an actor.... hmm, that just may be right!


    September 25, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. Enough is Enough

    In answer to Evelyn's question – AOL users tend to be older, much older, and their votes reflect that demographic. The national polls are trending in Obama's favor and they will continue to do so every time McCain and Palin open their mouths for the purpose of finding a place to rest their feet.

    September 25, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. J.C.

    Why can't we change the debate topic from foreign policy to economy and do it Friday?

    September 25, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  10. Jack

    You Dems just don't get it do you? What this country needs for its next President is a statesman, not a politician. Don't know the difference? Let me explain, real slow......
    A politician says and does whatever he/she thinks the voters want to hear; a statesman stands for what is right, even when it's not the popular thing to do.
    Who's the statesman in this election? NOT Barry O, for sure!

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 25, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Speider

    Erin, do you truly believe mr. "I don't really know economics" will save us?

    September 25, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  12. Voter

    – Doesn't understand "economics" well
    – Believes the economy is "strong"
    – He's not on any of the commitee's discussing the issue
    – and now he arrives waiving a flag about HIM (either to claim credit or for political posturing)

    September 25, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  13. Gary P

    It's unbelievable watching McCain disintegrate right before our eyes. Too impulsive, too dangerous. It would be political suicide for him to debate the economy tomorrow, and the more Palin speaks, the lower he will sink.

    September 25, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. Stick with the truth

    Yes, McCain has been singing debates all along. Now, that time totally presents itself, he rejects the moment, not much of it left...Palin was the wrong move – no match to Hillary. Vote Obama/Biden, no more jokes with people's emotions, money and their children's future.

    September 25, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. joel palmer

    Sarah Palin is the kind of woman who, when she comes into a room, people ask " who left?"

    September 25, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. Speider

    See you all on the soup lines!

    September 25, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Frances

    For all these years, I have put my faith and votes to the Republican party. I was raised that way. My parents and their parents where Republicans. I just knew it was the right way to be. How could my family be wrong. My family didn't change. The party changed. I can not now support them. I feel like I have been cheated out of my families heritage. I don't know where they went wrong, but I also know that I, nor any of my existing family, can ever go back to them. Fool me once, same on me....

    September 25, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. April4Life

    Who the heck are these McCain supporters? I CANNOT understand why this "banana in the tailpipe" is still working on people. A presidential candidate should NOT "suspend" his campaign.... and notice that his surrogates did not stop campaigning. I am sick and tired of the LIES. and I am sick and tired of McCain and his supporters. It was all politricks.... he's got you fooled.... but it is my belief that the majority of Americans will not fall for it.

    September 25, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. Michael, watching from Canada

    Can you imagine if the President of a large corporation decided to suspend all operations of the corporation in order to focus all his efforts with the financial department to make sure that a resolution to a major financial crisis is obtained?

    And oh, by the way, the President has no economics expertise!

    The real world requires smart leaders of large corporations to manage operations effectively AT THE SAME TIME THEY ARE DEALING WITH CRISES!

    Successful leaders multitask well.

    September 25, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. Chuck

    Hey red 33, cedar rapids, iowa:

    What to do you think Bush is doing? He's socializing the financial institutions of the United States. How that for the Bush Administration, of all people. Don't you ever attribute the word "socialism" to Barack Obama ever again, you imbecile!!!

    September 25, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  21. Purse out of a Moose's ear

    Enough with the country first bullsh!t John. Get you old butt to the debate tomorrow you coward.

    September 25, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  22. Tariq

    I don't feel it is a clear distinction...I think part of the reason we ARE in this economic mess is because our money, focus, and time was heavily invested in a distracting war that shifted our concerns away from our more important domestic issues. To say "the war" is McCain's strong suit without McCain having a full grasp of how the war is tied so closely to the economy is being a little too generous towards McCain. The war is not just about who can beat their chest the loudest or who can follow whom the farthest to the gates of hell; just like the economy is not just about money and's also about a sense of security, stability, and confidence to invest. Maybe if the issue was 'gay marriage' then suspending the campaign and the debate may be justifiable...but unfortunately, the economy is multi-dimensional with countless factors as urgent as foreign policy which the topic of the debate and as trivial as Britney Spears who is 200 million economic stimulus by herself.

    September 25, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  23. Martiniano

    McCain created this mess by deregulating the industry. His man Rick has been cashing $15,000/month checks from the culprits. He flew to Washington to derail bi-partisan negotiation on a fix.

    Meanwhile he's looking for any excuse to run from the debates.

    I'm sick of this coward and the maggots who support McCain. Six years in a hole doesn't make you fit for office.

    Nothing. Nothing will prevent me voting for Obama. Even staunch conservatives like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Wick Allison support Obama.

    Actually it is only the angry uneducated underemployed white men and the vagina voters who support McCain/Palin.

    September 25, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. Mike Shaw

    McCain/Palin: Campaign First

    September 25, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. Mark

    The polls only tell what the media wants them to tell, or the special interest group doing it.
    Polls do not mean crap.
    The REAL poll will take place on Nov 4th.

    Funny, the Dems are blaming the Rebulicans for everything, unless I am worng, they control Washington right now, and have for the last several years.

    The only people to blame for the Wall Street mess are the lendors and overpaid execs.
    They went out and gave money away, I seen it happen. I saw a man with a part time job, making less than 10,9000 dollars a year get a house loan on a 125,000 dollar home. Plus a car loan on top of that for a brand new 25,000 dollar truck. Now explain to me why we are in trouble. All these loans to people who had not chance in hell to pay them back. But they sold these loans to the highest bidder, and the chief execs laughed whle they made millions of dollars watching the economics fall to pieces.

    Again, the polls are only the medias way of trying to change Americas mind on who to vote for.

    My vote, and no one polled me,,,, McCain and Palin.

    September 25, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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