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)

    McCain is a desparate OLD MAN! he has no plan, no common sense and np integrity! If it's one thing I hate is a hippocrit! It looks like he's trying to get the debate moved to nex Thursday when the VP debate was to take place in hopes that they'll just cancel the Vp debate all together so that other idio Palin won't have to prove to the word what most of us already know that she is not qualified.

    What soes te VP pick say about McShame...that he is not a leader, has no judgement & has now become a puppet for the right wing republicans...we already have a clown in the white house, we don't need a puppet....and to the previous commentor name ME...the only person who has no intelligence is the IDIOT

    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  2. Matt

    You'll never find more of a Washington insider than John McCain. It's amazing how the American people can be so easily fooled and more easily led.


    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  3. OBAMA 100%

    The community people in my area last week told me Obama is going to give every American Citizen 300.00 per month , every month for the first year of his presidancy............... I SAY GO OBAMA , SHOW ME THE MONEY..........GO OBAMA , GO AMABO, Anyway you spell it , it is GREAT............... GO GO GO GO ...............

    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  4. Brian

    The old buffoon went to Washington today and actually –DERAILED– the bailout plan, while LYING about suspending his campaign. THAT'S his definition of "Country First?!?!"

    John McCain is a menace! Get him off the national stage! This election can't be over soon enough!

    Obama/Biden '08!!!

    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  5. Just Me

    For those calling Obama's plans socialism - What in the heck do you think Bush's bail-out plan is? We're being set up to socialize the banking system's de-regulated MESS - that McCain helped to create by banning regulation of these entities!

    Obama's tax plan will HELP me and my husband - who owns a small business. Why? Because until we have CUSTOMERS that have money to purchase goods & services, we'll be out of business!

    For Pete's sake - Stop the madness, do your research, and vote Obama in '08.

    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  6. Bea

    Yes, as a recent poster said, a bunch of us Americans are dumb as rocks. I don't blindly endorse either candidate. Let's use our heads and figure out the best person for the job given the unique set of circumstances we have here in the US. It's not a simple and single issue like in 2004 (terrorist threats); it's multi-faceted, and thus it's going to take someone with the right leadership abilities, temperament and intelligence to lead us thru this mess. I happen to think the better candidate for that particular job is Obama, even thou I personally respect and admire JOhn McCain. I hope we Americans will calm down and objectively look at the skills and abilities of each candidate before making a selection.

    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Susan9

    McCain and Palin combined don't measure up to HALF of the intelligence, integrity and leadership ability exhibited by Barack Obama.

    Those that can't see this after the non-stop desperate antics, empty-headed statements and blatant political grandstanding by the McCain/Palin ticket over the last few days and weeks are not looking any deeper than the color of the candidates' skin.

    September 25, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. Sue F

    This entire thing was a setup, first of all a spokeswoman for Bernake was asked how they arrived at 700 billion, she said we just picked the highest number we could because we really don't have any idea how bad it will be?????? Our country is being ran by morons people, WaMu collapsed today, it's the second largest bank. This administration and the Republican party decided in order to save their butts and McLames campaign they would stage a little drama for the before the debates, they could see that people know that Palin's in way over her head, that McLame is clueless and dropping in the polls, so why not stage a make believe truce, you know cumbia, everyone will get together "for the good of the country" bail us out of this mess, and then low and behold at the last minute, oops, nope don't like the deal, we will come up with one of our own and let McLame present it and the Dems will sign off and he will rise in the polls and low and behold we will retain power come the election. This is the biggest farce played on the citizens of this country I've seen in my lifetime.
    People on main street need to start marching in the streets and calling and flooding the WH and their Senators and Congressmen and telling them. If their Republicans see ya, your otta here schmuck, and the Dems. you better tow the line and start making the right choices because were fed up and not taking this crap any longer. It's our country it's about time we took it back!

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. patricia for Obama

    McCain is not qualified to lead on the economy OR Iraq.

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  10. Emma

    *********** Have you people not heard all the soundbites of Barney Frank telling everyone a few years ago that the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were doing wonderful... this is what got us in this mess.. SOCIALISM. THe reason the democrats want to rush thru this is because they know they are behind this mess and they do not want the American people to know the truth. WHEN HAS NANCY PELOSI AND HARRY RIED ****ever*** WANT TO RUSH TO SIGN SOMETHING WITH BUSH.. .think about it!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  11. Darryl

    As the meltdown on Wall Street continues, American voters would do well to regard John McCain and his Republican Party with suspicion when it comes to the resuscitating the economy. But McCain's acknowledged ignorance on economic issues, happy talk about strong "fundamentals," ties to lobbyists and disturbing involvement in the 1980's savings and loan disaster aren't the only reasons voters should flock to Barack Obama for solutions to the mushrooming financial crisis. As history has proven time and again, Wall Street and the economy overall simply do better under Democratic presidents.

    To be sure, the prospect of John McCain at the helm of the American economy is a frightening one. On multiple occasions, McCain deemed the downturn "psychological," while proclaiming as recently as Monday's 500 point drop in the Dow that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." Even Alan Greenspan, whose book McCain claimed in December 2007 offset that fact that "the issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," blasted McCain's $3.3 trillion budget-busting tax plan, "I'm not in favor of financing tax cuts with borrowed money."

    Then there is the question, in the words of the New York Life ad, of "the company you keep." From campaign chairman Rick Davis and transition chief William Timmons on down, the McCain campaign is dominated by Wall Street lobbyists. John McCain's economic adviser and UBS vice-chairman Phil Gramm (the same Phil Gramm who mocked Americans as a "nation of whiners") this week saw his firm face another $5 billion in write-downs. And by regurgitating virtually the same policy prescriptions as George W. Bush on tax cuts, health care, Social Security privatization, John McCain is offering Americans more of the same snake oil that produced the current economic calamity.

    Then there are the eerie parallels between today's market meltdown and the savings and loan implosion of the late 1980's and 1990's. That fiasco of deregulation ultimately cost American taxpayers as much as $300 billion. Some $2.6 billion of that was attributed to the collapse of Lincoln Financial, run by McCain sugar daddy Charles Keating. While John McCain survived the Keating Five scandal (barely), Washington's multi-billion bailouts and cash infusions this week are grim reminders of why McCain can't be trusted to regulate his friends or run the economy.

    But there is a much more basic reason to keep John McCain and the Republicans out of the White House. As the record shows, the best path to prosperity is to elect Democratic presidents.

    The superior performance of Democratic presidents covers virtually the entire spectrum of economic indicators. As Elliott Parker of the University of Nevada, Reno detailed in a 2006 paper, since 1949 Democratic administrations have done better than Republican ones when it comes to unemployment (5.2% to 6.0%), job creation (-.0.4% decrease in unemployment, compared to 0.3% increase), GDP growth rate (4.2% to 2.9%), and even corporate profits as a share of GDP. And to be sure, he found the Dow benefits from Democrats in the White House.

    There's no shortage of studies to show that stock market returns are higher under Democratic leadership. (As it turns out, Wall Street's performance is also better when Democrats control Congress.) In 2000, Pedro Santa-Clara and Rossen Valkanov of UCLA's Anderson School of Business concluded that "that the average excess return in the stock market is higher under Democratic than Republican presidents – a difference of 9 percent per year for the value-weighted portfolio and 16 percent for the equal

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. Reed

    The Republicasn had 8 years to prove themselves. They did. How could anyone vote for another 4 years of this crap?


    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. OBAMA 100%

    OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........OBama gonna win......... Obama gonna win..........Obama gonna win........

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  14. Independent FL voter

    Don't be fooled by McCain's stunt. It's a desperate ploy by a desperate party and a desperate man. The Democrats have had the slimmest of majorities for less than 2 years; the Republicans have been calling the shots since 1994. The problems we're currently facing did not come about in the last 22 months, they've been building for years, and all the while a largely Republican Congress and White House have been more focused on demonizing fellow Americans and wasting American money and lives on an unnecessary war than making this country better for all of us. It's time to give the Dems a chance.

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  15. Franko

    Sorry chumps! John McCain has shown that he is more than capable of leading during economic hard times! Obama will just wait for a call if anyone might just need him! HA HA!

    September 25, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  16. Scott

    McCain has not practiced what his campaign theme of "Country First" preaches. His indifference and neglect of the most important domestic issue, the US economy, is now his worst nightmare...

    September 25, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  17. Holly

    My ticket: McCain & Palin

    From California

    September 25, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  18. Nate

    McCain=Bush. Need I say more?

    September 25, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  19. Robin

    Does anyone think its a coincidence that gas prices went through the roof this summer and now the banks are failing? The republicans know they are going to lose this election by a landslide and they are going to steal everything they can before they get booted out.

    Republicans are running the dirtiest most despicable campaign using these 2 baffoons even worse than George the Terrible. I can't believe that any decent intelligent person would follow them. Please, all of us Americans have to vote together to get this poison out of our government, face the truth and help the democrats get them out, and give our kids and grandkids a chance for a future.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  20. minmimlst

    What a drama queen. Just show up at the debate and talk about the economy Mr. "Maverick". You did more harm than good in Washington this afternoon (precisely what you would do as President). And what's this new plan you're backing along with the conservative Republicans? Recommendations from economists from elitist institutions like University of Chicago and Northwestern? I hear it calls for MORE deregulation. Priceless!!

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  21. Kay

    As long as Americans are racist, anti-intellectuals, and drool over ideology instead of substance, we will be screwed forever. If Obama loses this election it will be because of the dumb old people from the 60s generation and the racists who will vote for an old hag and a pathetic excuse for a woman over the future. If we lose this election to a Republican, we DESERVE a depression.

    I bet CNN wont even publish these comments.

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  22. Shola

    After I watching Gov. Sara Palin's interview on Russia I went into total sadness for America. Does John Mc truly loves the USA or just wanted to get elected to be president. I do not think the guy had any real discussion on world or domestic issues of any kind before he carelessly handed her the job. Is this the kind of judgement a future president of this great nation will bring to the WH. May God help America.

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  23. Expect The UnExpected

    Team Obama –

    I know you've got your hands full right now but I think one of the most important contingencies you need to plan for NOW is what you would do, what you would say, how you would act IF there were a Terrorist Attack in the United States or on any western ally.

    This is the only WILDCARD that I see which could significantly re-energize Senator McCain's campaign.

    Governor Palin has a problem with the abuse of power charge coming. Cut the ring off on your opponent, put them in the corner and pummel them.

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. Emma

    Barak Obama wants to discuss the issues at hand.. Like yesterday, he said if anyone needs him to call him on his phone.. what a copout.. this guy cannot take a stand to vote on anything.. what empty suit.
    That is craziness to the nth degree.

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. ginger

    Hopefull, in LA I feel exactly the same way you do about these people's narrow minded comments. But have faith because we know Obama's statement was taken out of context and then twisted around in an attempt to make him look bad. Wise people get all the facts and then comment based on factual information. I think some people make comments just for fun.

    All the talking heads are saying pretty much that McCain made a bad move doing this. And by the way, he has not suspended anything. Ads are still running, his backers are all over CNN, MSNBC, and faux news. McCain is still raising money as we type. Go to his website and see for yourself.

    September 26, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
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