Concern over economic issues slightly higher than in 2008
The “economy in general”--surprise--tops Gallup’s Most Important Problem for October, according to the polling organziation. Thirty-seven percent of Americans surveyed said it is the most serious issue facing the country, up from 29 percent in September.
Just over one-quarter (26 percent) said the the country’s MIP is unemployment, down from 32 percent in September, a reflection perhaps of the decline in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent.
The Gallup MIP survey was full of not-surprises. There was an increase this month in the percentage of Democrats, Republicans and independents who said that the economy was the nation’s top concern, but with just two weeks until the election, the increase in October was sharpest among Republicans: 14 percentage points, from 30% to 44%. In comparison, there was a five-point increase among independents (from 32% to 37%) and a seven-point increase among Democrats (from 26% to 33%).
The federal budget deficit currently ranks third on Gallup's Most Important Problem list, at 12 percent, followed by dissatisfaction with government at 9 percent, healthcare at 7 percent, and "lack of money" at 5 percent. No other issue received as much as a five percent response of Americans.
The economy in general was a more prominent concern for Americans four years ago, on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, than it is today, Gallup reports. Unemployment, however, was a less significant concern than now (12 percent in October 2008 vs. 26 percent today), as was the federal budget deficit (3 percent vs. 12 percent). “Factoring in all types of economic issues that are mentioned, including unemployment, the federal budget deficit, and taxes, among others, the percentage of net economic mentions is actually slightly higher today: 72 percent vs. 69 percent,” Gallup finds.
Less than half of Americans named any type of economic issue as the nation's top problem in 2004 and 2000.
What do men vs. women currently consider to be the nation’s MIP? Both put nearly identical emphasis on the economy and unemployment. Beyond these top two issues, men put slightly more emphasis on the federal budget deficit, while women are more likely to name healthcare.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.