While social issues have dominated recent headlines, it is the economy and the candidates’ positions on that issue that is the most compelling to registered voters, according to a new Gallup poll. The economy is “extremely important” or “very important” to 92 percent of respondents.
Eight-in-10 respondents rank unemployment as the second most serious issue, followed by the budget deficit (79 percent), the 2010 healthcare law (75 percent) and terrorism and national security (72 percent).
Economic issues comprise seven of nine issues that will probably play a key role in this year’s presidential election. The candidates’ positions on taxes is important to 71 percent, while their stance on the gap between rich and poor is extremely important or very important to 56 percent. Immigration is an issue of concern to half of U.S. voters, the survey found.
Social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage are considered important to 38 percent.
The economic situation is also of paramount importance to affluent investors surveyed in February by Millionaire Corner. International Problems and their impact on the U.S. economy is of paramount importance to nearly a quarter (24 percent) of respondents. The political environment ranked second, followed by specific economic issues, including unemployment, the deficit, gas and oi prices, and stock market conditions.
Even in years when it is strong, the economy ranks atop issues considered to be most important to voters. But in 1996 and 2000, for example, it shared top billing with education, while in 2004, terrorism and the Iraq were rated to be issues as important as the economy.
The Gallup poll found some significant divides across party lines in how certain issues are perceived. For example, Republicans place more importance than Democrats on the budget deficit (92 percent vs. 66 percent), terrorism and national security (81 percent vs. 67 percent), and immigration (57 percent vs. 41 percent).
Democrats, on the other hand, place greater importance on the gap between rich and poor (81 percent vs. 35 percent).
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.