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Voters Still See Economy As Top Issue

Friday, October 21, 2011

When it comes to voting decisions, the economy is still far and away the most important issue on voters’ minds, while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and national security remain at the bottom of the list of issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

The latest national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 84% regard economic issues as Very Important, showing no change from August.  The number of voters who feel this way about the economy has remained fairly consistent since January 2008.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Eighty percent (80%) say it’s not a good time to sell a home in their area. That’s a new high. This comes on top of data showing that only 16% of homeowners believe the value of their home will go up this year. Additionally, barely more than half believe their home is worth more than their mortgage.

Health care comes in a distant second with 63% of voters who rate this issue as Very Important in terms of how they will vote in the next election. While this finding is little changed from the previous survey, the number who sees this issue as Very Important is down from  79% in early November 2010 and 72% in early April of that year, the first survey conducted after President Obama signed the national health care bill into law. Most voters still want to see the national health care law repealed, and confidence that its days are numbered is at an all-time high.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters regard government ethics and corruption as a Very Important electoral issue, down from 67% last month.  For several years, government ethics and the economy ran neck-and-neck as the most important issues on voters’ minds. In September of last year, just before the midterm elections, healthcare rose to the number two spot and stayed there prior to the latest survey.

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The national surveys of 1,000 Likely Voters were conducted on October 16-17 & 18-19, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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