Election polls have opened for early voting, and Americans have many issues to consider before selecting a candidate. A recent Gallup poll indicates that the economy weighs the most heavily in this year’s list of voter concerns.
Gallup’s October poll of voters reveals that 37% of Americans think the economy is the most important problem facing the country, up from 29% in September. Next up is unemployment at 26% of the polled voters, down from 32% last month.
Other issues ranking in importance were the federal deficit in third place at 12%, dissatisfaction with the government at 9%, and healthcare at 7%.
Democrats, independents, and Republicans can all agree that the economy should be a top priority in this election. Since last month, more Republicans cited economic concerns increasing 14% from September, followed by a 7% increase from Democrats and a 5% increase among independents
Voters in the 2008 election also valued the economy above all else with 50% citing economic concerns as the top priority, but only 12% worried about unemployment. Compare that to the 2004 and 2000 elections when less than half of the poll participants saw the economy as a big problem. In 2004 and 2008, Americans were more focused on foreign policy, the war in Iraq, healthcare, and education.
Gender issues have also gained more attention this more than previous elections. Both candidates have addressed abortion, birth control, and gender equality in the workplace. Despite the spotlight on the social problems, men and women have nearly equally prioritized the economy and unemployment. The sexes differ when it comes to the federal deficit, which has gained the concern of men, while women focus more on healthcare.