Economic issues are voters’ top priority, polling finds

(The Center Square) – Newly released polling shows that with a little more than one week until election day, voters are most concerned about the economy.

Gallup released the survey data, which showed that 49% of U.S. voters say the economy is “extremely important” to their vote. Abortion and crime come next, with 42% and 40% of voters saying the same about those issues, respectively.

“Gun policy and immigration constitute third-tier election issues, rated extremely important by 38% and 37% of voters, respectively,” the group said. “Fewer, 31%, say relations with Russia is extremely important to their vote, while the 26% focused on climate change makes it the least influential issue tested in the Oct. 3-20 Gallup poll.”

Gallup said the last time the economy was such a concern was before the 2010 elections, when Republicans won in droves during the Barack Obama presidency.

“At 49%, the percentage of Americans now rating the economy as extremely important to their vote is still higher than Gallup has found in its final pre-election surveys in almost all prior midterm election years since 2002,” the group said. “The exception was in 2010, a time of high unemployment following the 2007-2009 recession, when 63% rated the economy an extremely important issue.”

The recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade as well as gun violence has helped propel those issues in voters’ minds, though they still lag behind economic concerns.

“Abortion is also taking on heightened significance to voters this year, with 42% rating it extremely important, far above the 27% and 17% who did so in 2006 and 2002, respectively,” Gallup said. “The latest importance ratings for immigration and climate change are about average for these issues compared with prior years’ midterm ratings. Meanwhile, gun policy has been much more important in the past two midterm elections than in 2002 (which was the only other midterm year Gallup measured it).”

Other polling from Gallup, though, has shown that when voters are forced to choose between the economy and other issues like crime or abortion, they overwhelmingly pick the economy.

A Gallup survey from September showed 38% of Americans cited an economic issue as the “most important problem” facing the nation with 17% naming inflation and 12% noting the economy overall. For comparison, only 4% of Americans chose abortion and another 4% chose crime.

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