Saturday, May 16, 2015

Do Republicans read election issue polls, and does it matter?

By Richard Barry

A new Gallup poll places the economy as the top concern for Americans with 86% saying it is extremely or very important to their vote next year.  This compares with 74% saying the same of terrorism and 61% of foreign affairs.
How important will each of the following issues be to your vote for president next year -- will it be -- extremely important, very important, moderately important or not that important? [RANDOM ORDER]
As Gallup notes, this could change between now and the fall of 2016, but "the economy will likely persist at or near the top of the list as it has done historically in both presidential election years and midterm election years and when the economy was weak, as in 2008, but also when it was strong as in 2000."

International matters are certainly never far from the headlines with growing concerns arising from the influence of Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria, ever present conflict in the Middle East and whatever it is Putin is up to. And terrorism is always there as a concern.

Foreign affairs more broadly, however, ranks behind several issues, including the way government operates in Washington, healthcare policy and the distribution of wealth and income in the U.S. Race relations and immigration have also been major news stories in recent months, but on a relative basis, Americans are less likely to say these issues are important to their presidential vote.

Does this then mean that an improving economy helps Clinton on the heels of eight years of Democratic incumbency in the White House? And does it make her a less available target as a former secretary of state if Americans are marginally less worried about issues around the world?

Likely, but I'm still preparing myself for many months of Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.

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  • People don't vote on issues. If they did, the Republicans would be a regional party and would never win the presidency. People vote based upon how they feel. What Rubio's doing now with his "safe" campaign is probably a good idea. The economy will likely hold through 2016, so the only way a Republican wins is to change the subject. If he can make it about fear of terrorism, he could win. But it's a tough slog.

    By Blogger Frank Moraes, at 4:39 PM  

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