As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for their first debate on Oct. 3, the issues at the top of the voters’ agenda have changed little since 2008. Fully 87% of registered voters say that the economy will be very important to their vote, while 83% say jobs will be very important to their vote.
Four years ago, the economy also was the top priority for voters. In August 2008, an identical 87% said the economy was very important to their vote, and in October 2008, 80% rated jobs as very important.
However, the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 12-16 among 3,019 adults, including 2,424 registered voters, finds that several other issues have declined in importance since 2008. Most notably, energy policy rated among the most important electoral issues in 2008 – 77% said it was very important to their vote. Today it ranks near the bottom of the voting priorities list at 55%.
Read the full report, For Voters, It's Still the Economy, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.