Poll Watch: Economy Ranked as Top Issue By Voters

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Importance of issues

It is the economy, stupid – at least in the polls.
The economy once again takes the top spot on the list of 10 important issues among voters, but interest in health care has surged and is now at its highest level in nearly two years.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 84% see the economy as a very important issue, up three points from the end of May. Another 10% see the issue as somewhat important, while only two percent (2%) say it’s not important at all.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of voters say health care is a very important issue, marking an 18-point jump from May and the highest level found since September 2007. It is now the third most important issue to voters after coming in seventh in the last poll.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Democrats say health care is very important, as do 64% of Republicans and 55% of voters not affiliated with either party.

But more Americans (49%) now oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats than favor it (46%).

Government ethics and corruption come in second again among voters this month, with 78% who say it is a very important issue, up two points from May.

Unaffiliated voters put government ethics and corruption at the top of their list of important issues last month. But it fell to second place behind the economy this month, although 72% still say it is a very important issue.

Social Security and national security are each seen as very important issues to 62% of voters this month, putting them in a tie for fourth on the list of 10 voter issues. The last poll saw a drop in importance on the issue of national security and the War on Terror.

What the poll does not reveal is why the increase in interest in the health care issue. Might it be because voters are afraid the economy will force their employers to reduce or eliminate coverage? They are supportive or object to Obamacare?

In any case, the Obama Administration is being defined by the economy and all of the rest is peripheral.

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Barack Obama

Obamacare Poll Watch: 49 Per Cent Oppose Health Care Reform Plan

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It does NOT look good for President Obama and his health care reform efforts in the latest polling.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters now at least somewhat oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, while 46% at least somewhat favor it, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

This marks the first time that more voters lean against the plan than support it. Just two weeks ago, 50% were for the reform plan, and 45% were opposed.

The question:

Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and the congressional Democrats?

  • Strongly favor – 22%
  • Somewhat favor – 24%
  • Somewhat oppose – 11%
  • Strongly oppose – 38%
  • Not sure – 5%

Now, there is word the United States Senate Finance Committee has indicated that there will be no mark-up of the health reform bill this week. Time is running out to get a bill out of the Congress for the August summer recess.

The question has always been: Who will pay for health care reform?

And, the conservative Democrats in the House and particularly the Senate realize that whatever plan comes out, they will be saddled with complete responsibility – just like with the Economic Stimulus Bill failure. Any economic dislocation will be squarely on the Democrat’s back.

I don’t look for any meaningful Obamacare health care reform legislation being passed this session of Congress, if ever.

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Party Support Poll Watch: Has the GOP Bottomed Out?

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Possibly, when one looks at the latest Gallup Poll.
The Democratic Party continues to hold a solid advantage in party support over the Republican Party, as 49% of Americans interviewed in the second quarter of this year identified with or leaned to the Democratic Party, compared with 40% who did so for the Republican Party. However, that nine-point Democratic advantage is smaller than the 13-point edge Gallup measured in the first quarter of the year.

The latest results are based on an average of the Gallup Poll stand-alone polls conducted in the second quarter of 2009, consisting of more than 5,000 interviews with U.S. adults. Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows a similar pattern of change from the first quarter to the second quarter.

The declining Democratic advantage is due more to a drop in Democratic support (from 52% to 49%) than to an increase in Republican support (from 39% to 40%).

The lessening Democratic advantage may to some degree reflect a return to more typical party support levels, because the 13-point Democratic edge from the first quarter is on the high end of what Gallup has found since it began tracking this measure of party identification in 1991.

More likely is that the Democrats have topped out – at least for now.

Independent voters have been increasing in California (even with closed primary elections) and in open primary states. There is really little incentive to register with one party or the other.

Also, note during the Bill Clinton early years, the GOP surged when it gained control of the House. Might the GOP see a comeback as a result of an Obama Administration?

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Barack Obama

Poll Watch: Obama Continues to Sink – 43 Per Cent Say He is Doing Poor Job on Economy

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President Obama continues to sink in the polls.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8. The President’s Approval Index rating has fallen six points since release of a disappointing jobs report last week (see trends).

Thirty-nine percent (39%) now give the President good or excellent marks for handling the economy while 43% say he is doing a poor job. Those are by far his lowest ratings yet on the economy Premium Members can see crosstabs, trends, and Scott Rasmussen’s Daily Briefing.

There is a gender gap when it comes to perceptions of Obama’s performance. By a 46% to 27% margin, men Strongly Disapprove. Women are more evenly divided—33% Strongly Approve and 30% Strongly Disapprove.

Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters nationwide say the U.S. is heading in the right direction, the lowest level of optimism since mid-March. The Rasmussen Index shows consumer and investor confidence are down again today reaching the lowest level in three months. The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell for the first time in three months. A Rasmussen video report notes that 46% want the government to stay out of the housing market.

Overall, 51% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far. Forty-eight percent (48%) now disapprove.

American voters have been patient and given Obama the benefit of the doubt. Now, they demand results and not a fancy speech.

Is there any wonder the Congressional Democrats are running for cover on another stimulus plan and the very costly Obamacare?

Stay tuned while Obama and his family frolic in Italy at the G-8 while unemployment continues to increase at home.

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