The issues of jobs and the economy are now far and away the most important issues for Americans when choosing a president.
A New Washington Post/ABC News poll asked Americans “What is the single most important issue in your choice for president?” The poll found that the economy or jobs dominated the responses with 51 percent. No other issue came close to breaking double digits.
In a distant second is honesty/corruption issues at just 6 percent. The two issues of the federal budget deficit and taxes, which dominated much of the political debate in Washington over the past year, were each ranked as most the important by just two percent of the population! The war in Afghanistan is the most important issue for just one percent and the issue of immigration/illegal immigration didn’t even register.
With the economy in a multi-year slump and unemployment still very high, one would expect jobs and the economy to be very important factors. But the degree to which they dominate every other issue for Americans right now is truly remarkable. For the American people every other political issue has taken a back seat to the economy.
If President Obama can’t win on the issues of jobs and the economy, he simply can’t win re-election. That is why his job approval numbers on the economy, 41% approve – 57% disapprove, and on creating jobs, 45% approve – 51% disapprove, should be very concerning to the Obama campaign.