Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Economic Conerns Continue to Dominate Upper Midwest

Bookmark and Share

In monthly surveys tracking what is the most important issue facing the next president, the economy has emerged as the dominant issue across the Upper Midwest.

SurveyUSA asked 600 likely voters in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin closed-ended questions with eight choices as to what was the most important concern facing the next president: the economy, education, the environment, health care, immigration, Iraq, Social Security, and terrorism.

The economy ranks far and away as the top issue—44 percent in Minnesota, 38 percent in Iowa, and 37 percent in Wisconsin in polling conducted in mid-March 2008. But a lot has changed in the past few months since SurveyUSA began tracking this question in December 2007.

Back then, in Iowa, Iraq was the most pressing concern (19 percent) perhaps fueled by the Democratic debates and campaigning held in that state which focused so heavily on the war. The economy and health care were tied with 17 percent, followed by immigration at 16 percent. In January, the number of likely Iowa voters mentioning the economy rose to 23 percent, followed by 28 percent in February and 38 percent in mid-March. The war in Iraq was cited by only 15 percent of Iowans in March, followed by 11 percent for health care, 10 percent for terrorism, and 9 percent for immigration.

In Wisconsin, the economy was tied with health care last December as the most important problem for the next president (23 percent each), with the war in Iraq a distant third at 13 percent. Economic concerns bumped up to 39 percent in January and have remained in the mid- to high- 30s in February (34 percent) and March (37 percent). The war in Iraq ranked only as the 5th most important issue in March (8 percent), also behind health care (16 percent), terrorism (10 percent), and immigration (10 percent).

In Minnesota, the economy has been the issue throughout the past four months. Back in December, 27 percent cited the economy as the next president's most important issue, with health care (16 percent) and Iraq (16 percent) each 11 points behind. In January, the economy was mentioned by 38 percent of Minnesotans, rising to 44 percent in March. Iraq (14 percent) and health care (13 percent) remain comparatively distant concerns in the Gopher State.

The challenge for John McCain and whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee to make inroads in the Upper Midwest will be to transform their presidential campaigns that have greatly focused on foreign policy and the war in Iraq to domestic issues like the economy. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have spent much of the time focusing on health care in their domestic policy speeches, but without an economic agenda that resonates with Upper Midwesterners, they could be quite vulnerable in these battleground states.

Previous post: The Ventura Legacy: Solidified and Stronger Third Parties
Next post: Governors Doyle, Culver Getting Low Marks While Pawlenty Prevails

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting