Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Economic Concerns Nothing New to Upper Midwesterners

Bookmark and Share

While sometimes it is difficult to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything, the economic concerns facing the nation are at the forefront of the minds of the electorate for both major political parties in the Upper Midwest and across the country. In fact, public opinion has not been so unified in the past decade on the top problem facing this nation, other than the months following the terrorist attacks in September 2001.

However, while Barack Obama may be enjoying a bump in the polls partially as a result of the newfound focus on the economy, this does not guarantee him a victory in November.

In Iowa, for example, several polls conducted the eve of the 2004 election found economic concerns to be the top issue for Iowans in their vote choice. A CNN / USA Today / Gallup poll ending the week before the election found the economy to be the most important issue (32 percent), followed by Iraq (27 percent) and the war on terrorism (22 percent). A Fox News survey of Iowans ending October 31st had similar findings: the economy led the way at 21 percent, followed by terrorism and the war in Iraq at 19 percent each. Despite these economic concerns, George W. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry in the Hawkeye State.

In fact, economic concerns are not new to the Upper Midwest – they have been on the minds of voters in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for several years.

· In August 2003, a KCCI-TV / Research 2000 poll found the economy to be the top national problem among Iowans by nearly a 2:1 margin over taxes and homeland security.

· The economy was listed as the top issue among Minnesotans in their vote choice for national office in all three Pioneer Press / MPR surveys conducted in May, July, and September 2004.

· A late October 2004 poll by Wisconsin Public Radio / St. Norbert College found the economy to be the top concern among Wisconsinites as well, edging the war in Iraq by a 23 to 21 percent margin. A pair of Humphrey Institute surveys of the Badger State conducted in July and October 2004 confirmed these findings, with the economy leading the pace as the top national concern in Wisconsin.

Despite these pressing economic issues facing voters back in 2004, John Kerry lost Iowa and was only able to eke out narrow wins in the Badger State (0.4 points) and Gopher State (3.5 points).

Of course, the advantage for Obama in 2008, presuming he presents himself well on economic issues during the forthcoming debates, is a question of scale: the number of Upper Midwesterners citing economic concerns is about double that from Election 2004. In Iowa, 60 percent of likely voters say the economy is the most important issue facing the next President, compared with 55 percent in Minnesota (SurveyUSA, September 2008). Quinnipiac’s latest survey finds 55 percent of Minnesotans and 51 percent of Wisconsinites stating the economy will be the single most important issue in their vote choice in the November election.

Previous post: Commentary: Race and the 2008 Presidential Election
Next post: Weekend Upper Midwestern Presidential Poll Roundup

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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