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Poll Shows Concerns Growing Over U.S. Economy

[Nov 11, 2007.]

 

A new Associated Press poll shows that an increasing number of people believe the economy is the country's top problem. However, for the most part, Americans remain more concerned about the war in Iraq.

In an open-ended questionnaire, 15% of the Americans surveyed cited the economy as the major problem facing the country. Back in July, the rate was only 9%.

Those with less education were more likely than more educated Americans to name the economy as the top issue. Only 8% of those with college degrees cited the economy, while 22% of those with a high school diploma or less education cited the economy.

There was also a significant rise in the percentage of minorities concerned about the economy. Only 9% of minorities mentioned the economy as a top issue in July—now, 20% do. However, Democrats and Republicans seem equally likely to consider the economy the number-one public issue.

However, by and large, the war in Iraq remains the top issue for many Americans. Some 30% cited the war as the major issue in the AP poll—that's about the same percentage as was recorded during the summer. However, Democrats were close to twice as likely to cite the war as Republicans.

The polling took place between October 1st and October 3rd and involved a telephone survey. Some 499 adults took part in the poll. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4%.

The fact that the economy is surging as a public issue should concern candidates—particularly candidates for President. The prominence of economic worries, however, should not be surprising, given the current housing crisis and the credit crunch. The Federal Reserve itself was concerned enough about the economy recently to cut a key interest rate. It's unclear at this point whether there could be further rate reductions before the end of the year.

Julie Ann Amos
November 11th 2007

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