Americans prioritize the economy over terrorism when it comes to choosing a presidential candidate, a new Gallup Poll finds.
By a margin of 56 percent to 39 percent, those polled say they prefer a president whose greatest strength will be to fix the nation’s economic woes rather than a president whose greatest strength will be protecting the country from terrorism.
The majority viewpoint persists across all income levels and remains consistent despite whether a voter is a Democrat, Republican, or independent.
For individuals making more than $75,000 annually, the margin was 59 percent to 37 percent in favor of a candidate who will make the economy the top priority, and the less money one makes doesn’t seem to change that rationale.
Individuals making less than $20,000 still prefer a candidate who will focus more on the economy than one who will focus on keeping the country safe from terrorism by a margin just slightly lower — 53 percent to 40 percent.
The poll, conducted June 15-19, shows Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s supporters feel the economy maters most by a margin greater than 2-to-1, 65 percent to 26 percent.
Among Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s supporters, the number is nearly equal at 66 percent to 25 percent in favor of economic considerations over protecting the country from terrorism.
Americans, according to the survey, view Obama as better able than McCain to handle energy issues and the economy, and McCain as better able than Obama to handle the terrorism issue.
The two candidates positioned roughly evenly on Iraq, moral values, and illegal immigration, while Obama has an edge on healthcare and taxes.
A full one-quarter of those who prefer a candidate who can protect the country from terrorism say they will vote for Obama, and a nearly identical percentage of those who prefer a candidate who can fix the economy say they will vote for McCain.
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