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Economy, Health Care, Government Ethics and Corruption Remain Top Issues


Thursday, September 30, 2010 - With midterm elections scarcely a month away, voters continue to view the economy, government ethics and corruption and health care as most important on a list of 10 issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that the economy easily remains in the top spot as it has nearly every month. Eighty-six percent (86%) rate the issue of the economy as Very Important.

Health care gained six points from last month, ranking it second, with 76% who think it is Very Important. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Prior to the congressional health care debate, the number of voters who viewed this issue as Very Important remained in the high 50s and low 60s.  Since the debate started to heat up in the summer of 2009, health care has been Very Important for at least 66% of voters. That jumped to 72% following passage of the national health care law in March.

Government ethics and corruption still remains a hot-button issue, though, and 67% rate it as Very Important.

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 of the important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

Republican candidates have consistently led Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot since June of last year.

Just below government ethics and corruption in terms of voter importance is education, which 65% of voters rate as Very Important. This issue, now fourth on the list, jumped two places in rank since July.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters view Social Security as Very Important, which remains unchanged from the previous survey. Overall, this finding has remained relatively steady since late December 2009.

Given the troubled financial condition of Social Security, however, 75% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most of today's younger workers will work past the traditional retirement age of 65.

In July, taxes jumped up in the rankings of importance, but this month, it returns to its numbers prior to July, with 63% of voters who rate the issue as Very Important.

A majority (51%) of voters now support extending the so-called Bush tax cuts for all Americans including the wealthy.

Immigration, which jumped to fifth place in early May as the debate over Arizona's immigration law began heating up, is now seventh on the list. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters regard this issue as Very Important.

Voters feel more strongly than ever that the federal government is encouraging illegal immigration and that states like Arizona have the answer to the problem.

Fifty-six percent (56%) feel that national security and the war on terror is Very Important, a finding that has remained fairly consistent for years now. 

Forty-six percent (46%) of voters now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, while just 24% think the terrorists are ahead.

Previously, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq were virtually tied for issue importance. But since President Obama announced last month that the U.S. combat role in Iraq is officially over, the number of voters who view the issue of the War in Iraq as Very Important has dropped, even though thousands of U.S. troops are still there. Thirty-four percent (34%) now feel the War in Iraq is Very Important, down six points from July and dropping it as an issue to 10th on the list of 10.

Afghanistan is in ninth place. Forty percent (40%) view the war in Afghanistan as Very Important, which holds steady from July when the issue was first included in this question.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of voters believe all U.S. troops should be brought home from Afghanistan immediately, a finding that has remained largely unchanged since last November. Sixteen percent (16%) more think a firm timetable should be established for bringing the troops home within a year. 

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Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.



Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

Two surveys of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters were conducted on September 22-23 & 26-27, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error for each survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters

September 22-23 & 26-27, 2010

Issue

Very Important

Economy

86%

Health Care

76%

Gov't Ethics & Corruption

67%

Education

65%

Social Security

64%

Taxes

63%

Immigration

57%

National Security/War on Terror

56%

Afghanistan

40%

War in Iraq

34%




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