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Economy Is Top Issue For Voters In 2016

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The most important topic for Americans as they choose the country's next president this year is the economy, according to a new Gallup poll.

Of those Americans polled between May 18 and 22, 19 percent ranked the economy as their top concern. That number is significantly higher than the second-most important topic of concern to Americans, which is immigration, at 14 percent.

“The next president, if intent on following the will of the people, will clearly need to keep a sustained focus on economic issues,” Gallup stated in its report. “Not only do Americans spontaneously mention the economy more often than any other issue, but they also name several other economically related priorities, including the federal deficit, wages and the decline of the middle class, jobs/unemployment, taxes and poverty.”

Healthcare ranked third, with 10 percent naming it as their top concern. Defense came in fourth, with 9 percent naming it as their most important topic, and education was fifth, with 8 percent.

Only 2 percent of Americans cited gun control as their most important concern, despite the major attention gun violence has received in the media, especially in regard to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Taxes and the environment also scored surprisingly low, with only 2 percent citing those topics as their top consideration when deciding who to vote for.

The single most important topic varied a great deal, but the economy still ranked near the top of the list for the vast majority of Americans. The economy is considered “very/extremely important” to 92 percent of Americans, and jobs is a close 89 percent.

Although immigration was the second most important topic, it was ninth on the list of whether it's very/extremely important. Nonetheless, most Americans – 69 percent – consider it a crucial topic as they go to vote.

And while only 2 percent of Americans said gun control was their most important issue, 63 percent said “gun policy” was very or extremely important to them.

Interestingly, more people are “worried” about climate change than consider it to be very important this election season. According to a Gallup poll from March, 64 percent of Americans said they were worried a "great deal" or "fair amount" about global warming, which was at an eight-year high.

But in this poll, only 47 percent considered “climate change” (this poll used the term “climate change” instead of “global warming”) to be extremely or very important. 

Sources: Gallup (2) / Photo credit: Tracy O/Flickr

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