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Most Important Problem, 2005-2008

Topics: George Bush

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The Iraq war and the economy have consistently been the top two "most important problems" facing the nation during President Bush's second term. But the dynamics have changed dramatically over the past seven months.

After near parity in 2005, the war dominated throughout 2006 as far more important that the economy, and with rising numbers of people citing the war as most important. That peaked in early 2007 with concern over the war gradually diminishing through most of the rest of the year.

And then the economy struck. As recently as August 2007 only 8% said the economy was the most important problem. By early September that jumped to 13%, then to 23% in January and now 37% in early April. By contrast the war fell from 34% to 15% over that same time.

It will be ironic if the fall campaigns largely ignore the war to focus on an economy that 12 months earlier had looked fairly good.

Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.

 

Comments
BitJam:

According to a recent CBS News poll (15 page pdf), 89% of the public think the war has contributed to the economic problems in the US.

I also wonder if the primary season contributed to the downturn in the war as an issue. The Republicans (mostly) agreed the war was good and the Democrats agreed the war was bad. I would expect the war will be seen as more of an issue during the general election when there is a genuine conflict between the candidates over the war.

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