What Voters Care About Most: Economy, Healthcare and Terrorism

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A new poll from Pew Research sheds light on key issues in the upcoming midterm elections

Republicans and Democrats disagree sharply over what issues matter most heading into the final stretch of the 2014 midterm elections, but among all issues the economy dominates as the preeminent concern.

About 83% of Americans ranked the economy as their chief concern, followed by healthcare (77%) and terrorism (75%). That’s a drop in importance of the economy from 90% in 2010. Healthcare and terrorism have essentially held steady since then. Republicans are more concerned about the economy and terrorism than Democrats.

For Republicans, foreign policy, the budget deficit and immigration loom largest among issues to consider in the upcoming election, each being named “very important” by at least 70% of polled voters. In contrast, Democrats are more interested in the environment and economic inequality by a similarly wide margins.

The poll also contains some good news for the GOP heading into the midterms: Republican voters are significantly more fired up and 12 percentage points more likely to say they will definitely vote than Democrats.

The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center between September 2 and 9 and polls 2,002 American adults, including 1,552 registered voters.