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Survey Shows Economy Top Concern For U.S. Voters

Six in 10 voters picked the economy as the most important issue facing the nation. None of four other issues on the list - energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care - was picked by more than one in 10.

Not surprisingly, voters also have a very sour view of the condition of the nation's economy. About half said it's poor and nearly all the rest said it's not good.

At least four in 10 said their family's financial situation has gotten worse in the past four years. A third said it's about the same and about a quarter said it's gotten better.

Looking ahead, half of voters said they're very worried the current economic crisis will harm their family's finances over the next year and another third were somewhat worried about that.

But nearly half said they think the nation's economy will get better
over the next year.

Some other worries that two-thirds of voters said they're concerned about was being able to afford the health care they need. And at least as many said they worried there will be another terrorist attack in the United States.

One in 10 voters said they were voting this year for the first time, and they were disproportionately young and nonwhite. Six in 10 of those voters were under age 30. One in five new voters were black and about as many were Hispanic. A quarter of new voters said they don't have land line phones at home, only cell phones.

As they have in pre-election polls, President Bush and Congress get low marks from voters. Only about one in five approve of how Bush is handling his job, and Congress fared no better.

Six in 10 voters said future appointments to the Supreme Court
were an important factor in their vote.

Two-thirds favor drilling for oil offshore in U.S. waters where it is not allowed now. More than half oppose the $700 billion government plan to help failing financial companies.

As usual, women were a little more numerous than men in the
electorate. About one in seven voters were under age 30 and as many were over 65.

A third reported household income of less than $50,000; a quarter had income of more than $100,000.

One in five had no more than a high school diploma; nearly half had a college degree.

One in four voters were white born-again evangelical Christians.

Nearly half of voters have a gun in their household.

The results are based on a preliminary, partial sample of more than 2,400 voters in Election Day exit polls and telephone interviews over the past week for early voters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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