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December 04, 2007

Money Matters

Far out from the election blah blah blah polls should be taken with a grain of salt blah blah blah:

Fifty-two percent of Americans say the economy and health care are most important to them in choosing a president, compared with 34% who cite terrorism and social and moral issues, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. That is the reverse of the percentages recorded just before the 2004 election. The poll also shows that voters see health care eclipsing the Iraq war for the first time as the issue most urgently requiring a new approach.

That's a serious flip. More important, though, are the forces behind it: The economy is getting worse, not better, and thus economic concerns are going to grow more acute, not less. Iraq will certainly remain a force in the election, but pocketbook concerns will be similarly prevalent because, in all likelihood, they'll be causing more immediate distress. Superficially, this all advantages the Democrats, at least unless the Republicans manage to make illegal immigrants the aborted fetuses of 2008.

December 4, 2007 | Permalink


It's worth pointing out that thanks to the faltering economy and the security improvements in Iraq, Iraq now fills way less of the news hole. I'll bet if you had taken this poll in September you wouldn't see the same result.

Atrios is right: the election will be about Iraq, no matter what anyone tries to do. The economy will be important, sure, but it will be about Iraq.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Dec 4, 2007 10:53:17 AM

Hmmm, you start off with "grain of salt blah blah blah" and then move onto "are going to .... will certainly ... will be ...." I agree with the grain of salt blah blah blah.

Posted by: ostap | Dec 4, 2007 11:05:13 AM

Not the aborted fetuses of 2008 -- the marrying gays of 2008.

Posted by: KCinDC | Dec 4, 2007 12:38:29 PM

Depends on 1)how bad the economy gets, 2) what happens in Iraq, 3) how the candidates use these material conditions. The broadband MSM has a hard time devoting extensive coverage to the economy, and to be honest, in individualist America, economic hardship often manifests itself in vague and ambiguous feelings or very specfic targets. We are not accustomed to blaming the "system"

Timing isn't perfect for Petey. Best campaign style is optimism, like FDR or Reagan, with a general shifting of the blame onto the opponent. Hope not confidence. I think a bad economy would really hurt Clinton and massively help Edwards, but it may not get bad enough soon enough for the primaries.

A landslide, a re-alignment might be possible in the general.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 4, 2007 1:44:29 PM

The public feels something is in the wind. The flip in the poll results is like changes in a wooly bear's coat. The picnic is over, a long hard winter is coming and, no, we're not just talking about the weather.

Posted by: Madison Guy | Dec 4, 2007 6:40:13 PM

Don't forget that the price of oil is only going to keep going up (see Kevin Drum today on that subject).

Posted by: beckya57 | Dec 4, 2007 8:15:05 PM

Maybe it helps the Democrats. Or maybe it will give the inevitable GOP push for lower taxes more public credence and make health care reform which would require additional revenues seem more risky.

Posted by: Ron | Dec 5, 2007 10:26:31 AM

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