More than 9 in 10 Americans say economy important in election

March 1, 2012 10:05 am 

WASHINGTON, March 1 — More than nine among 10 U.S. voters said the economy is extremely or very important to their vote in this year's presidential election, a new Gallup poll showed on Wednesday.

Despite the ongoing heated discussion of some social issues in the Republican presidential nomination race, economy remained the paramount issue to U.S. voters, with 45 percent rating it " extremely important" and 47 percent "very important," according to the poll.

Unemployment, the federal budget deficit, and the Obama administration's healthcare law also ranked near the top of the list of nine issues tested in the poll. Voters rated social issues such as abortion and gay marriage as the least important.

The survey justified some Republicans' concern about the possibility of Rick Santorum winning the GOP nomination. The former Pennsylvania senator has been running his campaign primarily on social issues such as his strong opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

Some GOP strategists argued that the party should wage a war against U.S. President Barack Obama in a general election focusing on his failure to lead the American economy back on track.

Americans remained more likely to disapprove than approve of Obama's handling of the economy, though these ratings have shown some improvement.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans said they disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, with 38 percent saying they approve, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this month. (PNA/Xinhua)

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