Obama and Romney pounded each other over foreign affairs, concluding the third and final presidential debate. But who really cares? Even the candidates were eager to stray from the subject to talk about tax policies, education and other domestic issues.
Foreign policy or even national security are low on the list that likely voters care about going into the final two weeks before Election Day. It’s no surprise—but it is reconfirming—to know that the economy is utmost in Americans’ minds. Almost six in ten (59%) of likely voters said “the economy” was their top concern, based on fresh survey results this week by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).
Of those who said the economy was their top concern, about one-third said lack of jobs was the problem. About a quarter said the budget deficit was the key issue. Fewer than two in ten said the gap between rich and poor was the problem. With the presidential debate hoopla about taxes and the social safety net, only 9% said taxes and social security were the real issues.
The economy was the chief concern. What was next? Healthcare came next, but only 18% of likely voters said this was their top issue. Only 9% mentioned national security, which ranked this issue third.
Now, I should point out that the PRRI survey researchers didn’t specifically ask about foreign policy. They presented a list of choices—economy, immigration, national security, healthcare, same-sex marriage, and abortion. They also let respondents specify a topic that wasn’t on the list. Only1% elected to do so. It’s safe to say that foreign policy isn’t a major concern, especially compared to the economy.
An article yesterday in the New York Times put it well: “In polls this year, voters have practically screamed at the top of their lungs how little they care about foreign policy. In recent polls of three battleground states, Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin, fewer than 10 percent of voters in each state said national security was the most important issue to them, ranking below the economy, deficit and health care.”
How much do you care about foreign policy?
Will you vote be swayed by who you think would handle it better?
What is your main concern with the election two weeks from today?
Please, leave a Comment below.
Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.