September 6, 2012

U.S. Voters Mull the Economy

Next American president’s moves on taxes, debt or trade will sway the global economy

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Pew Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special for YaleGlobal

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the US presidency largely on the strength of a simple campaign message: “It’s the economy, stupid!” Two decades later, in another election, the winning slogan might well be, “It’s the economy again, stupid!”

Public opinion surveys show that economic issues are a foremost concern for American voters. Recent history suggests that voters’ choice on November 6 will have implications not just for the economic health of the United States but also the global economy.

In the run-up to the 2012 election, the US economy is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession. The real gross domestic product grew an anemic 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012; the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in July.

Four in five Americans are unsatisfied with the way things are going in the country, according to a June Gallup survey. Most blame the economy. A July Pew Research Center poll found 33 percent of voters citing jobs as their top concern in deciding their vote, with an additional 19 percent mentioning the budget deficit.

Read the full commentary at YaleGlobal Online