- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

American voters say the economy is the top issue in this year’s elections for Congress, and they give Republicans a slight edge over Democrats as best able to handle it, found a new poll released Tuesday.

The Gallup poll found that nearly 90 percent of registered voters rate the economy as “extremely important” or “very important” in forming their decision at the ballot box this year.

When it comes to who does a better job managing the U.S. economy, 48 percent of voters picked Republican lawmakers and 43 percent sided with Democrats, according to the poll.

The new data is the latest evidence that the GOP has an advantage heading into midterm elections, likely retaining a majority the House and possibly seizing control of the Senate.

In the poll, voters gave four other issues above-average importance, though still rating them significantly lower than the economy. Those issues were the federal deficit, taxes, the Affordable Care Act, and income and wealth inequality.

Voters viewed Republicans as better able to handle the federal deficit and taxes, while Democrats had the edge on dealing with Obamacare and income inequality, said the pollsters.

The poll, which has margin of error of 3 percentage points, was based on telephone interviews conducted April 24-30 with 1,336 registered voters living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.


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