With the mid-term elections just two months away, the state of the economy continues to dominate other concerns for most American voters.
The latest Fox News poll shows that out of eleven concerns, the greatest one is the nation’s economy, with nearly all voters either extremely (46 percent) or very (47 percent) concerned.
Unemployment is a nearly equal concern (43 percent extremely and 49 percent very).
In addition, more than 9 in 10 voters are concerned about “the future of the country” (43 percent extremely and 48 percent very concerned).
Fewer voters -- though still sizable numbers -- are as worried about their own personal economic situation. The poll finds that 37 percent of voters are extremely (19 percent) or very worried (18 percent) about losing their job. However, two-thirds are concerned about being able to pay their bills (32 extremely and 34 percent very).
The Fox News Poll involved telephone interviews with 900 randomly chosen registered voters and was conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corp. from September 1 - September 2. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for the total sample.
When asked whether the Obama administration has made the economy better or worse, 47 percent feel the economy is worse because of the administration’s efforts while 36 percent say the economy is better.
Not surprisingly, Democrats (63 percent) are more likely than Republicans (8 percent) to say the Obama administration has made the economy better. Slightly more independents feel Obama has made the economy worse than better (43 percent compared to 37 percent).
A majority -- 57 percent -- think the $800 billion dollar economic stimulus plan hasn’t worked. Just over one in three -- 37 percent -- think it has helped the economy.
There has been some discussion whether the stimulus was large enough to give the economy the boost it needed. Still, just 24 percent would favor another stimulus plan. Most -- 70 percent -- oppose a second stimulus. That includes 52 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents and 87 percent of Republicans.
With the economic recovery seemingly stalled, only 32 percent of voters are confident the Obama administration can handle the economy. Nearly twice as many -- 61 percent -- are concerned about the administration’s ability to deal with the situation. Political independents, the key swing group in most elections, are much more likely to be concerned (64 percent) than confident (24 percent).
Despite the perception that President Obama has not done much to improve the economy, few feel John McCain would have fared better if he had been elected.
Just over half feel the economy would be the same today if McCain were president (54 percent). This is true of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike.
The other half of the electorate split in the expected direction based on their party identification with more Democrats saying the economy would be in worse shape under McCain (5 percent better, 40 percent worse) while more Republicans say it would be better (36 percent better, 2 percent worse). Independents are divided (16 percent better, 17 percent worse).
Similarly, few voters think it would make a difference if Obama were to fire his economic team and start over with new people.
Only 17 percent think it would help the economy while 10 percent say it would hurt. Two-thirds think it would not make much difference (65 percent).