Local Politics

Poll: Voters pessimistic about economy

Posted October 2, 2008 10:23 a.m. EDT
Updated October 2, 2008 10:42 a.m. EDT

WRAL News Poll image

— North Carolina voters are pessimistic about the economy, and they're even split on which presidential candidate is better equipped to get the nation back on course, according to a new WRAL News poll.

Polling firm Rasmussen Reports surveyed 700 likely voters statewide Tuesday – the day after the House rejection of a bailout for the U.S. financial industry spurred a major tumble in the stock market – and found that 57 percent rated the U.S. economy as poor and 84 percent said it was getting worse. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The economy is by far the top concern among voters, with 45 percent of respondents calling it the most important issue in the election. Twenty-five percent said national security was most important.

Those surveyed said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican candidate John McCain were equally capable of managing the economy, but they said McCain was more interested in creating economic growth while Obama was more interested in reducing the gap between rich and poor Americans.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said creating growth was more important than reducing the income gap.

Obama continues to hold a 3-point lead over McCain, 50 to 47 percent, among North Carolina voters, according to the poll. He also has a slight edge over McCain in favorable ratings among voters statewide, 55 to 52 percent.