Werth Poll

May 2016 Werth Poll, Part 4 of 4: Ohioans Reveal Most Important Issues When Voting

June 22, 2016

Despite heavy rhetoric about immigration and homeland security, reforming health care and the U.S. role in international affairs, findings from the May Werth Poll reveal that Ohioans have another topic that is top of mind – one that presidential and congressional candidates need to heed well before Election Day.

To quote political strategist James Carville – (it’s) the economy, stupid.

Thirty-seven percent of Ohioans said jobs and the economy are the most important issues when voting for U.S. president and members of Congress, eclipsing immigration/homeland security (15.6 percent), health care reform (13 percent), income inequality between rich and poor (11.2 percent) and international relations (7 percent).

In fact, jobs and the economy are unanimously and overwhelmingly agreed upon as the top priorities regardless of gender, race, age, party affiliation or region of the state.

However, opinions vary by audience regarding what’s next in importance. For example:

  • 18-29 year olds are nearly twice as passionate about income inequality versus any other age group
  • Toledo voters are twice as focused on immigration/homeland security (24.2 percent) than Cleveland/Akron voters (12.1 percent)
  • Democrats and Republicans are surprisingly aligned (within 2 percentage points) on health care reform with both groups ranking it third in priority

Carville’s blunt statement gained traction during Bill Clinton’s 1992 run for the Oval Office for good reason: The U.S. economy was still recovering from the Black Monday stock market crash in October 1987.  Twenty-four years later, the U.S. economy continues a similar recovery from the Great Recession, keeping economic concerns top of mind by more than 2:1.

Given the similarities, Ohioans have made it clear what they expect to hear as presidential and congressional campaigning hits a fever pitch. Should candidates deviate from this narrative, they could end up looking just as Caravelle said, stupid.

Below are the details of the survey.

Ohio Statewide Survey
5/10/16 – 5/14/2016
N=803, +/- 3.45%
Registered Voters
(Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.)

Cross tabs Poll 4-1


This survey research data was gathered through telephone interviews that specially-trained interviewers conducted with 803 randomly-selected registered voters in the State of Ohio with histories of voting in recent even-year November general elections or were recent new registrants, who had valid residential, VOIP or cellular telephone numbers. The interviews were performed during the period of May 10, 2016 through May 14, 2016. The overall estimated margin of sampling error is +/- 3.45%, based on a confidence level of 95%, although it varies for each individual question. This means that if this survey was repeated, 95 times out of 100 the results would be within plus or minus 3.45% of those provided herein. Adjustments were made to weight the results toward demographic and geographic characteristics of the state’s electorate, in order to account for under- and over-sampling that normally occurs as a result of the random selection process, and to ensure that all major sub-groups are represented in proportion to their actual percentages. Like all polls, this opinion survey research is subject to other possible sources of error, such as unintentional bias in the wording of questions, data-entry error and nonresponse bias.

For past results, visit our Werth Poll page at http://www.paulwerth.com/category/werth-poll/