Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Is the economy really the most important issue for the US Presidential election?

Asked by JLeslie (46150 points ) January 1st, 2012

Let’s say you really agree with a candidates very specific plan for improving the economy, and also to increase employment and fix healthcare and social programs like medicare and social security, or even get rid of one of those social systems if that is what you want. I mean he/she is saying everything you want to hear, really sounds logical.

But, his/her social views are completely opposite yours. Abortion, gay marriage, even scientific research that goes against your moral and ethical compass.

Are you going to vote economy? Or, are the social issues going to be the end all be all ultimately that decides your vote?

Feel free to answer if you live outside of the US in relation to your own country and politics there. I only put US in the main question because our Presidential race is about to heat up.

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16 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Social issues (I would add in the Social Safety Net) are greater concern then economic policy such as tweaking tax policy.

It is easier for the next guy to fix tax policies than it is to overturn a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriages.

JLeslie's avatar

For this question I am putting social safety net in with fiscal issues, I think social safety nets bridge both in actuality.

I only bold it because I hope everyone sees it, not because I am angry in anyway with the first answer.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It really depends on a few factors. If a candidate had an economic plan I really liked, but was generally much more interested in social issues, and planned to spend at least three times the amount of resources on dealing with social issues than on dealing with the economy, than I have no problem not voting for them because the economic plan I like so much has become somewhat irrelevant. Similarly, if they have a great economic plan, but also don’t really have much support in congress for getting that plan actually passed, but do have lots of support for going against my social issues, then the economic plan becomes irrelevant. But if they technically disagree with one of my social issues, but don’t care to pursue it as an issue, and have a history to back that up, then the economic plan wins out. There are certain social issue stances that become a dealbreaker for me, when combined with both an extremist stance and a taste for pursuing that extremist stance rabidly, but often those candidates alienate enough voters beyond myself to not make it past the primary.

wilma's avatar

Fiscal issues and as you said @JLeslie I also would include the social safety net in that.

sneezedisease's avatar

The economy is not the most important issue to me. However every issue is important.

john65pennington's avatar

The economy and Homeland Security ARE the two most important issues facing America now.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The economy is a symptom of a larger problem – the real problem is that of a creeping fascist society enabled by large income disparity.

Our economic woes are a direct result of that.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, absolutely. It is the engine that runs our democracy.

Soupy's avatar

I’m not American. I do not feel that economy is the most important issue, though it is certainly high on my list. In the last state election here, I felt that one party were offering a more sound economic strategy, but they were going to screw the environment into the ground, discriminate against gays, continue forcing religion on children in schools, and continue with their racist anti-asylum seeker policies. The other party I was considering were promoting environmental protection, fair treatment of refugees, gay rights, women’s rights, and no special treatment for people of one religion over others.

I chose the second party for obvious reasons.

Jaxk's avatar

I’m not very concerned about specific social issues. A constitutional government, the economy, and foriegn affairs will direct my vote. The federal government should not be involved with social engineering to begin with.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, especially in terms of job creation and unemployment.

ETpro's avatar

I imagine the economy will be the major issue of the 2012 election, and the question will be fo you want more of what drove it into the ditch, or more of whats been inching it back onto the road forward. But I think if we could see the future we’d care a lot more about whether we decide to unilaterally bomb Iran and invade Syria.

filmfann's avatar

14 months ago, the Republicans swept into the House after campaigning against Obama on the economy and health care. Since they have been in office, they haven’t passed any bills regarding jobs, the economy, or health care, but they have passed a lot regarding abortion.
Politicians get in office any way they can, then do what they want.

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, uniting the country is even more important, because with lingering deep divisions no good decisions with real mid and long-term impact are possible.

So the most important issue is sane Republicans joining forces with the Democrats about the most fundamental issues and compete with each other about the rest.

anam's avatar

According to this Freakonomics Radio episode, it is, but mistakenly so, since, as it turns out, Presidents don’t really get a say on what the economy may look like while they’re in office.

ETpro's avatar

@anam Great point. The fact is that most of what they campaign on and promise lies outside their power to deliver. The best they can do is use the bully pulpit to push Congress to give them the needed legislation.

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