Majority of voters say election outcome will make a great deal of difference on key issues

Oct 28, 2008

As part of the ongoing poll series, Debating Health: Election 2008, the Harvard Public Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Harris Interactive conducted a new survey focused on whether voters believe the results of this presidential election will make "a great deal of difference" in the state of the nation's health care and other key policy areas. Although much has been made of voter cynicism in recent times, a majority of registered voters believe the outcome of this election will make a great deal of difference on key issues including the war in Iraq (63%), the economy (52%), the war in Afghanistan (50%), and national security (50%). This survey was conducted between October 16-19, 2008, by telephone among a national cross section of 957 registered voters in the United States.

"Although much attention has been paid to the presidential candidates' characters, many voters see this election as making a great deal of difference to a number of critical issues facing the country," says Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health.

For most Obama voters, the outcome of this election is seen as making a great deal of difference for health care (59%). However, only a minority of McCain voters share this view (40%).

"These findings confirm that Democrats care more than Republicans about health care policies," says Humphrey Taylor, Chairman of The Harris Poll. "During the primary season, Professor Blendon showed us that health care was much more important in Democratic than in Republican primaries. Now Obama voters are more likely than McCain voters to think that the result of the election will make a big difference to the health care system."

By contrast, McCain voters are much more likely than Obama voters to believe the election results will make a great deal of difference in terms of national security (66% vs. 42%). The difference between McCain and Obama voters' views of the impact of this election is not as great when it comes to other major issues, including the war in Iraq (67% vs. 62%), the economy (52% vs. 59%), and the war in Afghanistan (56% vs. 49%).

There are two key campaign issues that most voters do not believe will be impacted by the outcome of the election in a major way. Relatively few voters believe the election outcome will make a great deal of difference when it comes to education (33%) or the price of gas (26%).

Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Explore further: Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

5 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

7 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

9 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
not rated yet Oct 29, 2008
can't believe you clowns i.e. amerikans spend more than one minute choosing - McIsane and his gun moll or the one with hope. If you want endless wars and socialism for the rich pick Bush part deux. use what is left of your drug-addled brains - give peace a chance.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.