You are on page 1of 4

 

Compiled by: Sonal Mittal 10/19/12

IMPORTANT VOTER ISSUES AS ADDRESSED ON PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WEBSITES, 1996 - 2012 1. ELECTION 2012 • Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/156347/americans-next-president-prioritizejobs-corruption.aspx

Issue1 Creating good jobs Reducing corruption in the federal government Reducing the federal budget deficit Dealing with terrorism and other international threats Ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare Improving the nation’s public schools Setting high moral standards for the nation Making healthcare available and affordable Overcoming political gridlock in Washington Making college education available and affordable Taxes

Gallup 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -

Obama 1 2 5 3 4 5 3 4 2

Romney 1, 2 7 3 5, 6 9 10 4 9 8

Unaddressed issues: o (2) Reducing corruption in the federal government § Searching both candidates’ platforms for positions on corruption in the federal government yielded zero results. o (9) Overcoming political gridlock in Washington § Pres. Obama: Press releases found on the candidate’s website acknowledged political gridlock in Washington and suggested opponent’s position contributed to existing political gridlock. Searching the candidate’s platform yielded no positions on the issue. § Gov. Romney: Searching the candidate’s platform for “gridlock” and “bipartisan” yielded no results acknowledging political gridlock in Washington or positions on the issue.

                                                                                                               
1

Each table list the top ten issues of importance to voters in the given election year. For each issue, it offers each candidate’s rough ranking of that issue based on order of appearance and relative prominence in the candidate’s online platform. 1

 

Issues addressed differently:2 o (3) Setting high moral standards for the nation § Pres. Obama: the platform does not include sweeping commitments to “moral standards.” However, the platform prominently features sections on “Equal Rights”—supporting LGBT issues, same-sex marriage, and equal pay for women—and “Women’s Issues”—supporting protection of women’s access to contraception and choice. § Gov. Romney: the platform includes a section titled “Values,” which includes the candidate’s positions on abortion, stem cell research, and marriage.

2. ELECTION 2008 • Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/104320/Iraq-Economy-Top-Issues-Voters.aspx
Issue The economy The situation in Iraq Education Corruption in government Healthcare Energy, including gas prices Terrorism Social Security The federal budget deficit Moral values Taxes Gallup 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Obama 1 8 2 4 6 3 7 9 18 16,17 10 McCain 1 2 4 7 3 5 11 1 1 6

• •

No issues left unaddressed. Issues addressed differently: o (4) Corruption in government: § Sen. Obama: the then-Senator’s platform promised to “centralize ethics and lobbying information for voters,” “require independent monitoring of lobbying laws and ethics rules,” and “close the revolving door on former and future employers.” § Sen. McCain: the Senator’s platform included commitments to “seal the pork barrel,” “stop the revolving door and restore ethics,” and “enforce prohibitions on corporate and union contributions to federal political parties” to “limit opportunities for corruption.” § Then-Senator Obama offered positions on transparency and lobbying while Senator McCain addressed lobbying, earmarks, and campaign finance/ corporate money in politics.

                                                                                                               
2

I included this heading to clarify when two candidates addressed an issue in completely different terms, potentially failing to address the underlying concern of voters.

 

2

o

(10) Moral values: § Sen. Obama: the then-Senator’s platform included sections on reconciling faith and politics, family support, and volunteering/ service to country. § Sen. McCain: the Senator’s platform included commitments to preserve the sanctity of life and marriage, protecting children from online predators, and addressing the moral concerns of stem cell research.

3. ELECTION 2004 • Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/9337/economy-terrorism-top-issues-2004election-vote.aspx. See below “Survey Methods” for table comparable to 2008 and 2012 tables.
Issue The economy Terrorism Creating American jobs Protecting American jobs The situation in Iraq Education Healthcare The federal budget deficit Social Security Taxes Gallup 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Kerry 3 8 3 3 9 4 7 3 4 3 Bush 1 5 1 1 5 3 4 1 9 1

• •

No issues left unaddressed. No issues addressed differently.

 

3

4. ELECTION 2000 • Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/2500/election-2000-where-public-standssocial-security.aspx)
Issue Education The economy Health care Social Security Handling the budget surplus Medicare Taxes Creating opportunities for better-paying jobs The environment National defense The gun issue Gallup 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Gore3 4 3 7 9 1 8 9 3 5 2 6 Bush 1 7, 8 6 3 6 5 2 7 6 4 6

• •

No issues left unaddressed. No issues addressed significantly differently.

5. ELECTION 1996: • Unable to find comparable Gallup poll online. • Unable to find Clinton-Gore campaign website from 1996. • http://www.dolekemp96.org/agenda/issues/issues.html

                                                                                                               
3

The rankings for VP Gore and Gov. Bush should not be taken as a reflection of importance since the campaign websites from this era listed the issues in a drop-down menu in alphabetical order.

 

4