Forget Iraq. With inflation and gas prices on the rise, a new CNN poll finds that 49 percent of Americans say the economy will be the most vital issue in determining their vote this November.
The number reflects an increasing trend, up from the 44 percent who cited the economy as their top issue in February and the 29 percent who did so in December. Only 19 percent of those polled this time around said Iraq was their most important concern.
The results come in the wake of a spree of negative economic news. Thursday, the Commerce Department released a report indicating that since March 2008, energy prices have risen 17 percent, while food prices have increased by 4.5 percent.
And in case you had any hope left, today the Labor Department announced that the American economy lost 20,000 jobs in April, making it the fourth consecutive month with a decline. While the number of jobs lost in April was lower than some economists had predicted, according to a CNBC article, this is the longest stretch of months with such significant layoffs since 2003.
As for the current president, during a speech in Missouri Friday, George W. Bush admitted that he was "worried about the economy." Responding to the news of yet another month with significant job losses, Bush went on to add, "That's a sign that this economy is not as robust as any of us would like it."