THE ECONOMY: JOB NO. 1
The economy is the most important issue, besting health care reform and unemployment by more than 3-1. Nearly 40 percent of poll respondents said the economy is the most important issue, followed by health care reform and unemployment - which both polled at 12 percent.
IT'S TOUGH OUT THERE
More than 80 percent of respondents said the economy is either "fairly bad" or "very bad." Forty-six percent of Southerners said things are getting better, but there is a partisan divide in those feelings: 64 percent of Democrats say things are getting better but only 34 percent of Republicans agree.
WALL STREET IS RESPONSIBLE
Most Southerners, 86 percent, think banks and other financial institutions caused the nation's economic woes. They agree (89 percent), too, that large corporations are also responsible by making poor management decisions. But there is a partisan split over whether the Bush administration did enough to regulate banks. Sixty-five percent of Democrats place most of the blame on Bush. Among Republicans, 10.7 percent think Bush is mainly responsible.
MY JOB IS SAFE?
More than 60 percent of Southerners said they feel secure in their jobs despite double-digit unemployment nationally and some of the nation's worst unemployment concentrated in the South. A Winthrop poll conducted in May had nearly identical results.