NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Issues Important To Voters

November 10, 2000

Despite the attention during the election campaign to the rising cost of prescription drugs and the competing drug plans of the presidential candidates, voters in Tuesday's election thought a number of issues were more important, according to a post-election survey sponsored by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA). The bipartisan poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and the Mellman Group.

In the survey, conducted Tuesday, 800 election-day voters contacted by telephone were asked, What is the most important issue facing the country today?

  • 11 percent of voters said the most important issue was the decline in moral values.
  • 9 percent said Social security/aid to the elderly was the most important issue, and 8 percent said it was the quality of education.
  • 5 percent said the cost of health care was the most important issue, and an additional 2 percent specified prescription drug costs as the most important issue.

And when asked to name the one or two issues -- putting aside character or other personal issues -- most important to them in deciding for whom to vote for president:

  • 24 percent said Social Security; 23 percent, education; 16 percent, abortion; 13 percent, taxes, and 12 percent, the economy.
  • 11 percent of voters chose health care.

And while a majority of voters thought either the federal government or the private sector is doing or would do only a poor or fair job of running the health care system, the perception of the private sector was considerably better than the federal government.

According to HIAA's poll, 32 percent of voters believe that the private sector is doing, or would do, an excellent or very good job of running the health care system. Only 18 percent believe the same of the federal government.

Source: Bill McInturrff (Public Opinion Strategies) and Mark Mellman (Mellman Group), "McInturrff/Mellman Post-Election Survey" ; Press Release, "HIAA Post-Election Poll: Health Care Not Determining Issue Among Voters," both November 9, 2000, Health Insurance Association of America.


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