WASHINGTON, DC, November 2, 2018 (ENS) – Healthcare, the economy and immigration top the list of issues that voters consider important to their vote for Congress this year, according to Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. Climate change is low on the list, but ranks higher than in the last midterm election.

In comments on a Gallup Poll released today, Newport says other issues that at least seven in 10 voters rate as “extremely” or “very” important include the treatment of women in U.S. society, gun policy and taxes.

“The investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election and climate change rank at the bottom, although roughly half still consider them important,” Newport writes.

Voters rate climate change as more important this year than in 2014, the only other time it has been measured.

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Newborn receives attention in a San Francisco, California  hospital, 2014 (Photo by Daniel Hoherd)

Eighty percent of those surveyed consider healthcare the most important issue, while the economy and immigration each drew a yes from 78 percent of those surveyed by the Gallup organization in Midterm Election Benchmark poll, conducted October 15-28.

The majority of registered voters surveyed describe 11 of the 12 issues tested as extremely or very important to their vote – the only exception being the investigation into Russia and the 2016 election.

The two issues with the biggest partisan gaps in perceived importance this year – more than 40 points – are climate change and the Russia investigation.

On climate, 75 percent of Democrats and only 27 percent of Republicans rate climate change as important to their vote for Congress.

There is a 15-point partisan gap in ratings of the importance of healthcare.

The Russia investigation receives an importance rating of 66 percent from Democrats but a rating of just 19 percent from Republicans.

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Climate change in the making as Arizona’s coal-fired Navajo Generating Station spews greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, May 2008 (Photo by ilya_ktsn)

Two other issues of much greater importance to Democrats than Republicans, both of which have 30-point partisan gaps, are the way women are treated and the way income and wealth are distributed.

Three issues are significantly more important to Republicans’ vote for Congress than to Democrats’ vote: the economy, taxes and immigration. The gaps for these are relatively modest, between 10 and 13 points. All are or have been key talking points for President Donald Trump and Republican candidates.

The confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is one of the least-important issues to Democrats, while it appears higher on the importance list among Republicans.

Two of the high-profile focus points of Trump and Republican congressional leaders over the past year – taxes and changes in U.S. trade and tariff policies – are last on Democrats’ importance list, while they appear higher on Republicans’ list.

The four issues of the least importance to Republicans are the Russian investigation, climate change, income and wealth distribution, and the way women are treated in U.S. society.

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